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Donna Flood
How Megan Saved the Ranch


An extra dry winter made the grass of Osage County dry and fire ready as kindling for fire wood. If you walked across it there was an awareness of this. Should a fire get out from a spark there was a strong possibility it could grab hold of the place not stopping until there was a destruction of everything going before it. If gates were not left open cattle would be burned. Houses, sheds, equipment setting in its path not even stumbling blocks for it when it raced through the homesteads. Like a lion it could leap and cover distances easily, first crouching and then racing at great speeds.

The jangling of the phone was a constant thing since her husband once had a small electrical business and though he was retired the necessary answering of it must be done in case of some small electrical emergency, one or another. His consulting work could direct folks to the proper person for their repairs, and was necessary too, in a small way, to help keep a peaceful community. This time the voice at the other end was that of their granddaughter.

"Gramma! Gramma D!" the girl was obviously agitated. "There is a fire out back." "I don't know what to do."

"Where is your Mother?"

"She is on her way home." "I got here first, off the school bus."

"Are you alone?" The Grandmother wanted to know.

"My friend is with me." The frightened little girl told her grandmother.

"Go in the bathroom." "Get two very large towels." "Dump the trash can."

"Fill it with water." "Go out to the fire." "Dip the towels in water and swing the towels like a jump rope." "Put it out."

Gramma waited. No call. She waited a while longer, still no call. Finally she would not wait any longer to call the girl's other grandmother who lived not to far from her.

"Ginger!" "Did Aleese get the fire out?"

"Oh my!" "Oh dear!" "What fire?"

There was a moment's silence while the caller tried to think. "What is going on?" "There was an irregularity somehow!"

"I'll call over there!" Ginger reassured her.

In just minutes again the phone rang and it was Ginger.

"D!" She was concerned and it told in her voice. "There is no fire at Aleese's house."

All at once "D." knew she had made a mistake. As it would happen, her husband came walking in the door. "You must go over to our son's place." "There is a fire out over there." "I made a terrible mistake." "I thought it was in town." "Our granddaughter, Megan is over there, maybe trying to put out a prairie fire with a wet bath towel."

Again D was sitting nervously waiting for the phone to ring. She was on the edge of her chair. "What have I done?" She wanted to cry. "Their voices sounded so much alike." "I thought it was Aleese, not Megan." A small town fire in a mown back yard was not a problem at all compared to the tall, thick, dry, prairie grass around the house of the ranch place. The grass was short directly around the house but the Grandmother knew on farther out it was taller and more dense.

At last, the phone rang, and it was her husband. "You will be glad to know your granddaughter put out a prairie fire with a wet bath towel." She could see her husband grinning as he spoke. "It burned right up close to the house but the two of them got it out!"

"I'm so thankful." Gramma "D." was completely honest. This was one time, a mistake she made had been covered by the quick actions of her only partially grown granddaughter who was exhibiting the mature mind of a much older person.

The next morning as Megan came through their house on the way to school. She sheepishly grinned at her grandmother who praised her for having saved the ranch, "with an old bath towel."


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