“l hate it when you play around that old barn, Lizzy. It isn’t safe. I’ve told your pa there will be hell to pay if one of you kids gets trapped inside that old refrigerator.”
Momma must have said those words a million times and Daddy ignored her a million times. Twenty years later, the old barn and the much maligned refrigerator still sit in the same old spot!
We play in the hayloft and chew on a straw. Ma calls us twice. Uh oh here comes Pa.
The sun’s going down. It’s time we ate. Pa says wash up now or you’ll be late.
Another busy day comes to an end. We’ll wake up in the morning and do it all again.
Buddy feeds the chickens and I milk the cow. Buddy can’t milk til Pa shows him how.
The cat hangs around. I squirt him in the eye. Buddy thinks that’s mean and so do I.
I hide a few eggs and throw rocks in the well. Buddy says to quit it or he’s gonna tell.
I say one day I’m leavin’ this farm. No one’s gonna have to twist my arm.
Buddy looks like he does before he cries. I smile real big and roll my eyes.
Buddy says teasing is a mean thing to do, and I guess in a way, I think so too.
Ten years later Buddy goes off to war. I don’t want to live at the farm anymore.
It’s cold that winter and the ice doesn’t thaw. Momma slips and falls and so does Pa.
I write to Buddy and say I sure miss you. He writes me back…says he misses me too.
I think Ma and Pa are soon gonna leave us. That year they both go home to Jesus.
Buddy comes home but he’s not the same. He’s real quiet and one leg’s lame.
I tell him I’ll stay and teach him how, to run the farm and milk the cow.
Along comes the cat. Buddy squirts him in the eye. I say that’s mean and he says so do I.