As with most ranching kids, we grew up in a very small town. I graduated with 15 kids my senior year, and that was after the school had grown exponentially during my tenure there. That being said, it was very noticeable when one would happen to not show up to classes for the day.
Us three Anderson kids were straight A students with very few disciplinary problems, (there was an incident with a coach and a yelling match once, no big deal). We could also catch up on a week’s worth of late work in one day, so Kev was pretty good about letting us play hooky for cattle works. Where she gave us an inch, we’d take a mile, though.
It got to where I would sleep in my brush popper and hand-me-down Wranglers at night, so I would be ready to punch cows as soon as Kev started making coffee in the morning. I was notoriously hard to wake up for school and church, so she knew exactly what she’d see turn the corner when she heard the pitter patter of my feet on the tile.
Our branding usually lasts 4-5 days, so by the 4th day of this, Kev was mighty exasperated. She knew we’d missed too much school even by rural agricultural standards, and she knew we needed to get back to civilization. She’d have that eyebrow raised and her stance made…and then John A would walk in.
“Well, I kind of need them today. It’s going to be a big one.”
We’d grab a breakfast burrito Kev had made for the crew and scamper out before anything else could be said.
With a sigh, that good hearted woman would simply get a pen and paper out and start to write a message for the school secretary…
“All three Anderson kids were sick for the same 4 days this week. Thank you, Kevva Anderson.”