Peckerwood Road

This weekend, the Fayetteville High Class of 1974 will hold a reunion that in no shape or form will remotely resemble the parties we attended 40 years ago to celebrate graduation from that renowned institute of lower learning. The smart kids went on to college , determined to make something of themselves, while the rest of us wandered aimlessly like a herd of goats who couldn’t decide whether to shit or go blind.

Our graduating class featured the usual caste system. Social standing was determined by which group (i.e. clique) had accepted you as a member. There were Jocks, Suzies, Nerds, Goat Ropers, and of course, Hippies. My group, the Ne’er-Do-Wells, was a subset of the Hippie caste and ranked barely ahead of whale dung on the social ladder of life. We had adopted the Alfred E. Newman motto, “What? Me worry?” It has served me well.

If you’re new to Friday Flash Fiction, the person who worries and frets over which photo to post each week is Professor Blanche DuBois Wisoff-Fields. If you’d like to participate in this exercise in madness, head over to her blog for step-by-step instructions. To view the FFF Hollywood Squares Authors Block click here.

copyright - Erin Leary
copyright – Erin Leary

“Wendell, I’m not happy.” Elsie shifted her cud from one side to the other and stared across the highway.

“What? Elsie, you’re knee deep in clover, have a spring-fed pool to drink from, and plenty of huge oak trees to provide shade all summer. You should be the most contented heifer on Peckerwood Road.”

“I know, but I can’t help but wonder what’s beyond this fence. What it must be like to wade through tall grass in other pastures.”

“Well, you know what Old MacDonald says,” Wendell swished a fly with his tail. “The grass may look greener, but it’ll still give you diarrhea.”


60 thoughts on “Peckerwood Road

  1. Wendell and Elsie…what a lovely couple. I think Elsie should stay where she is and be content. The grass doesn’t look all that green to me, in fact, it looks positively unappetising — probably full of nettles that will give her the bellyache, and that’s no bull 🙂


  2. Russell, Another hilarious story. XD You wouldn’t think by the looks of them that cows had discussions like that, but I’ll take your word for it. I guess Elsie’s going to have to be content to roam in that same pasture as I can’t see her climbing any fences to relocate. Your introduction was as hilarious as the story. I always love your intros. XD —Susan


  3. Russell, You make us laugh so much and I look forward every week to seeing the humorous side of whatever you write about. You are the crown on the funny bone of life! Love it Russell! Love it!! Nan 🙂


  4. Dear Alfred E.

    I know it will shock you but Mad Magazine was one of the strongest influences during my formative years. What? Me worry?

    Elsie has much to be contented about, she should listen to Old MacDonald…EIEIO

    It’s always fun to come here for my weekly portion of laughter.

    Class of 1974? Ack. You’re just a child. I was part of hippie faction at my school. 😉 Also hard to believe, right?

    I’ll soon be choosing a restaurant in Joplin. The day is closing in on us. Once graduation season is over, hopefully the icing will clear and I’ll be able to think. Aftah awl tomorra is anothah day. STELLLLLLAAAAAAA!!!!!

    Shalom y’all,



  5. Spot on investigative reporting of what cows have to say to each other before they come home, Russell. I think this tale deserves the Gary Larsen seal of approval, but all I can give you is mooing from Manhattan since my colleague stepped out of the office for the usual reasons: coffee and to lament the downward spiral of her life.


    1. You caught me. Evidently, we both have the same taste in fine literature–Far Side Cartoons. Yes, I got the concept for this little piece from Gary Larson. Even the bull’s name, Wendell, came from the cartoon.


  6. I forgot what a young kid you are, class of 1974. I was class of …. well, let’s just say you could get in trouble for coming to school with long hair and no one wore jeans to school. I’m pretty sure I was a goat roper unless I am misunderstanding the term. I definitely spent a lot of time on Peckerwood Road. Gee, still do for that matter. Funny stuff as always, dude!


  7. As usual, your story is totally a kick. Every detail perfect in the behind the fence musings. And I remember Shari Lewis – nice Jewish girl both hilarious and adorable – and as loveable as Lambchop, surely the most beloved puppet of all time.


    1. Messy is correct. My Dad milked cows for Kraft (it went to the cheese plant in Bentonville). When they’d raise their tail in the barn, he would try to catch their poop in a scoop shovel before it hit the floor. You had to be fast 🙂


  8. Some cows are never happy. I think Elsie needs to count her blessings. After all, who really wants to eat all that fresh green grass with its consequences! Very funny.


  9. Dear Russell,

    I was a member of the dumb-ass clique. No one knew they were a member. We all thought we were in one of the others. Wasn’t until later I realized the truth.

    Good story. Funny coincidence….our high school was named after Harvey Peckerwood. Guy got around.




    1. That’s too bad. Y’all could’ve built a nice float for the homecoming parade. The Peckerwood Dumb-Ass Club sounds like an organization that would have made a guy like me feel at home.


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