Notches, Straps & Ghosts
By Ms. Cali
How learning to read opened up whole new worlds to Jimmy Hickock.
As told to Ms. Cali via second hand knowledge and hearsay, resulting in this completely made up interview.
Believe it or not, there was a time when Jimmy Hickock (many of you probably know him by his more famous moniker, Wild Bill) could not read the stories written about
him. His so-called "friends" had to read the stories to him, and he soon found out they were actually making up their own details and stuff. This fabrication caused
him an incredible amount of trouble, but it wasn't until he met a pretty school teacher that he decided he needed to learn to read.
MC: Jimmy, why did not you want to learn to read before this?
JH: Well, reading is hard. You know, it's hard work, and I'd have to work real hard. And I'm already working real hard, riding for the Pony
Express, so I didn't want to have to work real hard anymore.
MC: What made you change your mind?
JH: Have you seen what Vera looks like?
MC: So a pretty girl can make you decrease your laziness?
JH: Well, I know it sounds more like something Cody would say, but you know, he'd be right.
MC: So, I understand that this Vera turned out not to be such a good person after all. Once she was no longer your teacher, how did you
progress with your reading lessons?
JH: Well, to be honest, I didn't. At least, not for a little while. But then, one day, I was in Tompkins' store, and I was able to read the
labels on the jars. That was when I realized that reading wasn't such hard work after all. But I was embarrassed, so I didn't tell anyone I was still trying to learn
to read. I would sneak out to the barn, late at night, and practice then. Or by the campfire when I was on a run. That was the best time since I didn't have to
worry about anyone else finding me. After Noah made fun of me for reading about the Cat and the Rat that one time, I decided I would do it all on my own.
MC: So, now that you are able to read, how would you say it has impacted your life?
JH: Oh, all sorts of ways. You could actually say it opened up new worlds to me.
MC: Actually, I did say that. It's the title of this interview.
MC: That's okay. Continue.
JH: So, anyway, now that I can read, I learned that Kid and Lou are sooooooooooooooo totally in luuuuuuuuv, because I can read Lou's diary ...
but only when she's not around. Oh, you're not going to print that are you? I don't want her to find out.
MC: (mumbling) Sorry, you must specify if something is off the record before you say it.
JH: What was that?
MC: So, what else do you like to read?
JH: Sweet Valley High – I mean, great classic novels like To Kill a Mockingbird or For Whom the Bell Tolls.
MC: Have those books even been written yet?
MC: Never mind. Continue.
JH: Right now I'm reading Intruder in the Dust by William Faulkner. I'm learning about different points of view and different places
that I've never been. In the last book I read, when Jessica tried to steal Elizabeth's boyfriend, I thought the whole Wakefield family was going to fall apart. But
they were able to work things out, and I learned how conflicts can be resolved without calling someone out.
MC: I think it's about time we wrap this interview up, seriously. Is there one last thing you want to tell the people of America?
JH: Give a Hoot. Read a Book.