Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Fictional Neighbor

I wondered why the man had his boy sleeping in the barn. It could get pretty hot and cold out there.

"Oh no, it's better for him," the man said, "he always had trouble getting up in the morning, 'specially in the winter. I'd tell him to get up and he'd just lay there. The floor made his feet cold. He said. Well, I thought up a slution for that one. I let him sleep in the barn where his whole body would be the same temp'tur then he wouldn't notice his feet being cold. He is right next to the cows and it is real convinyat for him. He hurries up more too, milk ain't hardly ever late, no more, getting to the house in the morning. He just brangs it on up and gets over in the corner behind the kitchen heeter. That boy, I tell you. He's a sight."

I wondered iffin he didn't hate sleeping in the barn.

"No," the man said, "he don't complain none. He said it was e'lot better than the back porch where it could get a mite drafty at times. He slept out there at first when he decided it was too much trouble to get up when I called him in the morning."

I noticed his wife was getting in the firewood while we were talking. She had an arm load that would have broke the back of a good mule. I ask him about her carrying so much wood.

"Ah, woman's work. She likes a good warm fire as much as the next 'un. I don't fault her none for wantin' to stay warm. It's just the kind thang to do for ua loved ones. She likes doing for herself. I offered to carry in the wood fer her one time. She said that would be okay but she couldn't carry the slop buckets to the hog pen like I culd. I'd told her we'd swap jobs. She wouldn't have none of it, said she liked gettin' the wood. Feller's got to keep his woman happy."

Couldn't you do both jobs I wondered.

"Land's no. We is a family. Me carrying that wood would be like lettin' that yungin' sleep in his soft bed, it just be deprivin' them. Yes sir, we is a family. We share the loads of life."

Well, what is your job around the farm. I wanted to know. He hadn't move a peg for the past hour. I'd watched the boy come in with two big buckets of milk. I watched the wife struggle with them loads of wood. I started to go help her with the door but the farmer stopped me.

"She's got a tec'nic for that. Watch her stick her toe under the corner of that door. She staggers back toward the edge of the porch sometimes and will have to try it again now and then but she's pretty quick. Ain't fell off the porch in over a week. She's learned to give the wood a toss if she falls. Once she fell with a arm load still in her arms. That banged her up some. Grunted a lot when she mopped the floors. You know, musta pained her a little. Doctor said she ourt to have one arm in a sling after one fall. I 'nform him she couldn' do her work all tied up like that. He understood."

And your job is, I pursued the question.

"Oh, I have to look after everything. Sloppin' them hogs takes up a few minutes of my time. Guess tothers don't know much on what to do while I'm busy. I go fishin' most afternoons, helps feed the family. Caught a couple just the other day but I went over on my nappin' and the dogs got 'em. Yea, I look after things. Family 'preciates it too. Come Christmas I give 'em some hog money to get me something. One time there was enough left over to get the boy a pair of shoes. He likes 'em too. Had 'em since he was twelve. Goin' nigh on five years now. He borried my knife last yar to cut slits in the toes. Made 'em like new. Wife she don't want much. Says so. Good woman, my wife. She can get by with nearly nothin'. "

I left the farmer standing there under the tree. He never did go slop them hogs. I could hear them as I went down the road. Hollering and squealing for something to eat I reckon.

"Come back when I ain't so busy and maybe we'll have time to talk some." He said as I faded out of hearing.

Previous post

No comments:

Post a Comment