It was a cool and breezy April day. The windows were open in the school classroom, and I couldn’t resist looking out on the fields and dreaming of cowboys. While growing up, I wanted to be a cowboy and Daddy didn’t do anything to curb or discourage this ambition of mine. Daddy never really said no about much. He would just ask how I would go about doing it. The teacher rapped her ruler loudly on her desk to get our attention. We waited in silence and anticipation.
Mrs. Cribb wanted our class to do a play about all the children of the world and was asking us what we wanted to be. There was no question in my mind about what I wanted to be, so I raised my hand and said I wanted to be a cowboy. She smiled which always translated to something other than what you wanted to do.
She said you live on a farm why don’t you want to be a farmer. I pondered on that for a while and told her I know I am a farmer, but my Daddy says that I can be a cowboy if that’s what I want. I believe I can be a cowboy so why can’t I be a cowboy in the play? I have the boots and a hat, and I know how to ride a horse. I looked deep into her eyes with my saddest face on and waited for her reply. She said I believe, I think, maybe I will speak with your Daddy.
The last bell of the day couldn’t get there fast enough. I wanted to get home and tell my Daddy that Mrs. Cribb was coming by to see him about me being in the play as a cowboy. I endured the long ride on the school bus thinking about what to tell my Daddy to convince him to agree with this grand idea of mine. I knew Daddy liked cowboy shows on TV so I arrived home with hope and confidence that he would talk Mrs. Cribb into saying yes.
As the bus stopped to let me out, I saw my Daddy standing on the front porch waiting. That could be good or bad, yet as I walked toward him, he told me to take my books inside and let’s take a walk. I called my dog, Cookie, and the three of us headed out to the fields. Daddy said that he had talked to Mrs. Cribb and told her that I believed that Jesus loves cowboys and all the children of the world. He told her I knew the lines from all the cowboy shows like Roy Rogers, Gunsmoke, and Gene Autry. He had told her he felt confident that I would be a believable cowboy.
As Sunday night came around, I was ready for the church play, all decked out in Wrangler jeans, a wide belt with a big silver buckle, black cowboy boots with red designs on them, and a black Stetson. My Daddy went all out for me, and I got my best cowboy attitude on and was owning it.
The church was dim-lit and filled with people, and I had to admit that I was a bit nervous. The stage was brightly lit with spotlights on all of us kids. All the other actors had their best clothes on and there I was dressed like a hardcore troubadour. The choir director started off with Jesus Loves The Little Children. Each of us had a part to say and after what seemed an eternity it was my turn, my first play, my first stage, and my lines were the last ones of the night. I tipped my Stetson and sang, “and Jesus loves cowboys too.” The congregation laughed and they all stood and gave us a standing ovation. It was the best night of my life. Mrs. Cribb gave me a big hug and said she loved me too.