** This article is a work of nonfiction based on actual events as shared with me by a friend who experienced them firsthand; used with permission.
After her husband passed on, my friend’s great-grandmother lived alone on her North Texas ranch 18 miles from the nearest town. Although everyone had invited great grandma to live with them, she stalwartly refused because this was home. Every year the grandchildren would come out and chop firewood for her, and one year they fixed up a lean-to on the side of her cabin to store her firewood.
Great grandma lived a frugal life with her garden and some stock that she either had working on the farm or raised for meat. Everyone would pitch in to help her each summer, and she was very appreciative of all of the help.
One winter, there was a terrible thunderstorm, and it frightened her donkey. The donkey managed to escape her barn and wound up in the lean-to kicking the side of her cabin. The sound reverberated throughout the entire cabin with the steady thud thud thud of the donkey’s feet kicking the side of the cabin.
The sound was loud and very upsetting to great grandma. Too frightened to go near the lean-to and see what it was, great grandma grabbed her purse and set out on foot via the front door. She ran and walked for four miles until she was at her nearest neighbor. Here, she sought shelter throughout the remainder of the storm.
After the storm, the neighbors took her back home, where her donkey was resting in the lean-to woodshed next to the cabin. One look at the side of the cabin, and you could see that it was the donkey that had been kicking the cabin wall.
Great grandma laughed the rest of her life as she told this story. She loved her farm and her animals, but she hoped that she’d never have to hear that sound again. It was pretty frightening. She was sure that someone was either going to kill her or that a tree had fallen on her cabin during the storm. Have you ever been frightened during a thunderstorm?
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