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The Story of Billy Bob ~ The Texas Cowboy Cockroach

Dedicated to all the Billy Bobs of the world

--By Amber Patricia Sorenson, copyright 1999


It is not just a simple story. For those who've never given it much thought, the life of a cockroach is not an easy one. There are always the hateful comments overheard from the intimidating and clumsy big-footed beings. The little creatures are seemingly stalked and everything under the sun is hurled at them on a whim.It's a cruel game without any mercy shown. Few survive to tell the story of their escape. Also, the mean-spirited attempts to lure naïve roaches into the enticing and seductive little 'hotels' is nothing short of evil. Many good roaches have perished inside those death traps when they only entered in search of a good time. It is, honestly, just very difficult for ordinary cockroaches to remain optimistic about life. Low self-esteem is a common malady, of course. Yet, some - a very few - are born with an unusual fortitude and they simply refuse to let anything stand in their way as they strive to achieve their goals.They keep their eyes on the prize and they never look back.

And now, The Amazing and Almost Unbelievable Story of Billy Bob The Texas Cowboy Cockroach

Billy Bob's story is of a cockroach that wanted more out of life. He refused to settle for the humdrum existence led by the average roach on the street. He wanted to experience an abundant life, and he wanted to do it in Texas! Billy Bob, who affectionately came to be known as the 'Texas Cowboy Cockroach' wasn't born a Texan.

But he had dreams - big dreams. He longed to gaze into the starry Texas night skies deep in the heart of the lone star state. His appetite was stirred by the scrumptious imaginings of what a real Texas taco would taste like. Oh my! "But, does Texas need another cockroach", he asked himself. "Hardly," he sadly concluded. Then he had a bright idea! He would become deserving of entering that great state - he would aspire to become a hero! He would perform a wonderful deed, and perhaps a big parade would be held in his honor. And THEN he would make his wish known and surely someone would help him get to Texas. Such big dreams for this positive thinking, and very ambitious cockroach.

It must be noted here that Billy Bob was often suspected of suffering from delusions - most probably a defective genetic thing according to the wisdom of his uncle, Doc Roachie. Why couldn't Billy Bob accept his fate in life and just settle down -learn to live happily among his peers and relatives - and grow old (or die young as was most often the case) in familiar surroundings. But Billy Bob just couldn't. No one in Roachville understood him. They all thought that he was just a useless dreamer. "Why," they often wondered, "did Billy Bob so desire to become a Texan?"

Deep inside, Billy Bob knew he was 'different'. He aspired to do something great with his life; something that would set him apart in a special way. But what could he do he wondered. Yes, he was merely a roach. But, at least he wasn't the runt of his family. Billy Bob's large size commanded a lot of respect from his peers. Still, no one really expected him to make it to Texas. After giving it a lot of thought, Billy Bob took a break from his usual routine and isolated himself from his roach pals. Day and night he struggled to create a workable plan of action. Finally, he knew exactly what he would do. He would help damsels in distress! After all, he had overheard that chivalry was indeed in short supply these days.

With his super sleuth eyes wide open, Billy Bob ventured into unknown territory. Goodness I am brave, he thought. All around were hundreds of the clumsy big-footed beings who could end his life without even noticing. Sheesh! Yet Billy Bob would not become discouraged. He looked over his horizon and from his advantage point, he could indeed capture some peril about to happen. There she was! A pretty young sweet thing, skipping along with her sack of gooey sweets from Maw-Maw's Goodie Shoppe. "Oh how I would love to munch away on the delicious goodies in that bag," Billy Bob thought as he smacked his lips.

Then it happened.

Butchie, the neighborhood bully was hiding behind a tree. Instantly Billy Bob could predict the unforeseen danger. Yes, just as the pretty one was unsuspecting and enjoying her chocolate delights, Butchie suddenly jumped out and startled the poor lovely. "Boo Suzy Lou!" shouted Butchie. In her surprise, Suzy Lou dropped her candy bag. After all, Butchie was not a handsome sight and that horrible leering grin on his face intimidated the precious sweet thing enough to abandon her goodies. Her gooey treats were left on the sidewalk as she ran away from the dreadful bully. Billy Bob knew, without a doubt, what he had to do. He immediately crawled over to the bag and just as Butchie leaned down to scoop up his bounty, well, you get the picture. Ugh! - he saw a roach! Butchie's mouth had been watering for the sweet gooey treats, but alas, he conceded that the horrid roach had contaminated them. He walked away disgustedly. Suzy Lou turned back to view the scene once she was at a safe distance. Puzzled as to why Butchie had not taken her yummy delights, she ran back to reclaim them. Then she spotted Billy Bob. But he wasn't on her candy - no, he seemed to be merely protecting it for her.

Being a typical girl, she had never before been so charmed by a bug. But there was something so 'different' about this bug.

"Perhaps," she thought, "it was the bug's attitude." He seemed so gallant, and so respectful by keeping his distance from her candy. She hated to leave this special roach behind, fearing that on her next trip to Maw Maw's Goodie Shoppe, she would have the unfortunate experience of seeing him smattered on the sidewalk. She quickly indulged in the remaining candy and after licking the marshmallow goo off of her fingers, she gently coaxed Billy Bob into the empty paper sack.Off they went together. Billy Bob was truly excited at the possibility of exploring new horizons. He already felt affection toward his new companion. Most importantly, she liked him! She really liked him!!! Life was good.

Having been teasingly tortured by Butchie so often, Suzy Lou felt deeply grateful to Billy Bob. And she was quite pleased to see that Billy Bob seemed to adore her. Their mutual admiration led to her decision to offer him a home. Billy Bob was delighted to live with Suzy Lou. With her long ponytail and freckled face, she was just about the prettiest creature apart from cockroaches that he had ever laid eyes on. His protective instincts for her welfare made him feel so very macho. He liked the feeling. He puffed up his chest with pride.

But still, night after night Billy Bob would continue to envision what life would be like in Texas. The desire to be there was still alive and stirring in his imagination - even if it was so far away in reality. "Should I give up my dream", he wondered. Night after night, he struggled to come to a decision. Finally the obsession was giving him ulcers. He decided to give himself some more time before making the decision. Of course, it would mean leaving Suzy Lou behind in order to continue his journey to Texas. That was the tough part.

And then something extraordinary happened. Suzy Lou announced that her family was moving. They were going to live with her grandfather who owned a big ranch - in Texas! She wanted Billy Bob to join them and had found a little box for him to safely travel in. And no, it was not a roach hotel! Billy Bob couldn't believe his ears. Could it really be true? He was really, REALLY going to Texas? He was ecstatic! His dream would soon be a reality!Billy Bob had to pinch himself to see if he was only dreaming. Surely Suzy Lou wasn't teasing him. That would be just too cruel. Of course she wasn't. It was finally going to happen! And they would stay together. His prayers were answered.

The moving adventure was uneventful and Billy Bob slept most of the way, secure in the knowledge that when his box was re-opened, he would begin his new life in Texas-one that he had long wished for.

Grandpa was a gentle giant of a man and made them all feel right at home. When Suzy Lou relayed the story about Billy Bob, Gramps just smiled. He certainly didn't understand Suzy Lou's strange attachment to her cockroach pet, but he welcomed Billy Bob into his home. What a guy! And oh boy! As luck would have it, the first night's feast was authentic GENUINE Texas tacos.They were so yummy that the scraps were very meager. But they were just right to fill Billy Bob's little tummy. He was allowed to crawl around in the garbage can until he was totally satisfied, and then he was gently put to bed in his little box with a wide satisfied grin on his face.

Billy Bob had a secret wish. "How dapper Grandpa looks in his authentic Texas duds," he thought. Billy Bob imagined how super cool he would look if he could only dress like Grandpa. If only he knew how to convey his heart's desire to Suzy Lou. He was now completely assured of her devotion. Surely, she would help him.

A few days later, Grandpa took Suzy Lou shopping for some new Texas toys. She arrived back at the ranch with some of the tiniest dolls Billy Bob had ever seen, and a whole wardrobe of clothing and accessories for them as well. Billy Bob was astounded with what he saw. He could hardly believe his eyes. A tiny little ten gallon hat, teensy cowboy boots that were just the right size for his spindly legs and even an itty-bitsy little six-shooter inside of a beautiful leather holster.

Billy Bob also spotted a miniature guitar. He picked at the strings and entertained Suzy Lou with an old cowboy tune he once heard in a pool hall. Billy Bob was, in fact, very musically 'gifted'. It was a talent that always seemed to charm the ladies. Billy Bob simply drooled over it all. He could envision himself all 'duded up' in this gear. And, he simply couldn't wait a second longer. He decided to make a brazen attempt at letting Suzy Lou know his deeply held wishes. He managed to wiggle underneath the teensy ten-gallon hat and Suzy Lou was quite amused. But then as he crawled over to the boots, it became quite apparent that Billy Bob was making a statement. He was trying to tell her something! She quickly joined in the fun and in a flash, Billy Bob was all dressed up as a Texan! "My, I must look like a handsome hunk", mused Billy Bob.

She tied a snippet of a bandana around his neck and then carried him to the mirror to let him see himself.A sense of great pride overtook him as he choked back his tears while gazing at his impressive reflection.

"Billy Bob, you are a sight to behold" she said. "You are truly, truly my hero. You saved my candies from that awful bully Butchie. You could have been squashed, yet you put your life on the line to save my candy.I am so happy to have the opportunity to contribute to your happiness. You are certainly most deserving of your heart's desire. I want to give you all these groovy things that have turned you into a genuine Texas cowboy."

Billy Bob thought for sure that he was going to die of happiness at that very moment. Then, Suzy Lou retrieved a toy fairy wand from her treasure chest. With a wistful look on her adorable face, she then did something that Billy Bob would never forget for as long as he lived. Suzy Lou sweetly decried: "I hereby declare you to be Billy Bob, The Texas Cowboy Hero Cockroach."

Those words were simply music to Billy Bob's ears and he thought he would just die then and there from the honor bestowed him. He sighed and luxuriated in the bliss of the moment. He couldn't help but reminisce. True enough, he had been born a northern big city roach, but from the earliest days of his existence, he loved hearing the 'wild and wooly' tall tales about life in Texas that were told to him in fireside chats by the scholar in the family, his great Uncle Maxwell. Uncle Maxwell was well read and loved to teach and expand the minds of his dear family. Uncle always wanted to experience Texas for himself, but expired before his dream could come true.

Billy Bob swore that he would fulfill that dream for himself and to honor the memory of his dearly beloved Uncle. Billy Bob would let his fantasies run rampant as he imagined himself living the life in Texas that his dear uncle had been denied.Billy Bob had clung tightly to the dream, refusing to let it go. He never gave up! Never! And now? Billy Bob had it all-the respect, the image, and he was livin it up in the great state of his dreams, dining on tacos at almost every meal. Truly this was the good life that he had long imagined.

Ah, but Suzy Lou knew that there was something very important missing in Billy Bob?s life. Billy Bob was so out of the ordinary, but let's face it-roaches need love too! Texas is a big place she thought and his future missus will have to be just about a perfect 10 for someone as special as Billy Bob.

"This may take time," she thought to herself, "but I will make it my mission to search all of Texas, if need be, in order to seek out Billy Bob's true soul mate. Then I will joyfully present her like a gift to my dear special friend and companion, Billy Bob."
Content with her decision, she could vividly imagine a world populated with other outstanding roaches fathered by Billy Bob. She could just see him raising a whole slew of 'most likely to succeed' youngsters.

Yes, Billy Bob needed a family of his own.Suzy Lou committed herself to the mission of finding THE Miss Perfect Roach - a well-bred and warm-hearted cockroach who would be the very best life mate in the whole wide world for Billy Bob.
Oh, but it was too late. Can you believe it? Billy Bob had already discovered 'Miss Perfec't all by himself! A munching sound drifted across the room from the garbage can where Billy Bob was enjoying last night's taco casserole scraps. Alongside of him, "too close" thought Suzy Lou, was the sweetest little roach face that she had ever personally laid eyes on.
"Well," thought Suzy Lou, "some things are best left for others to decide, I suppose, such as their life companion." She was perceptive enough to know that Billy Bob was smitten. She tiptoed out of the room to give the two romantic roaches some privacy.

It didn't take long for Billy Bob to pop the question. He sincerely believed that Rosie was indeed the love of his life. The ceremony was small, but full of jubilation. The bride, groom and Suzy Lou feasted on supreme nachos with guacamole for the wedding celebration dinner. Suzy Lou made a root beer toast to the new couple and the merriment continued long past Suzy Lou's normal bedtime.

But before she said goodnight, she presented a very special wedding present. Billy Bob had always envied Grandpa's big cushy Cadillac. Suzy Lou thoroughly searched the shopping mall for a miniature toy car that was just like grandpa's. When she found exactly what she was looking for, a shiny red gorgeous convertible (so befitting to the new Texan) she just knew that it would be the perfect present for Billy Bob and his new bride.

And indeed it was a big hit with the newlyweds! Billy Bob and Rosie snuggled inside the little car and sniffed the new leather smell until they were just about giddy. Suzy Lou had tied the "just married" cans and streamers behind the car as a celebratory gesture. Suzy Lou, satisfied that the special occasion had gone well, finally blew them both a kiss, said her farewell comments, and then left them alone for the evening.

However, there was a problem. After the marriage, Grandpa simply couldn't be talked into going along with the idea of Billy Bob andhis new bride overpopulating his grand old farmhouse. He lovingly, but strongly insisted that Suzy Lou move them into their own place.

She knew just what to do and where. Wanting something more than just a simple 'loveshack' for the honeymooning couple, she set about to construct the perfect place. And it was only a few feet from the farmhouse so it was convenient for her daily visits. Suzy Lou created "Billy Bob's Cockroach Ranch" and made it as comfortable as possible for Billy Bob and his new adoring wife. Their life together was blissful. Billy Bob was genuinely and totally overwhelmed at his good fortune. He contemplated the depths of such kindnesses heretofore unknown that were lovingly showered on him by the dear Suzy Lou. He knew in his heart that they were best friends for life. And thankfully, there was no jealously. Rosie totally understood the very special bond between Billy Bob and Suzy Lou.

"Ah", Billy Bob thought to himself, "my whole dream has come true just because I dared to stretch beyond my comfort zone. I was willing to risk my very fragile life the day that I saved sweet Suzy Lou's candy from that awful bully." And, Billy Bob felt humbled by the appreciation that Suzy Lou had shown for his bravery. She had called him a hero. It was almost too much for his little mind to take in. But, one thing was for sure; he would do all in his power to inspire his own little roach babies to 'go for it' as well, to dream their own dreams - even if it meant that they would go in search of their destiny in foreign lands far from Texas. Like maybe Oklahoma.

Or, perhaps California. Hmm, maybe one of his sons would long to hang out on Venice Beach or become a movie star? A daughter might venture far away to the big city of New York and the sophistication of 5th Avenue. Maybe another would become a country-western singer and head for Nashville, or take his Elvis impersonator act on the road...or just perhaps live a peaceful life in Arkansas. That, too, would be just fine with Billy Bob. What was most important was to stay true to one's own heart and embrace the hopes and dreams that spring forth from it.

"Darling" chimed Rosie Roach as she lovingly gazed at her handsome, wondrous, cowboy husband Billy Bob, from across the room, "I think it's about time!"

"Sweetheart, I'll be right beside you", cooed Billy Bob as he marveled about what he was getting ready to witness-- the greatest thing he'd ever see - the miracle of new life. His new little cockroach family was off to a good start.
He smiled as he thought about the personalities of his newborn babies. "Would there be another Billy Bob in the bunch", he grinned at the thought. "Well, no matter what, they'll all be winners too...just like their dear old dad. Whatever hand life deals them, they are certainly made of the right stuff and will most surely survive the perils of this world", he confidently concluded.

Rosie and Billy Bob were delighted to see that they had quadruplets. As new parents, they understood the serious challenge ahead of them as they smiled lovingly at their offspring. It wouldn't be easy, but surely there would always be enough scraps in Grandpa's garbage for all of them to have full tummies. With Grandpa's healthy appetite for tacos, they could be assured of that.

Yes, readers-- dreams really can come true. Maybe all sorts of glorious dreams for others are coming true all around you at this very moment that you aren?t even aware of. Open your eyes, look around and celebrate the good fortune of others as you strive toward your own happiness. Look for your own opportunity to be of service to others. Reach out and give of yourself. Perhaps a very simple act of kindness on your part will also be the wondrous catalyst that will lead you to your own rainbow's end, whatever you deem that to be. And whenever you get down (I mean really, really down), just think of Billy Bob. Who would have ever believed it - Living and loving in the taco capital deep in the humid heart of Texas.

Under the vast starry romantic night skies, he strums his guitar and serenades his one true love, Rosie. It just doesn't get any better than this.

Yee- ha!



Billy Bob is currently a successful motivational speaker. At his ranch in Texas, he hosts popular monthly retreats which are called 'life changing' by the thousands of cockroaches in attendance. His main message promotes the importance of following one's passion and staying true to your heart. He speaks from his own experiences.

Rosie is busy working on her business of developing a perfume fragance which will be called "The Scent of a Taco," which should draw other taco lovin' roaches to those who wear it.

And Suzy Lou curbed her excessive craving for sweets and has now turned into a svelte young lady. Her weight loss secret will be revealed on this site, at some future point.

Billy Bob's Favorite Quotes:

Do not be afraid of life. Believe that life is worth living, and your belief will help create the fact.

William James 1897

Happy are those who dream dreams and are ready to pay the price to make them come true.

L.J. Cardinal Suenens

Cherish your visions and your dreams as they are the children of your soul; the blue prints of your ultimate accomplishments

Napoleon Hill
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©1999 Amber Patricia Sorenson