Living with three brothers had its advantages and disadvantages. Sometimes they aggravated the life out of me, but when it really came down to brass tacks, they were always there to help little sis.
Now my brothers weren't mean as mean goes, but they were all boys. They loved to aggravate me. I couldn't keep from letting them know that their aggravation bothered me. All the more reason for them to do it.
There was a little boy that visited his grandma and grandpa, across the street. He was a little slow and had a speech impediment. He couldn't say Emily Charlene so he called me Chimney Ardene. My brothers delighted in calling me Chimney Ardene and teasing me about the little boy being my boyfriend. I'd chase them and call them anything that I could think of. We weren’t allowed to say dirty words, ( I didn't know any anyhow). I'd call them pear tree or newspaper or anything that popped into my mind.
They would do things to get mother all stirred up, then they would run and I'd get the whipping. Gomer would get her tickled so she couldn't spank him. This is just to let you know what they were like.
One day Hansel and Gomer came up with the bright idea that they would create a UFO and scare the people at Wade. They trapped a buzzard with a dead rabbit in a dead fall. Gomer held the buzzard while Hansel tied a stick on his feet with coal oil rags wrapped around it. The buzzard puked all over Gomer. They finally got the stick tied to its feet. The object was to light the coal oil rags and when the buzzard flew over Wade, people would think that it was a UFO. So they lit the rags and let the buzzard go. The poor old buzzard was so scared that he just flew down into Teague's pasture and landed, setting the pasture on fire. Knowing they were in deep trouble, Hansel and Gomer pulled off their shirts and began to fight fire with all their might until they finally got it out. So much for the UFO.
Another such time I remember, they decided that it would be such fun to turpentine, Mrs. Daniels' cat. They caught the cat and as usual, Gomer held it while Hansel put a smear of turpentine under his tail. The cat clawed the fire out of Gomer, jumped down and took off like a streak of lightening, never to be seen again. Mrs. Daniels never knew what happened to her cat.
My brothers seldom wanted their little sister to go along on their escapades, so I was usually left to play by myself. When they were at home, they were usually upstairs, which was their bedroom. If they didn't want me to come up there , all they had to do was mention putting me in the "Scuddy Hole", which I knew contained "Raw Hide and Bloody Bones", so I wouldn't go near.
I remember the time that I had the Whooping Cough. I would cough until I lost my breath. Mother told me to pump my arm, that it would help me catch my breath. When I started coughing I'd run outside, hang one arm around the porch post and grab my pigtails with the same arm and pump the other one. Now my brothers thought that was quite funny and would make fun of me. Not only was I sick, but they would make me so mad that I could have killed them easily, without a second thought.
Growing up with three brothers was quite an experience, but I wish I had the chance to do it all over again.
By Charlene Whitworth Wigington