So, when my Papa was around 16 he moved back to AR with his family and worked on the old homestead. About 1,000 acres of farmland along the King's river. One of their pastimes was to race and ride the farm horses, especially against his cousin TJ's black stud QH. The prize of the county! The drafts would win EVERY time and would enrage TJ! Another pastime was stealing watermelons farmed along the banks of the river.
So one day Papa borrowed TJ's stud and set off with two large gunny sacks tied to each side of the horses saddle. He had to cross a deep hole in the river to get to a watermelon farmers field. The horse swam it fine and they crossed, rode up an embankment and tied him up. Papa snuck (Like only an Apache can!) through the fields in broad daylight, picking and loading watermelons in the sacks. Loaded up, he tried to cross the river again, well three strides in the horse was in over his head and dropped out from under him, WITH THE WATERMELONS! They didn't float like he thought they would... The horse would lunge to the top, take a breath and was sucked back under. Papa was TERRIFIED thinking he was drowning TJ's prize stud! After 5 long mins of helping to pull the horse along and helping it get to the top for air the horse made it across. He hopped on it and rode him home... thanking God the horse made it. TJ would have shot him dead if he ever found out or if something would have happened to him!
These "Indian" boys also liked to sneak into the farmers fields at night and bury the biggest ripe watermelons before harvest. After they were picked they would go dig them up, crack them open, eat the centers and leave the rest to freak out the farmers.
I love this man so much! Here is a shot after we took a haul catfishing on the Kings. He'd set me up in the "sweet spots" and I always hauled out more than he did! Much to his "dismay"! I try to get him to ride with me now but my grandma swears she'll beat me with a switch if he does!