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The Ancestral Boots

An old Texas rancher was rounding up stray cattle when a rattlesnake reared up and bit him through his boot. He had nothing he could use to treat himself, so he applied a tourniquet, climbed on his horse and headed for home.
Through the kitchen window, the rancher's wife saw him coming. Even from a distance he looked strange. His head was bowed and the reins were slack in his hands. A few minutes later, the horse and rider arrived in the front yard, but the old rancher did not climb down off his horse. When his wife and the hired hands got to him, they found that he was dead in the saddle.

"Imagine him having a heart attack and not even falling off his horse," said the rancher's son.
The morning after the funeral, as the son was getting dressed, his mother came into his room. "These are Daddy's boots," she said. "I thought maybe you'd like to wear them."

The son took them and put them on his feet. They pinched a little, but he didn't say anything about it to his mother. He didn't want to hurt her feelings. Besides, they'd probably stretch after he'd worn them for a couple of days.

At the end of the day, the son came riding into the yard of the ranch, slumped over his horse. Like his father, it appeared that he had had a massive heart attack out on the range.

The morning after the son's funeral, the old rancher's wife came into her eldest grandson's room. Her face was pale and drawn. "Your Grandpa wore these boots for twenty years," she told the young man. "Your Daddy only got a chance to wear them for one day. Do you want them?"

The grandson said yes, and put them on. The boots were too tight, but he couldn't complain about it to his grandmother after all she'd been through.

At the end of the day, the grandson came riding into the yard of the ranch, slumped over his horse, as dead as his father and his grandfather.

A few days later, the grandmother called her youngest grandson to her. On the floor beside her were the boots. She was weeping. "Your Grandpa always said these boots were good luck. I'm beginning to think they've cursed us. Take them out and burn them for me."

The boy picked up the boots, and as he did, he saw something sticking out just above the heel. He carried the boots out to the tool shed, took a pair of pliers and pulled at the object embedded in the boot. He expected it to be a thorn. Instead, out came a rattlesnake fang still filled with venom.

Variation: In a modern version of this story a rancher runs over a rattlesnake with his truck. Some of the snake's fangs are embedded in one of the tires, so the rancher drives to his mechanic's shop to have them pulled. The careless mechanic is scratched by the fangs and dies.


The new owner of the boots celebrating her new found luck . . .



Story by Eric Dylan    Copyright Do not copy for use on blogs, websites etc



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