By Lynn Moncus
Money, or the lack thereof, is a frequent topic of conversation these days, giving
us one more reason to return to the past and how we were taught to use whatever
dimes we were given.
As usual, Dad was an outstanding teacher and made me much aware of the
importance of learning to share. He explained early on that if I had a dime, I should be willing to share at least a nickel of it with someone else.
Both he and Mother were great believers in sharing what we had with others, especially with those in need. They were often on my case about my tendency to be more than a little selfish and seemed to stay busy trying to figure new ways to get me to be willing to give even my most cherished items.
For some reason, they never put me on a set allowance, but they surely seemed to know just how much money I asked for or was given during the week and often asked for an accounting. Those encounters were fairly pleasant if I could report that I had given someone a little change or had bought a friend a soda pop.
When I was four, Dad branded a beautiful heifer calf for me and told me she
would take care of me through the next few years.
I named her Polly and often went in search for her in the pasture. Dad came in one day a couple of years later to tell me that Polly had produced a nice-looking calf. He had explained that whenever she had a steer, I could sell it to in order to buy something I really wanted or needed. I would have to keep all the heifers in so I could build my own little herd of cattle.
To my great delight, her first offspring was a little bull, and I sold him when Dad sold the rest of the calves that tall.
By the time I had paid his pasture bill, extra feed bill, and hauling fee, I didn’t
have much money left by today’s standard s–$28. 00. To me that was a small fortune, however, and I was able to buy quite a number of books. I had looked hard and long during the year for something special to buy and had come up with a list of books as my first choice.
As the years passed, my herd grew as did my income. Among the items I bought
were my cornet, which saw me through THS band and college band. I also bought a bedroom set I had been admiring for a while. I still admire it every night and remember how pleased I was with Polly and her offspring for giving me the opportunity to buy it. They later paid most of my way through college. When we sold the ranch and our cattle, Dad put aside my money to be used some years later at New Mexico A & MA.
Although I no longer have any cattle, I still enjoy following the directions my
parents gave me about sharing. Obviously, I am not even close to being among the moneyed classes, but I have enough to be able to share with others when the time is right. Giving is one of the most rewarding activities in life!
Lynn Moncus is a Tucumcari resident and can be concatcted by calling 575-461-1952.