Girls Without Shoes

September 11, 2008

Little Boy of the Mountains

Filed under: short pieces,Yarns — girlswithoutshoes @ 8:51 pm
Tags: , , , , , , ,

There was something about Toby Tom. He had red hair that stuck up in unruly cowlicks. His enormous green eyes gave him a look of innocence. His cheeks were chubby and his grin quite impish.

Toby Tom was about 10 years old the first time I laid eyes on him. He was slight in stature, but mighty in mouth. I have never heard a little boy cuss like him. He had the foulest mouth on a child that I had ever heard. Toby could cuss a blue streak that would have made any sailor proud, that could make a mother grab her bar of soap up in a hurry and clamp her hands over little ears.

Still, he was so adorable. You know, those kind of little boys who reel you in with their cuteness, and you just fall in love with them. That kind of boy whose big grin melts your heart, who could wrap you around his finger whilst slipping a frog down your back at the same time, and you don’t even care.

He was and is to this day a real “rascal”, born after his time I believe, and grown too soon. Toby had one of those laughs that you caught and must join in with, helplessly gasping for breath after.

Hunting was Toby’s idea of fun, along with necessity. He seemed part boy, part mountain lion, stealthy in the hunt , providing much fresh game, fish and wild mushrooms to his family’s table.

Toby could mimick a turkey’s call perfectly himself, and had more than one turkey in love with him. Little did his turkey lovers know, they were destined for his Mother’s dining table!

At times Toby seemed fearless, like the time he shot a black bear many times his size that had been tramping around his property. The small boy later became known as “Toby the Bear ” around his parts.

Toby and his father would go into town every few weeks. While his father was having a beer at the tavern, Toby was hanging around the general store, swapping stories with the other young boys. He was quite an instigator, telling so and so that his older brother (who later became my husband), would kick their butts, taking bets on it. More than one fight was started in this manner. Toby would get it going, and his brother would have to step in and finish it. Toby always left town with a few coins more in his pockets.

Toby and I grew quite fond of each other as the years went by. I watched him grow from a small boy into a fine man. When he married, he brought his bride to the family’s “mountain”.

There was a stubborn streak in him and he would badger a person until they wanted to go crazy! He could be relentless like a dog with a bone, or a little dog that nipped at the cow’s heels, growling and carrying on about something that bothered him.

One day, I had put a pan of cornbread in the oven and Toby just kept after his wife about something until he had her in tears, badgering her to death so that I could not even stand it! Before I could think twice, I had picked up the empty batter bowl and slung it hard, just missing his head and hitting the kitchen door.

Toby just looked at me in surprise, laughed and walked out the door. I was so shocked and upset by my actions, that I ended up crying and feeling the fool.

We had many go ’rounds over the years. We were family by marriage, and friends by choice. I found that I would always be able to count on the Little Boy of the Mountains, my brother-son, my Toby Bear to be there when I needed him.

Red Haired Boy
R. Arbo

If I was a red-haired boy, tell you what I’d do
I would kiss all the girls before I got to you
If I was a red-haired boy, never go to school
I would spend all the day down at Codfish Pool

Red haired boys will trick you
Red haired boys are mean
Red haired boys can make the girls do most anything

Except one red haired boy I knew, many years ago
Way up in the mountains where the preachers never go
Eyes as blues diamonds, he walked barefoot through the snow
And that red-haired boy would follow me most anywhere I’d go

Red haired boys will trick you
Red haired boys are mean
Red haired boys can make the girls do most anything



  1. Red haired boys can make the girls do most anything—LOL!

    I read Toby Tom, laughed till I had to wipe my eyes. Very sweet.

    Comment by oracleofthepearl — September 15, 2008 @ 2:10 am

  2. Such stories as to intrigue and delight . . . again.

    Miss D

    Comment by Miss Demure Restraint — February 15, 2009 @ 11:12 pm

  3. Thanks Sweet D, am glad you read my “boy” story. It is dear to my heart.

    Comment by girlswithoutshoes — February 18, 2009 @ 6:49 am

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