Windy's Personal Problem


    “No, Doc,” Windy said, “don’t hurt or nothin’ like that, but you know, with all the plagues goin’ on right now, figgered it’s better to be safe than … “


  “I ain’t never sorry I come to see ya, Doc. You know that. Fell to sleep t’other night when all them ad shows is on … you know. Like how to cut yer boots with a knife and feel younger by wearin’ a new shirt … that stuff.”

  Doc nodded. Windy Wilson was one of his closest pals, as well as being a patient. The adventures of this old cowboy camp cook and mule packer were usually good for a laugh, anyway. But ol’ Windy really seemed upset this morning.

   “Windy,” Doc said, kindly. “I’m thinking this is a sorta personal problem? I deal with personal problems all the time, so why not just tell me about it?”

   “Thass what’s so strange, Doc. I only catched a part of it when I was a-dozin’ off, ya know? But I told myself … Self, I better go talk to Doc, ‘cuz that jest might be whass been holdin’ me back on startin’ some colts.”

   “Starting some colts? What’s keeping you from starting some colts is you’re old enough to know better! So what’s this problem that the teevee said is keeping you out of the saddle?”

   Windy looked up shamefaced. “They called it a deviated rectum.”

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Newspaper columnist Slim Randles, who writes the weekly Home Country column, took home two New Mexico Book Awards in 2011. His advice book for young people, “A Cowboy’s Guide to Growing Up Right,” took first place in the self-help category, and “Sweetgrass Mornings” won in the biography/memoirs category. Randles lives and works in Albuquerque. Home Country reaches 3 million hometown newspaper readers each week

Slim Randles learned mule packing from Gene Burkhart and Slim Nivens. He learned mustanging and wild burro catching from Hap Pierce. He learned horse shoeing from Rocky Earick. He learned horse training from Dick Johnson and Joe Cabral. He learned humility from the mules of the eastern High Sierra. Randles lives in Albuquerque.

Randles has written newspaper stories, magazine articles and book, both fiction and nonfiction. His column appeared in New Mexico Magazine for many years and was a popular columnist for the Anchorage Daily News and the Albuquerque Journal, and now writes a nationally syndicated column, “Home Country,” which appears in several hundred newspapers across the country.


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