Goodbye normal jeans

Post Reply
Administrator
Site Admin
Posts: 46
Joined: 18 May 2020, 15:23

Goodbye normal jeans

Post by Administrator » 20 May 2020, 09:48

Goodbye Normal Jeans

A novel by Danny

Chapter 1

My name is Kristian Billiam Doctavio but everyone just calls me Nevada for short. My family and me live in a small Ohio town were just about everyone knows everyone and the joke is that you have to watch out who you are dating cause it just might be your cousin. I live with my Ma and Pa who both work. Pa works for the farmers feed store just outside of town at night and works our farm most days along with my brothers. My Ma works inside our home taking care of me and my six brothers and sisters plus the one that’s still in the oven. I am right in the middle with one older brother and two older sisters above me and one younger sisters and two younger brothers below me in age.

My oldest brother, Kevin, is 21 and still lives at home but he pretty much runs our farm now along with my pa. Ma and pa don’t know this but Kevin has been kind of dating Meggin Griffith from church for about a year now. Long time ago, pa and Mr. Griffith used to be good friends but something happened and now they hate each other. So Kevin is afraid if they knew he was seeing Meggin that pa would stop him. I am pretty sure I am the only one that knows about them dating but I promised Kevin that I would never tell. Plus, he said he would bury me head first in the manure pile behind the barn if I did.

My olderest sister, Karen is exactly two years and one day younger then my brother Kevin. She is more like a boy then a girl but don’t tell her I said that. I only once ever seen her wear a dress and that was when granny Doctavio said she wanted a picture of our whole family all dressed up. Karen hated it but she sure looked pretty. Pa gave up a log time ago trying to get her to wear dresses to church. Sometimes I can hear some of the others at church whispering about her wearing pants to church but they don’t dare say anything loud enough for her to hear.

My next older sister, Kathy, is closet to my age she turned thirteen last month and she is probably my bestest friend in the whole wide world except for maybe John-Jo but I only get to see John-Jo on Sundays at church cause his Pa makes him work on their farm whenever he is not at school. Kathy was born with bad lungs so she gets tired pretty darn fast. Whenever her and me are playing or doing stuff, I normally got her on my back so she don’t get all tuckered out. Yeah she is bigger then me but I am strong and I can carry her pretty far.

Then there is my younger sister Kristen who is ten and a half and if you are smart, you best not take your eyes off her or she will bite you for no reason whatsoever. One time Pa’s dog Whiskey had gone to sleep under the front porch and left her tail hanging out and Kristen snuck up behind her and chomped down on it. Boy, I never heard such a noise as I did that day when Whiskey started hollering and yelping. Kristen done went and bit the tip of Whiskeys tail right off! You had better believe Pa was mad about that cause Whiskey, she is Pa’s hunting dog and Pa paid a whole heap of money for Whiskey!

After Kirsten came my little brother Kyle-Lee and he is nine-years-old but he looks like he is already a teenager. He is also good at sports; he plays on the school wrestling team and last year he won a big shiny trophy that Pa put on the mantel over the fireplace.

Last, at least until sometime next month, is my baby brother Kane who isn’t really a baby anymore but everyone still calls him ‘Baby Brother’ instead of Kane. He is going to be eight-years-old soon and he has caused ma, pa, and everyone in my family a lot of worry. When he was younger and whenever he is outside, we had to keep him chained to a tree or the fence or something like that with a big long dog chain, otherwise he would just run off. He still sometimes got away; there was this one time he got out of the house, and no one notice for a long time and it took us all day to find him. Grandpa was the one to find him and he was about eight miles down the road just walking and picking wildflowers. Kane also liked to eat stuff when he was small, heck he still does that and he is nearly eight-years-old. I bet he has swallowed pretty near a hundred dollars worth of pa’s change since he was born. One time he swallowed the key to the tractor when he was only three and we had to wait five whole days before it came out the other end.

Now, I said that in about a month Kane ain’t going to be the baby of the family no more; well that is because ma is going to have another baby soon. Pa says that he don’t know how it happened but I sure do. I see lots of baby cows and sheep born and I seen how they was made, so I know! Pa also says that he thought him and ma was done making babies and was working on getting the ones they got now all grown up and out of the house.

Ma’s belly is about big enough that I think maybe she is not having just one baby but maybe a whole bunch of babies like Whiskey did last year after old man Chester’s dog, Rufus snuck over and got hold of Whiskey one day. I just hope my new brother or sister comes out looking prettier then them pups did! Whiskey, she is a pretty brown Labrador but Rufus he is probably every kind of dog in the world all mixed up and stuffed into one ugly dog! Pa tried to give them pups away for free and still no one wanted them. In the end, he had to bop them in the head with a shovel and buried them deep in the manure pile behind the barn.

I guess that is everyone except for me; I done told you my name is Kristian Billiam Doctavio and that everyone just calls me Nevada for short. My middle name is Billiam because when I was born ma was super tired and when she wrote my name for the nurse to put down in the record her handwriting weren’t too good and the W ended up looking like a B. Now them nurses they were on top of it cause when they seen that my ma had spelt Christian with a K they asked her about that cause it seemed pretty weird to them. But ma, she told them that she wanted my name to be spelt with a K and not a C. So them nurses just assumed then that my middle name was supposed to be spelt funny like my first name and didn’t ask ma about that. My Grandpapa, I mean my ma’s pa was named William and she had wanted me to have his name but it didn’t work out like that.

You might have also noticed that all us kids first names start with the letter-K. Well, that is because my ma wanted it that way. Some people say it is dumb but ma says that it takes brains to come up with so many different names that all start with the same letter. She still ain’t said what she is going to name the new baby when it comes.

I am sure you are also wondering why they call me Nevada instead of calling me Kris or Kristian or maybe even Bill from my middle name. You see every one of my brothers and sisters were born right here in this house, but I wasn’t. I was not born in this house or even in this town; heck, I was not even born in this state! When my ma was pregnant with me, my aunt Milly, that’s my pa’s sister, she was getting married again for the fifth time. She has the worst luck with men she marries cause they all end up dead after a year or two except for that one guy that she married first. He run off with some lady in a big fancy car and about a month later the police came and told Aunt Milly that her husband done shot himself in the foot and died. I always thought it kind of weird that someone could die from getting shot in he foot but I guess you can.

Then there was the other three men Aunt Milly married; they all died of what ma said was natural causes but I think Aunt Milly was getting tired of them and killing them off so she could get a new one! But I ain’t supposed to say stuff like that cause it makes ma super mad but pa, he says it is probably more true then not.

Anyway, ma she and pa packed everyone up into the truck and drove all the way to Nevada for Aunt Milly’s wedding with me still in my ma’s belly! You can guess what happened then. Right in the middle of the church, when the preacher was about to say, “Man and Wife” ma, she let out a scream and a couple minutes later, I popped right out on the church bench. Everyone says it was riding in the truck for all those miles that done it and they figured I wanted out so bad after that and wasn’t going to wait ‘til ma got back home.

Pa was the one that started calling me Nevada and even though Ma kept telling him to stop, he didn’t. It kind of stuck and everyone calls me Nevada now. Even my teachers at school, they only call me Nevada

I’m 12-years-old now . . . well I will be in five months, fifteen days, fourteen hours and twenty-seven minutes. That there is Ohio time; I don’t know what it would be in Nevada time. Everybody in my family has black hair and brown eyes except for ma and me cause we both got reddish-brown hair and green eyes. Pa says I am a whopping three-foot and nine inches and I weigh just a hairsbreadth shy of 68 pounds.

None of my brothers and sisters ever miss a chance to remind me that I am so short and skinny! They like to tease me and call me stuff like ‘Small Fry’, ‘Tiny-Tim’, ‘Short-Stuff’, ‘Half-Pint’ and a dozen other names like that but their all time favorite is ‘Little Pants’ cause I wear pants one size smaller than my youngest brother Kane. I don’t mind it too much cause I know that if anyone that is not family ever calls me a name or teases me that my brothers and sisters will pounded them into the ground like a fence pole and they have sure done it lots of times too.

I might be small but I am strong and I do everything on the farm accept stack the hay but I can sure toss it down from the hayloft and drag them over for the cows.

When I was a baby, the doctors in Nevada all thought I might have some problems since I was born two months early. Them doctors said that I would probably be a sickly boy and a burden to my family and maybe ma and pa should think about putting me into a special hospital so they would not have to take care of me the rest of my life. But pa, he got fire mad at them Nevada doctors and he punched one of them right in the nose and pa got himself arrested for that but Aunt Milly’s new husband, he got pa out of jail and had a talk with them doctors so pa wouldn’t get into any trouble. But pa, he didn’t let no doctors tell him what to do with me and he didn’t believe them none either! When I was only nine-days-old he packed everyone up in the truck again and put ma and me in the back with a bunch of blankets and pillows and drove us all the way back home to Ohio. Of course, I was way to little to remember any of that stuff but I heard the story so many times it is like I sort of remember it happening.

I think I can remember back as far as when I was only four and Doc Wilson would come to the farm every week to check on me and make sure I was growing good. Ma and Pa say he did that every week since I was born and he never charged ma and pa a single penny either. But every year when pa has one of the cows slaughtered he gives half to Doc Wilson and his family for free.

Now he don’t need to come see me no more. When I get sick or hurt or something we got to go into town to see him except for that one time when I was ten and was fooling around on the fence in the back pasture. I tried to jump over it and cut my leg open real bad. Kathy had been with me and Kevin had been close by so she yelled for him and he ran me all the way up to the house. Boy Doc Wilson got to our house so fast and he gave me twenty-seven stitches in my leg right on our kitchen table but first he gave me a shot in my backside which hurt almost as much as my leg. That is something I don’t like about Doc Wilson, he always give me shots in my backside!

I never been super sick like the doctors back in Nevada said I would be. Oh sure I been sick but only things like colds and I got the Chicken Pox when I was eight. Boy, I hated those; they itched so bad and I wasn’t allowed to scratch. Ma said that every time I was caught scratching my Pox it meant I would get a whack with the belt when I was better. I ended up getting eight whacks a couple weeks later and all those I earned the first day. On the second day, Pa made me wear my winter snow gloves and tied them on so that I could not take them off just so that I could not scratch my Chicken Pox. I itched so bad that I thought I was going to die.

Aside from the fact that I have always been smaller then the other kids in my classes at school, I do have one problem that Doc Wilson says is because I was born too soon. Sometimes when I got to go number one or number two, I can’t hold it and it comes out into my pants. If I am outside and I got to go number one I just run behind a tree or something. But if I can’t wait even that long I will just pull down my pants and go number one right where I am. It is not such a big deal cause the only ones that ever see is my family and they all see me naked all the time so I don’t much care. Pa says that if going outside is good enough for the cows then it is good enough for me too.

But if I am not outside, like if I am in the barn or the house or when I am at school and I got to go number one or worse still, if I got to go number two, then I got to run for the bathroom or I will have a big, big problem in my pants.

When I first when to school, I got teased and picked on a lot when I would have accidents but then I would just tell my older brother and sisters and they would beat them up. After a while, everyone learned not to pick on me unless they wanted a black eye or worse.

There was this one time when I was in third grade and Mrs. Pennyworth was sick one day and we had to have a substitute teach for that day. The substitute was a very mean man and he yelled at us all day long. Well after a while I felt like I needed to go and I got up to go like normal cause I always had permission to just get up and go whenever I needed to go. He seen me and was yelling even louder and even some of my friends tried to tell him that I had to go but he didn’t listen and I ended up messing in my undershorts. If that was not bad enough, he made me go back to my desk and sit for the rest of the day like that.

Now everyday after school, my sister Kathy would meet me by the flagpole and would walk me home; so on this day when school let out, I went straight to the flagpole and told her what happened and when we got home she told our pa about it.

I never seen pa so mad in all my life and I never want too again. He had ma take me into the house and get me cleaned up while he finished waterin’ the cows. I came back out of the house washed and in clean pants about the time pa was finishing. We got in the truck and drove all the way to the school. I guess pa had called the school while ma had been cleaning me up cause when we got there the police was there and so was a bunch of other teachers and that substitute teacher guy was standing outside too. I don’t know if the school called the police to keep my pa from killing that man or if pa called them but when we got there pa jumped out of the truck and did not say anything. He just walked right up to the man and punched him three times so fast. The only thing I remember my pa saying was, “If I ever see or hear of you near another child again, I am not going to be responsible for what I do to you.” Then he got back in the truck with me and we went home. As far as I know, that was the last anyone ever seen of that substitute teacher.

I had other substitutes since that guy but I never had any of them every say anything if I got up to use the bathroom or to go to the nurses office to get a pair of dry pants even if it was in the middle of class. I think every one of them was told not to say nothin’.

Everything was great until last school year when I had to start riding the bus to a new school that none of my brothers or sisters had ever went to. I guess I have always been smart; pa even says that he never known someone as smart as me and that I will probably grow up to be the President of America. I always get super good grades and my last teacher at my old school; she made me stay in from recess one day and had me take this special test. I was powerful mad about that too cause none of the other kids had to take the test.

Well, then a few weeks later this funny looking man who was dressed like he was going to church, showed up at our house on a Wednesday and told ma and pa that I won some kind of contest or something like that. He said that I am so smart that I get to go to this big fancy school and it wont cost ma and pa nothing at all. That man even gave them a check to buy me some fancy clothes to wear to that school.

I was pretty excited until that first day when all the teasing started all over again. I had not even made it off the bus that first morning and my pants were wet. Normally if that stuff happened at my old school, I had a change of clothes in my backpack plus ma had given the school nurse at my old school a bunch of undershorts and long pants for emergencies. Since it was my first day at a new school and I didn’t want anyone knowing about my problem I decided not to put any dry pants or undershorts in my backpack and ma had not gone to my new school yet to see the nurse there and give her some clothes for emergencies.

Well, that first day was real bad, after lunch, a bunch of kids cornered me on the playground and started teasing me about wetting my pants on the bus. They kept calling me a baby and telling me to suck on my thumb like a little baby. One of the boys who I heard everyone calling Lumpy, he punched me in the stomach and when he did, I accidentally messed the back of my undershorts. What was worse was that it was loud enough that everyone knew it happened and started laughing and telling everyone on the playground what I did.

My dad had to drive all the way to my new school just to bring me clean undershorts and pants. I wanted to just go home so bad but he would not let me. He made me stay for the rest of the day and everyone then got to keep teasing me until the end of the day.

The ride home on the bus was the worse. No one would let me sit down anywhere and I ended up having to sit all the way in the back by myself. When the bus finally got to where I was supposed to get off to walk the rest of the way, I got up and started walking to the front but someone tripped me and I fell and hit my mouth on the edge of one of them seats. When I got up I seen that the front of my pants was wet so I ran off the bus and kept running all the way home and went right to my room, which I share with my other brothers.

I stayed in my room crying until my sister Karen came looking for me cause I had not done any of my chores after school. At first, she was mad at me for not taking care of the chickens or seeing that the cows were watered but then she seen my busted lip and all the blood on my pillow and boy did she explode.

I told her what happened and how Lumpy had punched me in the stomach and made me mess my undershorts. I also told her how pa had to bring me some clean undershorts and pants and about what happened on the bus. She got my lip all cleaned up, helped me change into my pajamas and said she would do my chores for me and to just lay up in my bed and rest. I ended up sleeping all the way through supper and did not even know it until ma was waking me up for school the next morning. I found out that Karen told ma and pa and everyone else what happened and I guess ma decided to let me go on sleeping.

In the morning, I didn’t want to get up and go to school again but ma said if I didn’t get out of bed and into the bathtub, she was going to tan my backside. While I was in the tube washing cause I had wet while I was sleeping, which I do every night, Kevin came into the bathroom with Kathy, Kyle-Lee and Kane and said that today I didn’t have to take the bus and that they were going to take me to school.

I still did not want to go but I did anyway. I got my nice school uniform on, Kevin helped me tie the tie cause I kept getting it all wrong and then we all piled into Kevin’s truck which is really just the old field truck that he drives around the farm. I sat up front with Kevin while the rest got in the back.

I already knew what was going to happen before we got to my new school and I was a little scared that Kevin would get in trouble with the police since he is not a kid no more but he told me not to worry about nothing.

We got to school long before the buses got there and so Kevin lead us all into the school and right into the office where he started yelling at that same funny looking man that had come to our house that one day. Kevin never touched the man but he didn’t have too. Kevin was shouting and cussing and told him that if I come home one more time crying or bleeding that Kevin was going to come back and . . . well I am not allowed to use the words that Kevin said to that man but by the time Kevin was done yelling, that man looked like he was about to cry. I found out later that, that man is in charge of the whole school and his name is Mr. Glick. He is actually a pretty nice man but he is still kind of weird and always smells like he was rolling around in flowers.

Kathy gave the school nurse a big paper bag full of clean undershorts and pants for me and when Kevin, Kathy and me turned to leave, Kyle-Lee and Kane were not there. A couple seconds later, some kids came running in and said there was a big fight out in front of the school. All of us ran out of the big wooden front doors and I seen Kyle-Lee and Kane pounding the feathers out of Lumpy and five other boys. Yeah that’s right, my two little brothers had taken on six older boys and creamed every last one of them.

There was a couple teachers trying to get through the crowd of shouting kids but they could not seem to do anything. All Kevin had to do to break up the fight was whistle once and Kyle-Lee and Kane jumped up and walked over to the truck, leaving all six boys lying on the grass crying and bleeding. I didn’t hear what Kevin said to Mr. Glick but I seen Mr. Glick shaking his head and waiving his hands and I knew Kyle-Lee and Kane weren’t going to get into any trouble for beating up Lumpy and those other boys.

After that second morning, I didn’t have too much trouble at my new school for the rest of that year. Well, once in a while someone would see I had wet my pants in class or on the bus and they would laugh but all I had to do was whisper back that the next day they better be ready for a beating cause I was bringing my brothers to school and that would shut them up. I really only had to have Kevin drive Kyle-Lee and Kane to school one other morning and they didn’t even have to do nothing. Soon as Mr. Glick seen my brothers getting out of the truck with me, he came running over looking all worried and scared. Kevin told the man the names of the three boys that had been picking on me the day before and as soon as the buses started pulling up in front of the school, Mr. Glick ran over and snatched all three boys the second they stepped off their buses. I found out later that same day that all three boys had their parents called in and got whacks right there in the school office.

This year things kind of got worse for me. I started having more and more accidents in my pants both number one and number two. Doc Wilson checked me over and explained to my ma using some fancy doctor words that I didn’t understand at first but then he explained it to me so that I could understand. He said that he thought it was because I was starting to grow faster and for a while I might have a harder time controlling when I needed to go but that I should not let it bother me cause he was sure it was only a temporary thing that I would eventually out grow.

It wasn’t really a problem to deal with during last summer while I was still at home and could get cleaned up whenever I would wet my pants or mess the back of my undershorts but things got a lot harder when school started again.

Pretty much all my classmates and teachers were aware of my wetting problem and if I did wet my pants my teachers would give me a hall pass without saying anything and I went to the nurse to get some dry undershorts and pants. I had a few friends at school from last year and they didn’t much care that I wet my pants and they would even stick up for me if they heard somebody whispering behind my back.

However, about three weeks into the new school year, I was sitting in class while we were learning about compound fractions when the worst thing happened. Up until then, I had managed not to have any more messy accidents at my new school since that first and only time on my first day. I did have a few messy accidents right after I got off the bus at the end of the day but by then no one was around from my school to know about it. But then on that one day, for some reason and without any notice at all, I felt the seat of my undershorts fill up. Seconds later everyone could smell it and knew what had happened.

My teacher, who I had never had a problem with before, yelled at me in front of my whole class and said that I was a nasty boy; then she walked me all the way to the office herself. She told Mr. Glick that she would not allow me back in her classroom if I was going to be soiling myself.

Mr. Glick then called my ma and pa who both had to come to the school and talk with Mr. Glick while I waiting in the nurse’s office. The nurse had always been nice whenever I had come in with wet pants and would let me change on my own without saying anything but this time she didn’t leave me to change on my own because I obviously could not clean myself without a bathtub.

So, she took me by the hand and made me lay on one of the beds where we have to lay if we come in feeling sick. I don’t know why I got so upset and was crying but I was and I could not stop either. I guess I was crying because now everyone at school would know I messed my undershorts and this time I can’t blame it on Lumpy punching me in the belly.

She was still very nice and helped me clean up and when she helped me put on clean undershorts and pants she then said that I had to lay back down with a cool rag on my forehead and wait until ma and pa showed up. I was sure Pa was going to be mad but when the nurse came back and took me into Mr. Glick’s office, I noticed right away that pa looked more worried then mad and ma, she was crying, which made me start crying again too.

I didn’t have to stay at school that time. Instead, I got to ride all the way back to the farm in the back of pa’s pickup truck, which don’t have no cover like Kevin’s truck does. That was the first time ever that I road in the back all by myself and it was the best.


Chapter 2



I didn’t have to go back to school for a couple weeks and I didn’t know why but I didn’t much care cause I didn’t ever want to go back there; I was planning on staying on our farm and working for the rest of my life. I figured I done had enough learning that I would ever need for working on the farm. Cows and chickens don’t care none about compound fractions or whether I am using the right verbs, nouns and gerunds when I talk. And anyhow, when I was in my old school I always got A’s on everything but in my new school I never got even one A on anything. Mostly they give me B’s on my school stuff and even sometimes, they would say my work was as bad as a C grade.

After a couple of weeks passed on the farm and I started to think I would never have to go back to school again this one big funny shaped brown truck came driving down our lane and stopped right in front of our house. You can sure guess that I was plum curious about that funny shaped truck but I was up in the hayloft of the barn pushing hay bails down to Kevin in the truck. So, I could not jump down and run off or Kevin would get after me and if he didn’t pa sure would when he found out.

Least Kevin seemed about as curious as I was so that I had time to stand and watch as ma came out to that truck and took four great big packages from someone. I never got to see who was driving that funny shaped truck and after a spell I seen ma wave and go back into the house as the truck drove back up our lain. Whoever it was honked his horn as he passed us and Kevin, he waved his hand kind of like he was saying howdy to someone he known.

I asked Kevin if he known who that was but he said he didn’t have no idea so then I asked him what kind of truck he thought that was and he said it wasn’t any kind of truck. Kevin started moving one of the bales into place and then looked up to me. I guess he was figuring I should have been ready to push down another to him but I was still watching the cloud of dust from the truck as it sort of hung in the air. Kevin fiannly told me that it was they call a Postal Van. Up until then I had never seen a Postal Van before but I seen plenty of them now.

I guess I was gawking too long cause Kevin threw one of his gloves at me and whacked me right in the face. It didn’t hurt none, actually it was pretty darn funny and made me sort of forget about that Postal Van for a while. Well I guess I didn’t really forget, I suppose I just kind of pushed it out of my head and got back to work before Kevin got after me.

I ended up having to wait until suppertime to ask what was in them four great big packages but ma said I should just never mind until I finished cleaning my plate. We was having boiled dinner again, which I like plenty... normally, but we been having it lots on account that ma sort of planted way too many cabbage seeds in the vegetable garden this year. She swears it was supposed to be head lettuce but them seeds popped up and grew into cabbages. That same thing happened a couple summers back but that time it was ma’s mater plants. Somehow ma got the pepper and mater seeds mixed up and we had so many maters that ma had us going all over the county giving away jars of canned maters to everyone. I never though I would get sick of fried maters, mater sauce, mater stew, and mater soup. Heck fire we still got so many jars still of canned maters from that summer, but pa complained and ma stopped cooking with maters for a while. I can tell that pa is getting that same look every time ma makes boiled dinner or stuffed cabbage rolls or even coleslaw. Pa is a long burning candle but I bet by the middle of winter we won’t be having cabbage no more for a while.

So, when supper was done I was about to ask about the packages again when pa looked at me and said I should go up to my room and wait for him to come up. Boy you can sure bet that I was scared. I sat on the side of my bed ringing my hands and trying to think what I had done wrong to get sent to my room. Any time pa ever told one of us to go to our room and wait for him, it meant that he was fixing on tanning us with his belt. I thought, and thought and thought but all I could come up with was somehow he found out that me and John-Jo had been out back of the church three Sunday’s back kissing on Mary-Ann Parker.

I must of heard our front screen door open and close a dozen times while I sat up there waiting for pa to come up.

Pa never came right up to tan us; he always left us sitting up in our room worrying and fretting for the longest time. I remember one time when Kevin had been caught throwing rock at people’s mailboxes on the way to school. Pa sent him right back home and said he was to go up to our room and wait. Pa left him up there until bedtime before he went up and tanned Kevin real good. I seen Kevin’s bottom the next morning and it was all black and blue and still even had big welts where the buckle had caught him. What was worst was that instead of going to school, pa made Kevin get out the tractor and clear the back pasture, which took Kevin until just before the sun went down. I felt so bad for Kevin cause he was crying when he came in the house cause he was hurting so bad and he took forever just to get up the steps to our room. He went to bed with no lunch or supper in his belly and he cried all through that night.

By the time I heard someone coming up the stairs, I was pretty darn scared and couldn’t help but to start crying. I seen pa walk in carrying one of the big packages, which confused the dickens out of me, cause I honestly expected to see him carrying his belt, not a package. Then ma came in next with another of the packages. Kevin followed behind ma with the last two packages, laid them down on his bed and left without even looking at me or saying a single word. Ma set her package down on Kane’s bed and pa put his package down on the floor at the foot of my bed.

Before I knew what I was doing I was blurting out how sorry I was, that I did not mean it and I would never do it again while sobbing in between my words.

Ma tried to tell me that I wasn’t in trouble for anything but I had, had too much time to sit alone and could not turn off my panic and fear just like that. I continued to cry until pa sat down beside me and for the first time that I can remember, he called me by my real name. He said, “Kristian we only wanted to talk to you in private. You are not in trouble at all!” but then he paused a second, rubbed at his stubble covered chin before asking in a sort of way that made me feel a little more reassured that I wasn’t in trouble after all, “Wait, uh, what did you think you were in trouble for?”

Ma swatted at pa and told him to stop making jokes when I was so upset. She then sat down on the other side of me so that I had ma on my right side and pa on my left both hugging me and trying to get me to stop crying long enough to hear what it was they wanted to talk with me about in private.

After ma and pa told me what was in them four packages I think I would rather pa had tanned me for a whole week. When they had come to my school and met with Mr. Glick, he told them that a boy my age still wetting and messing my pants was not something they could accept and if I was to continue attending that school then something would have to be done to better deal with my problem.

The solution ma and pa came up with was not such a good idea as far as I was concerned. They decided that the only way I was going to be able to go back to that school and get a real good education was for me to have to wear diapers under my school britches.

I screamed and cried for the longest time and even once, I tried to run out of the room but pa caught me by the seat of my britches and held me ‘til I stopped trying to get away. In the end, they won out. I really don’t think I had much chance of winning anyhow. It was plum past bedtime and I was sure my brothers were wanting to come get in bed and pa he was thinking the same thing cause he stood up and said he was going to go see that the girls was tucked in while ma helped get me ready for bed. Just before he walked out of my room, he turned, pointed his big finger at me and said that he didn’t want no more crying from me.

Now the way they had explained it to me, I figured I was only going to have to wear them diapers for school but I guess I had it all wrong cause ma, she made me take off all my clothes and then get myself on my bed. That was when I got my first look at the inside of the first package. Ma opened the one that pa had set at the foot of my bed and pulled out a big white bit of cloth. I thought for a second it were a towel for taking a bath but then I seen it actually was a big white diaper. Down in that package was some rubber pants and a big bag of diaper pins too that ma pulled out.

I was trying my best not to cry but it was powerful hard and I was glad pa had left cause I think I was still having some tears while ma pulled that diaper up tight and pinned it on me. I could tell that ma had a lot of practice at doing this cause she had it on me in practically no time at all and was pulling me back up so I could slip the rubber pants on over to keep everything inside.

Ma was nice enough to put them packages down on the floor by my bed where the others was not going to have to see them so well and she also let me get into bed and get all covered up before telling my brothers they could come up.

I pretended I was already sleeping when they came into our room and not a one of them said even a single word. They just got their clothes off, got into their nightclothes and hopped into bed.

The next day I found out from Kane that ma and pa had told all my brothers and sisters about the diapers and pa also told them that if they make one smart crack about me having to wear them that he was going to make them go to school in diapers too.

Also on that first morning, I found out that not all them packages was filled with diaper stuff. One of them had some new school pants for me that would fit over my diaper. I was hoping that I’d get some new pants for wearing at home but instead I got some of Kevin’s and Karen’s old jeans that ma put a new hem in so they didn’t drag the ground when I walked. They was still pretty dang big on me even wearing a diaper so I had to wear spenders to keep them from falling right off of me.

Ma and Pa didn’t make me go right back to school. They gave me another week at home to get used to wearing the diapers and having to have help with putting them on. I was still able to go get myself cleaned up if I did number two in the back of my diaper but I had to have help getting a fresh diaper on cause I couldn’t manage to get them pins done up. Karen and Kathy started helping me whenever ma was busy. They was pretty nice about it and didn’t tease me none. Seeing how I was used to everyone seeing me naked, I mean when nine people live in a three-bedroom farmhouse with only one bathroom you can bet there ain't much privacy for us boys. The girls get more privacy cause pa says they need it and I suppose he’s right.

One problem I had with wearing diapers was that I had to learn how to walk and not look like I was one of them funny looking birds we learned about in school. You know the ones that are all black and white and can’t fly even though they are birds? I can’t remember what they call them but that is what I think I looked like at first.

Every one of my brothers and sisters treated me pretty much the same except for Kevin. I don’t think he was too keen on me any more cause he hardly ever says nothing to me less it has to do with working the farm. I was starting to think maybe he didn’t like me anymore but then when pa said I had to go back to school the next day, Kevin took me out on the tractor to way out past the back pasture and right to the edge of our property fence line. For the longest time he didn’t say anything, he just kept picking up rocks and chucking them at the fence.

Finally, he turned to me and came right out and said that if I didn’t want to go back to that school that he would tell pa and ma that he wasn’t going to let them send me back. I didn’t know what to say about that so I didn’t say nothing for a spell and he went back to chucking stones again.

Now I really did not want to go back to school, not wearing diapers but I knew that if Kevin went up against pa like that, pa would win and Kevin would probably not come out of it to well. I was scared that maybe pa would get so mad that he might even make Kevin leave. I was just about to tell him that I didn’t want him to get pa mad at him when he turned around again and said something else to me.

He said, “Listen Nevada, I ain’t always going to be around to protect you from bullies. Sooner or later you’re going to have to start fighting for yourself.”

I seen he was starting to cry but he turned so I could not see and then he said, “Nevada, me and Meggin have decided we are going to run off and get married. I know pa would never let us if he knew so we are just going to go over to Indiana and get hitched.”

Maybe I was supposed to say something but I honestly didn’t know what to say. I known for a long time that Kevin and Meggin been dating but I never once thought they might run off to get married.

When I didn’t say nothing he went on talking with his back to me. He said that he know pa would never approve but he was sure that ma would forgive them someday. Kevin also said that he knew that once he and Meggin were married that pa would never let him come back to the farm again.

I’d been sitting on pa’s tractor that whole time listening to Kevin tell me all this. I weren’t crying cause I guess I was to surprised and maybe way down inside I knew someday Kevin and Karen would get married and have to have their own homes somewhere else.

We were both super quiet for a very long time before I finally came up with a question to ask him. Actually, it sort of just popped out my mouth kind of without my brain doing any of the work. I asked, “When you going?”

That must have been the right thing to ask cause he turned back around and was smiling when he said they was planning on going a week from today, while everyone is in church.

Next, I asked, “Will I ever see you again?”

Kevin surprised me cause he walked over nice and slow to the tractor like he was going to say something but instead he reached up and snatched me right out of the seat. He flung me through the air and dropped me kind of soft like on the ground. He was on me before I could react and was tickling the life out of me before he told me that the whole American army couldn’t keep him from checking in on me.

About half way back up to the barn, I got Kevin to stop the tractor for a minute, long enough for me to tell him that he was right. That it is time I start fighting my own fights and that I guessed Monday was as good a day to start as any.

Chapter 3




Once we got back up to the farm, I didn’t see Kevin the rest of that day until he came in way late at night. I had not been able to sleep and was lying in my bed, looking up at the shadow on the ceiling caused by the moon shining through a tree. That was when I heard the screen door creak open and then heard pa yelling at Kevin for staying out so late.

The yelling turned into muffled words followed by pa shouting, “Are you drunk again?” and then there was nothing. I waited to hear something but there wasn’t anything else said, no more shouts and not even the sound of pa laying into Kevin.

Then I heard someone coming up the steps and by the sound of it, it was more then one person. I acted like I was asleep when pa came into our room with Kevin kind of hanging over pa’s shoulder like a sack of taters. With one big grunt pa dropped Kevin onto his bed and he bounded once before laying motionless. With the moon shining in through the window, I saw pa shake his head in disgust and then leave.

Maybe I shouldn’t have been surprised when I realized I weren’t the only one awake. It seemed that, pa’s shouts, or maybe it was the sound of Kevin hitting the bed so hard that had awakened by two younger bothers. Anyhow, Kyle-Lee and Kane were both up now too. After waiting to be sure pa had gone to bed, they started to get up, and figuring what they were gonna do, I got up to help.

Over the past week I’d gotten use to them seeing me wearing diapers so it didn’t bother me too much now and anyway, I was also more worried about Kevin then myself right then.

To say that Kevin smelled horrible would really be putting it kindly; the only thing I can compare him too is what a decaying snake in moonshine would smell like. The front of his clothes was covered in vomit and it looked like maybe he might have been in a fight cause his nose and upper lip had dried blood caked too it.

This isn’t the first time we seen Kevin like this, it happened once before and pa had laid into Kevin so bad that ma had to stop him. I honestly didn’t want to be around in the morning when pa got a hold of Kevin.

Kyle-lee, Kane and me started getting Kevin out of his clothes. Kane was working on unbuttoning Kevin’s shirt while Kyle-Lee was trying to untie his boots and I was unfastening his belt.

“Oh man, he peed in his pants!”

Both of my younger bothers stopped what they were doing and looked at me in disbelief that I, of all people would say something like that. I felt my face flush hot with embracement and for several awkward seconds they just stared at me with blank expressions before returning their attention to getting Kevin out of his wet and smelly closes.

Once Kyle-Lee had his boots off, he started helping me pull off Kevin’s pants. Having stripped him down to his undershorts, the three of us looked down in amazement at Kevin’s nearly nude body. All three of us have seen Kevin naked lots of times but this was the first time any of us had seen him with his, ‘you know what’ all stiff and standing up! We stood open mouthed; gawking at the yellow stained tent shape of Kevin’s undershorts until Kane finally turned around, yanked the blanket off his own bed and tossed it over Kevin.

Without saying anything about what we had just witnessed, the three of us climbed back into our beds. I don’t think any of us boys, aside from Kevin, slept the rest of that night. I had two images in my head that I could not get myself to quit thinking about. The first was seeing Kevin’s thing all hard and pushing his undershorts up like that and the other was the scene I knew would play out once the sun came up.

Several things were missing Monday morning from the breakfast table; two of which were Kevin and Pa and the other was the normal morning chatter. Every last one of us sat in silence eating our fried eggs and toast and trying our best not to make eye contact with each other.

As soon as we were done ma kissed us, gave us our sack lunches and shooed us out the door. I was the last one out the door and ma helped me put my backpack on and said, “If’n you need changed, you go to your school nurse just like at your old school.”

I started to ask something but she cut me off, “Already spoke with your teachers and everyone else at your school. It has all been worked out.”

She kissed the end of my nose, swatted my diapered butt and pushed me out the door before I could say another word or think of someway of not having to go to school today.

Now, standing on the front porch I felt for the first time real fear and had I not seen what I saw just then I am sure it would brought me to tears and I would have run back inside crying and begging not to have to go to school in a diaper.

You see, when Kyle-Lee, Kane and I woke up this morning Kevin and his dirty clothes from yesterday were already gone from our room. His bed had also been stripped down to the mattress, which had a new and all too familiar looking stain on it. The three of us gave each other knowing glances and Kane looked like he wanted to say something but he managed to hold his tongue.

While Kyle-Lee and Kane was getting ready for school I had started to rush to the bathroom to wash myself but was stopped when Kyle-Lee reached out and grabbed my arm.

“Hey?” I said softly in protest.

With just a look, he relayed to me that I didn’t need a bath this morning. Confused I pointed toward the bathroom and he pointed down at my diaper and gave my rubber pants a flick with his finger. Since the rubber pants that covered my diaper are a sort of dark yellow-brown color, I didn’t get what he meant until I lifted my nightshirt, thrust my hand inside and felt that I was dry. I’d been awake all night long so I had not wet the bed last night. I was so happy about it that it did not occur to me until I was on the bus to school that there was no way that Kyle-Lee could have known I was dry just by looking. But that thought didn’t stay with me for very long cause a few minutes later the bus had pulled up in front of my school and everything inside my head just sort of went liquid and drained out of me.

Since I didn’t need to to bathe I also didn’t need to have ma, or any of my sisters to help me get changed into a dry diaper. And maybe is was because of the extremely heavy mood that hung in the air all morning that made them all forget to ask or offer to help or maybe they all assumed that one of them did it without saying so.

Standing on the porch, I saw pa in the back of his pickup truck and Kevin was up in the loft tossing bails of hay down for pa to catch. They were working like nothing had happened last night. Without stopping their work pa called out, “You kids have a good day at school,” and as if it were something completely normal of him to say he said, “and Nevada? Did you remember to take extra diapers?”

Sure, it was just my brothers and sisters that were around to hear him, but I still felt like I wanted to clime under the grass to hide. I was so thankful when Kristen answered for me, “Ma had me put some in his backpack last night!”

The others were all talking amongst themselves as we walked up our lane together. Kane and Kristen were whispering so I couldn’t hear what they were saying but Kathy and Kyle-Lee were talking almost in normal tones.

“No he didn’t!” Kathy said after Kyle-Lee told her about how Kevin had puked all over himself.

“I bet pa is just waiting ‘til we are gone before he takes the strap to Kevin.” Kyle-Lee said.

“Why don’t you two just shut up!” Kristen said so forcefully that it stopped all three of us in our tracks.

“No you Nevada, I didn’t me you!” she said motioning me past them all.

I still don’t know why but I took off running as fast as I could and didn’t stop until I reached the stop where my bus would pick me up. And thankfully it came before the others reached the end of our lane so I didn’t have to face them again.

On the bus I took the very first set right behind the bus driver and did not look at or speak to anyone. It was probably my imagination but I felt like every one of them were staring at the back of my head and whispering about me.

Thoughts of my schoolmates didn’t stay in my head for very long. They were quickly flushed away and replaced with re-visions of Kevin in bed last night and then seeing Kevin and pa worked so hard together this morning.

I had just got back to wondering how Kyle-Lee could have known I was dry this morning just by looking at the outside of my rubber pants. But just as I was really getting a grip on that thought the bus had pulled up in front of my school and everything inside my head melted like ice and flowed down through me and out into my diaper.


Chapter 4



School turned out to be a lot different then I honestly expected it to be. Most of the day no one paid me much attention until about five minutes before it was time to go home. I was sitting in class and started hearing someone behind me making snake sounds.

It got so annoying that I finally turned around and saw it was some boy I didn’t know. He was sitting one row to the right and one desk back and was attempting to covertly draw my attention to my backside.

That’s when I realized I’d spring a leak and my britches were showing the signs. I got so embarrassed that my entire head became red hot. Heck, I wouldn’t of been surprised none if steam had shot from my ears.

I was shoving my books into my backpack when the bell rang. I started to stand up but someone had taken a hold of my shirt and pulled me right back down in my seat. I felt my wet diaper squish as my bottom hit the seat again.

When I turned to see who it was I seen it was that same boy. He was holding onto my shirt just behind my right elbow and knelt down beside me. “Wait until the rest clear out. There will be less chance of someone noticing.” He said quietly and I couldn’t help but notice the way he talked. It was so very proper with a hint of some sort of accent.

I suppose I was taken off guard ‘cause I gave my arm a tug to try and loosen his grim on my shirt but it didn’t work.

“Calm down!” the boy said while displaying a fake smile, “I am trying to help you, however if you would rather be the butt of everyone’s jokes?” he said with a shrug and let go of my shirt.

Just as he was beginning to stand up to leave I reached out and caught hold of his backpack. A couple others in class notices this so I had to make something up and fast, “Ok, I’ll trade ya but I got to ask my ma if’n it’s ok first.”

Thankfully he was just as quick thinking as me. “That does sound like the best idea all around!” he said and sat down in the seat in front of me to make the others think we were going to continue talking.

“If your mother agrees, do be a good sport and bring them to school tomorrow.” He said and then whispered, “Are they gone yet?”

“Yeah,” I nodded, “hook, line and sinker!”

“Beg your pardon?” the boy said with one eyebrow sitting high on his forehead.

I shoot my head, “Their gone.”

“Splendid! I do dislike seeing others made fun of just for being different.” He said.

“My name’s...” I started to say but he cut me off.

“Everyone knows who you are!” he giggled slightly and I wasn’t sure how to take it.

He thrust out the wrong shaking hand, “My friends call me Nugget.”

“Nugget?” I asked taking his hand with my wrong shaking hand too.

“On account of my last name being Goldberg.” He said.

“I like it!” I said

“Do you prefer to be called Kris, Kristian or dare I guess Doc as short for Doctavio?”

“Nah, most everyone just calls me Nevada.” I said.

His other eyebrow jumped up to his forehead, “Really? Oh I do like that! Nevada it is then!” and he gave my hand a firm squeeze before letting it go.

He gave the classroom a quick scan, saw that two of our class mates were talking with our teacher so he continued on. In a whisper he said, “Don’t worry about missing the bus; I will have father drive you home.”

My confusion must have been written across my face.

“Correct me if I’m wrong, but you must see the nurse before you leave for home?” he said and before I could reply he said, “I shall wait for you then.”

Right then out teacher spoke up sounding a bit putout by our lingering presents, “You’ll turn out the lights then Mr. Goldberg?”

Nugget snapped to his feet like a well-trained military soldier, “Yes Sir! We’re right behind you Sir!”

Our teacher smiled and playfully gave Nugget a salute before leaving the two of us alone in the classroom.

“Wow I never seen,” I started to say.

“In addition to being our teacher,” Nugget began as he took my backpack, laced his right hand through the strap and slung it over his shoulder, “He is also my cousin.”

“Really?” I said noticing the Nugget appeared to be wearing some sort of glove on his right hand but the thought quickly left me as I stood up and felt the weight of my wet diaper hanging between my thighs.

As if we’d been friends all out lives he and I walked out of the classroom and down the hall to the nurse’s office. The entire time he was talking a bit louder then a normal level and waving his arms about at the same time.

“Actually he is more like twice removed however my mother could tell you exactly. She lives for family genealogies. I would hazard to guess that if you ever met him outside of the school setting you would take a shine to him.”

I couldn’t get a word in edgewise but that wasn’t such a bad thing. It was actually kind of amazing ‘cause whenever someone would look at us their attention went right to Nugget and his expressive hands and arms waving about.

“I would never know it to look at him that he has six children, all girls,” he wiggled his eyebrows as he said, ‘all girls’, “and the oldest is our age.”

“Hey we are having a party the weekend after next; could come?” he asked just as we found ourselves stepping through the door into the nurse’s office.

“Well Mr. Doctavio?” The nurse said, “I didn’t expect to be seeing you for a third time today. She stopped abruptly when she caught sight of Nugget just behind me.

“Oh I’m sorry, I didn’t see you there Mr. Goldberg!” she said to Nugget. Out of the corner of my eye I saw that he had gone all pink.

Wearing the goofiest smile he spoke to me but was looking right at the school nurse, “Hey I’ll just wait for you outside in the hall if that’s alright?”

“Huh, yeah, uh, thanks!” I replied sounding like a plum idiot.

“Oh, here’s your pack!” He said passing it to me.

“See ya!” I said as Nugget streaked out the door like he was on fire.

“I see you’ve met the President.” The nurse said as she locked the door closed to keep anyone from walking in on us.

“Huh?” I replied continuing my streak of stupid replies.

“Didn’t you know? Mr. Goldberg is the student body president. He is only the second one his age ever to hold that honor in the entire history of this institution.” She said while helping me up on the table type bed thing.

“Wow!” I exclaimed, “No I didn’t know that! I never met a President before!”

“Well now you did! But what say we get you cleaned up and see if we can’t get you on that bus?” she remarked.

“Uh,” there I go again grunting like a idiot again, “he done said, uh,” I had to recall what he’d said, “Oh yeah, his pa is goin’ ta take me home.”

She worked fast while she talked, “Oh my, you are making some powerful friends today.”

I honestly didn’t want to say it again but I just couldn’t help myself, “Huh?”

“Mr. Goldberg’s father works for the Governor.” She said.

“Ouch!” I cried out.

“Oh dear I am so very sorry! I didn’t mean to poke you with a pin.”

That ended our conversation and before I knew it I was zipping up a dry pair of britches and rushing out the door.

True to his word Nugget was standing just outside the office door.

“There you are! That didn’t take long.” He said when he saw me. I think maybe I might have blushed a little but thankfully he didn’t seem to notice or at least he didn’t react to it if he did notice.

While we were heading out of the school I had time to ask him why he acted so funny when he saw the nurse.

“You have to promise not to tell her but I think she is an angel!” he said with this weird dreamy look in his eyes just the way my older brother Kevin gets whenever he is thinking about his girl, Meggin.

“You didn’t even give me a chance to promise!” I complained jokingly.

He was lost in his dreams so I gave him a nudge, “Alright! I won’t tell her but I’m think’n it ain’t much of a secret.”

“Do you really think so?” he asked.

I just smiled and said, “Come on lover-boy!” as the two of us stepped outside.

It was kind of weird seeing my bus pulling away without me in it but when Nugget said, “There, now see, you have to come with us!” He was grinning so big that if he were older he’d have been mistaken for a car salesman easy.

“So, President huh?” I asked.

Anyone that saw the two of us together might have thought that I had just told the worlds funnies joke because right then Nugget burst out with the loudest belly laugh in the history of the world.

Through his laugher he managed to say, “I was wondering when you’d figure that out!”

“I didn’t know. It was the nurse; she told...” I stopped talking when I saw the car Nugget was leading me too.

I never seen such a car ever in my life! It must have been as long as four cars and was all white and silver and shiny. And inside the car everything was just as red, as red could get. It was so big inside that I bet we could have fit the whole entire school body inside and still had room for dancing.

“Wow!” I exclaimed.

“I suppose I should have warned you.” Nugget said and it seemed he was getting some pleasure from seeing my reaction. “My father is the Lieutenant Governor of Ohio.” Nugget said.

“Lieutenant?” I asked, “What’s that mean? He in the military or somethin’?”

The car started moving as Nugget giggled, “No nothing like that.” And without even the slightest pause he said, “Basset, we’re taking my friend Nevada home.”

From the front seat I heard, “Very good.”

And I had to put my hand over my mouth to keep from laughing out loud. I leaned toward Nugget and whispered, “Does he know he’s named after a kind of dog?”

From the front seat came, “I heard that!”

I thought Nugget was going to laugh himself to death. “Don’t mind Basset, I tease him like that all the time. Isn’t that right Barfet?”

“Oh yes Sir! And I never grow tired of it Sir!” Basset said putting extra emphasis on the words ‘never’ and both ‘Sirs’, which caused Nugget to laugh even more.

While Nugget began rummaging through his book bag I asked, “I thought you said your pa, I mean, your father was taking me home?”

He pulled from his bag, two Twinkies, though they were a bit squished. He offered me one and I knew mum would skin me alive if she knew I was eating something so bad for me but I took it anyway.

He was ripping open his Twinkie with his teeth as he spoke, “Basset always picks me up from school and we stop afterward to pick up father on the way home,” and then Nugget went quiet for moment before shouting, “Basset Stop!”

The car lurched to a stop and Basset, apparently forgetting himself yelled, “You lithle shith! You mabe me bith ma thongue!”

Nuggets eyes became the size of dinner plates, “Sorry Basset!” and trying to smother a fit of the giggles he added, “I didn’t mean for that to come out like that!”

He leaned closer to me, “I get him like that at least once a week!”

Basset had leaned forward to look at his tongue in the rearview mirror and I could see him massaging it with his fingers before he rested back against the seat again. “If you didn’t have a guest back there I’d give you what for!” Basset threatened.

I looked to Nugget expecting him to be expressing the same fear I was feeling but instead I saw Nugget rolling his eye.

“Why’d you make me stop anyway?” Basset asked in a nicer tone, “Or were you just being a little...”

“Basset?” Nugget called out with a laugh.

Once again I looked to Nugget this time expecting him to answer the driver but instead Nugget said to me, “I have no idea where you live. Are we even going in the right direction?”

Basset spoke up, “Oh we are not picking up your father first?”

Not sure who to tell I looked to Nugget who nodded toward the front seat. I spoke toward Basset and told him my address.

I got a kick out of Bassets reply, “Well yeehaw! Y’all sit right back and enjoy the ride! We be goin’ country!” and the car suddenly lurched forward slamming Nugget and me against the back seat.

From up front came, “Yeehaw get along little doggy! Yeehaw, Yeehaw, Yeeeeeeeeeehaaawwww!”

I was laughing hysterically but when I looked at Nugget he seemed like he was having some kind of laughing fit. It was then that I noticed his right hand seemed to be missing completely.

I gasped and noticed that it was sitting on the ledge of the back window of the car. “Oh my!” I cried out both from surprise and fear.

“Basset you jerk!” Nugget continued to laugh, “You sent my hand flying!”

The way Nugget reacted by getting up to retrieve his hand from the back window you would have thought it was a shoe or a hat that he’d lost and not a dang hand.

“You ok?” Nugget asked me.

“Me? You? Your? Whow? Hand?” is how it came out.

I could hear Basset screaming with laughter and Nugget shouted up at him, “I’m going to get you so bad for that one!” which only made Basset laugh that much louder.

He laid his hand down in his lap and began to roll up his sleeve, “I was born without a hand. See?” He said holding up a pink nub where a wrist and hand would normally be.

Akin to putting on a sock I watched as Nugget slipped the hand over his arm and rolled his sleeve back down.

“Well I’ll be a horse’s behind!” I exclaimed, “I never seen nothing like that afore!”



As I was saying goodbye to Nugget and Basset, who I finally got to meet face-to-face, I knew that me and Nugget were going to be best of friends!

I stood on the front porch with pa and ma while waving to Nugget who was in the back window of the car waving back at me until the cloud of dust hid him and the car from my view.

It wasn’t until I stepped inside the screen door that I remembered I had left my backpack lying inside the car.


Chapter 5



Something I had not thought about when I had accepted Nuggets offer to give me a ride home was that pa would not like the idea of me ridin’ with a stranger, even if it was one of my classmates. I think it was Basset that bothered my pa the most.

The instant the screen door slammed shut pa grabbed hold of my chin so that I was forced to look up into his eyes. I could tell by the way he was talkin’ that pa was workin’ up a good mad, asked me, “What in the Sam Hill were you thinkin’ gettin’ into a strange car?” When I didn’t reply he sent me to my room.

I am kind of embarrassed to say but I got five whacks with pas belt after he’d let me stew for about an hour in my room.

Durin’ that hour I sat on the side of Kevin’s bed and looked out the winder at the bad clouds workin’ their way over the farm. It weren’t to long ‘til it was rainin’ like a cow peein’ on a flat rock. I seen Kyle-Lee runnin’ around lookin’ so lost I betcha he didn’t know if he was afoot or on horseback. It took a minute or two for me to realize he wasn’t just runnin’ around in the rain, he was tryin’ to catch Stonewall, Kristen’s prize rooster that she done had since he was just an egg. Near ‘bout every time a storm works up Stonewall somehow gets loose and runs around in the rain ‘til he’s plumb drenched and lookin’ about as big as a bar of soap after a day’s washing. I recon that Kyle-Lee ended up wet and muddy for nutin’ seein’ how a big clap of thunder done scared Stonewall right back into the hen house leavin’ poor Kyle-Lee standin’ in the rain lookin’ madder than a wildcat. And if that ain’t true, grits ain’t groceries, eggs ain’t poultry, and Mona Lisa was a man.

I watched until Kyle-Lee went into the barn then I got up and went over to my own bed. I’d no sooner sat myself back down when I heard pa comin’ into the house.

From downstairs pa could be heard, “I recon we needed the rain. It’s been so dry the trees have been bribin’ the dogs.” It weren’t long after that, that he finally came up upstairs.

As he stepped into my room pa wrinkled up his nose and asked, “You needed changed?”

Between worryin’ what pa was goin’ to do to me and watching Kyle-Lee chase after Stonewall in the rain I’d not even noticed that I’d gone and messed the back of my britches. I ain’t sure when I’d done it; maybe when pa had grabbed ahold of my chin he’d done scared me so bad I’d messed myself? I just ain’t sure.

The way pa looked down at me just then made me feel ashamed of myself. Without another word he stripped me out of my school uniform and had me lie down on my bed while he unpinned my diaper. However, when he saw the mess he decided to pin my diaper back into place until he got me into the bathtub.

Now, it ain’t very often that pa gives me a bath, mostly he just hollers for me to hurry up or to stop playin’ around and get out of the tub. This time something told me that he was not happy and when he started scrubbin’ my back with the old horse brush I knew he was plumb angry. The bristles hurt like fire and I didn’t want to but I started to cry. Even when he snapped his fin’ers in front of my nose and said, “Dry it up!”, I couldn’t cause I knew what was comin’ after my bath.

Back in my room we found Kyle-Lee standin’ in the middle of the room stark naked, while drippin’ rain and mud on the floor.

“What happened to you?” pa asked when he seen that Kyle-Lee’s hair looked as though he was wearin’ a mud helmet.

“Pa, I recon one of these days you’re goin’ to have to tan me good cause I am goin’ to ring Stonewalls feather covered neck!” Kyle-Lee said angrily while leanin’ over to pick up his muddy clothes.

The two of them looked at the puddle of rain and mud on the floor but Kyle-Lee spoke up before pa could say anything about it, “I’ll clean it up soon as I have a wash pa.” He said soundin’ as though he was still fumin’.

Pa made a humorous gruntin’ sound, “Did ya at least catch him?”

Kyle-Lee looked up at pa just about as wound up as I’d ever seen him. He clinched his teeth together and groaned, “The dang storm done scared him back in!”

As he was leavin’ for the bathroom he did something that struck me as odd; without bein’ told, Kyle-Lee pulled the door to our room closed leavin’ pa and me alone.

Pa then returned his attention to me, standin’ before him wearin’ nothing but a yellow flowered towel and tremblin’ with fright.

“You know why you’re about to get a woopin’?” pa asked.

“But pa it weren’t no stranger it was my friend Nugget from school.” I tried to explain.

I could tell pa was strugglin’ to keep a lid on his temper, “What’s the rule about other peoples cars?”

I swallow hard against the lump in my throat, “We ain’t never supposed to get into someone’s car unless you or ma says that it’s ok sepin’ for the Shurf or the Preacher.”

Pa leaned over so that we were at eye level, “Did you have permission to ride home from school with your friend?”

I tried to fight the tears from comin’ but I couldn’t hold them back any longer. Now sobbin’ I tried to make pa understand but what I meant to say and what actually came out of my mouth where not the same.

I meant to say, “But pa he is my school’s President!” but what I said was, “But pa he is my present!”

The perplexed look on pa’s face was almost humorous. He stood upright while still lookin’ down on me. The anger in his face cracked momentarily and allowed just a hint of a smile to show through. He reached up, pulled off his hat and ran his fingers through his hair, “You want to run that one by me again?”

I shook my head and tried again but only managed to muck it up even more, “School—wet-missed—no hand!”

Pa placed a hand on my shoulder and pushed me down until I was sittin’ on my bed. He then sat down next to me, rapped his big arms around me and allowed me to cry. I buried my face into his damp shirt and didn’t realize it until later that he must have been caught out in the rain too.

When pa thought I had just about got all my tears out he said, “Would you like to try once more son?”

I sniffled before speakin’, “I’m sorry pa! I shouldn’t a done it. I should a called for permission first huh?”

“I recon so.” He said softly.

I felt his hand on the back of my head as he asked, “What’s this about a present?”

I wiped my nose with the back of my hand, “Nugget, that’s the boy I came home with, he’s the President of my school and his dad is some important government man.”

“President huh?” pa said.

Almost breakin’ down again I said, “I’m sorry pa! I won’t never do it again!”

I felt his chest swell as he took in a deep breath, “Well, I recon you won’t but that don’t quite settle up for what ya done wrong now does it?”

I had to pull away slightly so that I could look into his eyes and was goin’ to say something but didn’t.

“Don’t you think you need to be punished for doin’ what you knew to be wrong?”

My head wanted to twist from side to side but instead it bobbed up and down in agreement.

He stood up, told me to take off my towel and lay face first on my bed. I couldn’t see it comin’, I only heard a swoosh as pa whipped his belt from the loops in his pants with one tug. The first lash stung so bad that I couldn’t help but to cry out.

Now when pa tans someone he don’t do it fast, he gives ya a swat then waits. Sometimes he only waits a few seconds to allow the stingin’ to get into your head and other times, like now, he waits a really long time between each lashing of the belt.

Just as I started to think that I was only goin’ to get one hit with his belt I heard the belt cuttin’ through the air again. I didn’t have time to tense up my bare butt-cheeks before his belt made contact. I screamed and cried out, “I am sorry pa! I won’t ever do it again!”

I don’t remember doin’ it but I guess I’d put my hands behind me to protect my backside cause when the third lashing came it got both of my hands right across my fingers. It hurt so bad that he didn’t have to tell me to move them cause I already had them tucked under my chest and could feel my fingers throbbin’ with fire.

Later that night Kane told me that he heard pa tellin’ ma that he had to give me two extra licks. One cause I put my hands in the way and one more cause I did not cry with the forth whack.

As pa was leavin’ he said, “I love you Nevada.”

“I love you to pa!” I managed to say between my sobs.

I remember thinkin’ to myself how peculiar it was that pa just left the way he did. He didn’t offer to help me get rediapered or nothing. He just left me lyin’ necked on my bed and cryin’ into my pillow.

When ma came in she found me still lyin’ on my belly and blowin’ on my fingers to try and cool the stingin’.

When ma asked me to turn over so that she could pin me into another diaper I said that I didn’t think I could. So she let me stay as I was while she smeared cream all over my bottom. It felt so good and it took almost all the fire out of both of my cheeks quicker than a Sunday Sermon on Super Bowl Sunday.

Once ma was sure that none of the cloth diaper was stickin’ out past the plastic pants she took my hand and walked me downstairs for supper.



Supper was a kind of rerun of breakfast except we were eatin’ fried cabbage and buttered noodles. Both pa and Kevin were once again absent. When Karen tried to ask where they were ma simply told her to mind her plate.

Unlike breakfast we did not sit in silence but instead everyone was quizzin’ me about my new friend and the long white car. If pa had been there none of them would have dared say anything about it cause they all knew I’d got tanned something awful because of it all. Kyle-Lee was the first to ask and everyone watched to see how mom would react. When she picked up her iced tea and took a sip they took it as a sigh that it was ok to ask me about the fancy car.

My backside was still heated up quite a bit. I suppose that sittin’ on the wooden chair at the dinner table didn’t help it none even though I did have my very own cushion wrapped around my bottom. I was relieved to be distracted from the pain and to be honest I was diein’ inside to tell someone all about it.

I purposefully left out the part about Nugget’s hand and about how Basset cussed. I knew ma would not like the parts about the bad language and somehow it didn’t seem right to be tellin’ tails about Nugget and his fake hand.

After supper, when all the dishes had been washed and everyone’s chores and homework were completed most all of us had gathered in the front room. The rain was still comin’ down purdy-hard outside. Kyle-Lee had taken another spill in the mud after supper and had to go upstairs to take another bath. Karen and ma were workin’ on a new quilt for the new baby still in ma’s belly. Kane was sittin’ at Karen’s feet readin’ a Spiderman comic book he had traded for at school while Kathy, Kristen, and me were playin’ Go-Fish. Kathy was accusin’ Kyle-Lee of cheatin’ when Kevin walked in with his girl Meggin on his arm.

Kevin had the goofiest grin on his face, sort of like a cat that just had a three-mouse dinner and a goldfish for desert.

“Ma, this is...” Kevin started to introduce Meggin.

Seein’ how ma is eight months pregnant it took some doin’ for her to get up but once she was up she said, “My goodness Meggin you are just as beautiful as ever!” and wrapped her arms around Meggin’s neck.

Kevin no longer looked like that fat cat, now he looked more like a fish out of water.

When ma let go of Meggin and seen how white Kevin had gone she just smiled as said, “Do you really think your own mother wouldn’t know when her son had fallen head over heals for a girl?”

“But?” Kevin stalled for words.

The three of them vanished into the kitchen and though we tried to eaves drop on them Karen wasn’t havin’ none of it. Without use realizin’ it she’d got up and with a crack had boxed Kyle-Lee’s ears, cause he’d been the closest to her.

“Oowwww! What’d ya do that for?” he complained.

“You just never mind what they are sayin’ and that goes for the rest of you too!”

Kyle-Lee was cradlin’ his offended ears with his hands and puckerin’ out his bottom lip. He looked like a wounded puppy with his tail stuck between his legs.

Karen couldn’t do anything about it when we heard ma squeal, “My precious boy is gettin’ married!”

Up until this point it had not occurred to me that the entire time I had been sittin’ on the edge of the sofa wearin’ nothing but a diaper and a pair of blue rubber pants with green turtles on ‘em.

All of us had got up and rushed into the kitchen. Kathy and Karen screeched at the same time, “Married?” and nearly tackled Kevin when they tried to hug on him.

I heard Kane ask Meggin, “Does this mean you are goin’ to be my sister?”

Kyle-Lee had forgot about his ears and was standin’ on one of the chairs givin’ Kevin a double thumbs up.

Everyone was so happy, except for me. I’d suddenly become very much aware of my appearance and was lookin’ about for something, anything to cover myself with.

The only thing I could find was the new baby quilt, which Karen had left draped over the armrest of ma’s rockin’ chair.

In a flash I had snatched it up and started wrappin’ it around me. Kristen seen me with the quilt and attempted to wrestle it away from me, “That is not yours that is for the new baby!” she grunted as she pulled.

There was a tearin’ sound and Kristen went topplin’ backward into Kathy and I stumbled backward and fell into ma’s chair like a bag of taters.

That is when I felt an awful pain in my backside like I’d just got stung by a yellow-jacket. I jumped right back up and to my alarm found one of ma’s knittin’ needles was stickin’ precariously out of the back of my diapered bottom.

Aside from Kathy, Kristen and myself, the others were totally unaware of our little tiff because they were all caught up in the news of Kevin and Meggin’s marriage news.

Kathy, unaware that I’d been hurt grabbed the half of the quilt that Kristen had ended up with before comin’ over and snatching away the other half from me.

It was then that she’d realized that the quiltin’ needle had gone through the quilt, my rubber pants and into my diaper. She started to laugh, and she weren’t quiet about it either. She was so loud that she sounded like one of those laughing dog things at the zoo.

Kevin was the first to come to my aid, “Little Pants! What did you do this time?” He said.

Before I could stop him he had took hold of the knittin’ needle and yanked it out. He then got a good look at my face.

“Hey are you ok?” he asked in a kinder tone.

That was the last I remembered until wakin’ up, face down on the kitchen table.

“Oh there he is!” I heard Doc Wilson say, “No, now you just lie still and let me get this last stitch into your plump little pride,” and he punctuated it with a self-indulgent giggle.

“I’d say by the look of things you’ve been gettin’ out of line again!” and with a playful swat, which I didn’t find amusin’ at all he added, “There we go! I’d normally tell you to keep off that for a while but by the looks of things, I’d guess you weren’t goin’ to be usin’ it for a couple of days none anyway.” And he giggled to himself again.

“So how are the diapers workin’ out?” I heard him askin’ and thought he was askin’ me but just as I started to open my mouth I heard ma speak from down by my feet.

“Oh just fine! It’s nice not to have to wash sheets and clothes everyday.” She said furtively and then asked, “Will he be ok?”

“Oh sure,” Doc Wilson said and paused briefly, “but I’m afraid he’s going to have to learn to live with...”

He paused again only this time long enough for me to panic and shout, “WHAT!”

“Well, I fixed the pucture wound but I’m sorry to say you cracked it right in half!” he said and chucked at his own joke.

I heard mom sniffle a snort.

“That ain’t funny!” I grumbled.

Doc Wilson gave the back of my thigh a squeeze and aid, “Brin’ him in to see me in a week or so and I’ll take out them stitches.”

Somewhere out of my line of sight I heard Karen ask, “Can I get him ready for bed now?”

“Well it might be better to allow him to sleep all-natural if you get my mean?” Doc said and pulling on my big toe he to let me know he was once again addressing me he continued, “And you might want to sleep on your belly tonight Nevada!”

As I suddenly remembered how I’d ended up in this predicament I felt myself flush red with embarrassment.

“Oh, see there? That there is what we in the medical profession call a severe case of wounded pride!” Doc said poking fun at my apparent embarrassment.

Mom spoke up, “Karen take him up and put him in his bed.”

When Karen left our bedroom Kyle-Lee and Kane started in on me. “Remember Nevada, the bible says to turn the other cheek!” Kyle-Lee said.

I bit my pillow to keep from respondin’. I knew if I did it would only egg them on.

Kane was next, “It kind of looked like a big marshmallow on a stick for roastin’.”

I bit into my pillow harder.

With a chuckle Kyle-Lee added, “Oh yeah I get your POINT!”

They both laughed and Kane came up with another, “I wonder what will happen when he farts?”

“He’ll probably sound like ma’s tea kettle!” Kyle-Lee said.

We heard the screen door close and a minute or two later we could hear a car drivin’ away.

My brothers were firin’ off one pun after another until ma came in and shut them both up with a threat that she’d tell pa if they didn’t leave me alone.

While ma sat on the edge of my bed and stroked the back of my hair I quietly sobbed into my pillow until I fell asleep.

Chapter 6


Sometime in the middle of the night I woke myself and everyone else in the house with my screams. In my sleep I had attempted to roll over onto my back to get away from the cold wet spot on my sheets, however I’d rolled over onto, as my doctor put it, my wounded pride. My back arched like a bridge with my shoulders, back, bottom, and legs suspended above the bed with only my head and the bottoms of my feet in contact with my bed sheet. My blanket, which had become heavy with pee, was hangin’ over my elevated body formin’ a sort of tent beneath me.

In their startled condition Kyle-Lee and Kane had sprung from their beds and collided with each other with a skull-rattlin’ crack that sounded a lot like a firecracker goin’ off inside an old metal coffee can. They both collapsed to the floor moanin’ and cryin’ in a tangled mess of sheets, pajamas and bleedin’ body parts.

Our bedroom light came on and Ma came runnin’ into our room closely followed by Pa and Karen. They found me still archin’ my back and screamin’ while Kyle-Lee and Kane were rollin’ on the floor clutchin’ at their heads and whalin’ like a couple of infants with poopy diapers.

Karen rushed to my aid while Pa and Ma dashed over to help my brothers who as it worked out had both broken something. Kane had a broken nose but he weren’t bleedin’ none hardly but Kyle-Lee had literally cracked his forehead open and was bleedin’ all over the place.

By the time Karen got me calmed down enough to stop cryin’ Pa had got both of my brothers into the truck and was takin’ them to see Doc Wilson. I recon that Doc Wilson is goin’ to be able to retire soon with all the business we keep givin’ him.

I had thought at first that Ma had gone with Pa when we heard the back tired of the truck kickin’ up gravel as it flew down the drive but she soon reappeared in my room with a big bag of ice and laid it right on my bottom.

Kathy came in lookin’ worried and still partially asleep. You’d of thought that when she saw the blood all over the floor that she would have freaked out but instead she yawned, “Should I go get a bunch of rags and a bucket?” she asked while rubbin’ her eyes with the backs of her wrists.

Karen was wipin’ my eyes with a cool cloth and shushin’ me because I was makin’ huffin’ sounds from havin’ been cryin’ so hard.

Mom answered, “Why don’t you go check on Kristen and if she’s alright then you can go back to bed.”

She yawned again, “Ok but can you keep him from screamin’ anymore I need my beauty sleep.” I weren’t lookin’ at her when she said that so I don’t know if she was serious or jokin’ but it was funny either way and made me to laugh, as did Karen and mom.

“Ok we’ll try sweetheart. Goodnight, I love you!” ma said with a giggle.



The task of cleanin’ up the bloody mess fell to Karen while ma took me into the bathroom and proceeded to give me a bath to wash all the urine off me. When we returned to my room with me wrapped in a towel I found that my bed had been stripped and remade by Karen. I removed my towel, laid myself face down on my bed and ma pulled warm dry blanket up over me. She folded the end neatly around the back of my neck, tucked it tightly around me so that I was less apt to try rollin’ over in my sleep again. With a kiss to the side of my head she softly cooed, “Now try to get some sleep.”



It was nearly sunrise when Whiskey could be heard outside barkin’ at Pa’s truck as he pulled up in front of the house with Kane and Kyle-Lee. I didn’t see Pa right away but Kyle-Lee and Kane both looked bad when they walked into our room heavily bandaged and glarin’ at me like I was the antichrist. They both seemed to sway slightly as they walked like they were a little tipsy.

When they both put their pillows in the middle of their beds before lyin’ down I knew that Doc Wilson had give them both shots in their rumps.

There were some muffled angry sounds comin’ from downstairs followed by the door slammin’ and shortly after we could hear the tractor start. I figured pa was getting’ a jump on the day seein’ how he already up.

Ma appeared in our room lookin’ tired, irritated and in no mood to be messed with. Her normally tidy appearance had been replaced with dark circles under her eyes, droopin’ eyelids, and hair disheveled and hangin’ wildly about her shoulders.

Without sayin’ a word she went about gatherin’ up the items she would need to change my diaper but I wasn’t wearin’ a diaper so I guessed that she was fixin’ to put me into one; I couldn’t have been more wrong.

She stood next to Kyle-Lee and Kane’s beds holdin’ two diapers, two pair of plastic pants, the bottle of baby-powder and diaper pins and cream. My brothers both looked horror struck, like two young bucks caught in the headlights of a Mac truck.

With a sorrowful sigh mom announced, “Doc Wilson wants you both to stay in bed for the next two days. He doesn’t want either of you runnin’ about, especially you.” She pointed to Kyle-Lee’s bandaged head.

Kyle-Lee opened his mouth to speak but was cut short by a commandin’ boom from pa, “If I hear so much as a whimper from either of you more then your heads will be hurting.”

I was lyin’ on my stomach with my head at the foot of my bed and intently watchin’ ma, as had Kane and Kyle-Lee, so none of us had heard or seen Pa step into our room. Even ma jumped at the sound of pa speaking.

“Honey you gave me such a fright!” ma gasped while caressin’ the baby still in her tummy.

A faint sniffle drew my attention back to Kyle-Lee who was bitin’ on his bottom lip as a tear flowed from the corner of his eye and into his ear. I wasn’t sure if the tear was from the fear of bein’ diapered, from pa scarin’ the life out of us all, his cracked head or from bitin’ his lip so hard but I guess it don’t much matter, any or all probably would do the trick so I didn’t blame him for it none.

Pa had gone up to ma, hugged her from behind, kissed the nape of her neck and whispered, “I’m sorry, I’ll try but I cannot promise anything, not just yet.”

Ma was tearin’ up now and patted his hand, which was restin’ on her pregnant belly. “That’s all I ask.”

Pa raised a hand, pointed his pinky at Kyle-Lee and his index finer from the same hand at Kane and announced, “I will see to your chores today and tomorrow but I best not hear that you’ve been up muckin’ about. Come the day after tomorrow, and only if Doc Wilson says it’s ok, I’ll expect both you back at it?”

I couldn’t see Kane past Kyle-Lee just then but I image that he was noddin’ his head same as Kyle-Lee.

“Right then!” pa said and kissed ma on the lips before startin’ for the door. He hadn’t made it three steps before Kyle-Lee could be heard, “Ma please don’t make...”

Pa stopped but neither turned nor spoke however his lack of words and actions shouted volumes and not another peep escaped either of my brother’s mouths for several hours.

With amazement I laid on my bed and watched Kyle-Lee, who was starin’ hypnotically at the ceilin’ while ma pulled Kane’s pants off and proceeded to pin him into one of my diapers followed by a pair of clear plastic pants.

As ma moved over to Kyle-Lee’s bed she said, “Raise up for me please,” so that she could pull his pillow out from under him. She handed it to him and he tried to put it over his face but ma stopped him, “Don’t do that, you’re libel to hurt yourself again.” Instead ma lifted and tucked the pillow under his head. She also kissed his bandage ever so soft.

I suppose it would have been better had Karen not barged into our room right as ma was pullin’ down Kyle-Lee’s pants.

The look on his face said what his lips didn’t. His head turned the color of a radish and his eyes were slammed tightly shut. It was as though he was thinkin’ that as long as his eyes were closed then none of this could be happening.

“Karen sweaty, could you give us a minute alone, oh and could you close the door too?” ma asked politely.

When I looked back to Karen, her mouth was hangin’ open and she had the biggest anime eyes. Ma had to repeat herself before Karen snapped out of her daze and closed the door.

Kyle-Lee wasn’t makin’ a sound but he was cryin’ now, not little tears but big heart wrenchin’ tears of humiliation. Despite ma’s best attempts she couldn’t calm him down at all. She had some difficulty gettin’ the plastic pants on him due to the fact that they had been bought for me and barely stretched enough to fit him but somehow she managed to get them on him. When she finished diaperin’ my two brothers she left the room and I looked back to Kyle-Lee; he had his blanket pulled up tightly to his chin and was still weepin’ quietly.



True to pa’s word, none of us had to get up to do chores or go to school and it wasn’t until lunchtime that Kane finally started talkin’ to me.

He got up slowly, came over to my bed and laid down next to me with his head restin’ on my shoulder blade and his hand restin’ on the small of my back. The front of his diaper was pressed against my thigh and a confusin’ chill raced up my spine.

“Hey, did you notice that Kevin weren’t in his bed last night or this morning?” Kane asked softly.

I elevated my head slightly so that I could nod.

“Hey Kyle-Lee, did you notice?” Kane asked loud enough that Kyle-Lee could hear him on the other side of the room.

When Kyle-Lee didn’t answer he repeated his question but instead of answerin’ Kyle-Lee got up from his bed, pulled on his bathrobe and waddled across the room to the door. He only paused long enough to heatedly snarl, “I’m never talkin’ to either of you again!” and slammed the door closed behind him.

Kane shouted after him, “Pa said we got to stay in bed!” which was kind of a dumb thin’ to say since he was out of his own bed and in mine.

Kyle-Lee wasn’t gone very long, as a matter-of-fact he wasn’t even gone two minutes when Kane and I could hear ma shouting, “What do you think you are doin’ out of bed? Do you want me to tell your father?”

Our bedroom door flew open and in stormed Kyle-Lee lookin’ madder than ever. He looked to us and said, “SHUT UP!”

“I didn’t say nothing!” I said.

I couldn’t believe what Kane said next. “Don’t pay him no mind, he’s just grumpy ‘cause he has a wet diaper!”

This got me to roll up onto one elbow to see for myself but I couldn’t see anythin’ ‘cause Kyle-Lee still had his robe on.

“I’m warnin’ you!” Kyle-Lee shook a fist toward Kane.

Kane leaned close to my ear, “It’s true I seen as he was puttin’ on his robe, he peed his diaper!”

The vanes popped out on Kyle-Lees’ neck as his embarrassment and temper grew exponentially.

Both of his fists are clenched tightly closed and if ma had not come in when she did I expect that punches would have started flyin’ at any second.

Ma pointed at Kyle-Lee’s bed, “Bed or belt?”

Without answerin’ Kyle-Lee went to his dresser and pulled out a belt. He held it out to ma and said, “I’d rather get a woop’n then stay in here with them!”

With hands on hips ma stared at him for the longest time before grabbin’ the belt from him, throwin’ it to the floor, then grabbed his wrist and marched him out of our room.

Kane looked utterly pleased with himself. His cheeks were puffed out and his eyes appeared cheerful as he blurted out, “That was the funniest thin I ever done seen!”

“You’re insane, you know that?” I asked and plopped my face back into my pillow.

“Yeah, but I like bein’ crazy!” he said and stuck his finer in my ear!

“Stop it you dork!” I covered my ear so he couldn’t do it again, “And get back in your own bed before ma comes back in.”

But ma didn’t return, at least not right away; it wasn’t until just before suppertime that we saw her or anyone again. Karen came into our room and quickly grabbed her mouth and nose.

“Oh my goodness Nevada, did you poop your bed?” she crowed.

“NO!” I protested!

Ma must a been in the hallway cause she suddenly appeared and screwed up her a face, “Kane is that you?”

I couldn’t believe Kane’s response. Sportin’ a devilish grin he answered, “I pooded!”

Karen turned a nice shade of green just before runnin’ from our room. I suppose I couldn’t smell it because I’d been in the room the whole time and my nose was use to it. Kane and I had been lyin’ in our beds tellin’ each other jokes and ghost stories all afternoon. He never once said anythin’ about havin’ messed himself and I never smelled any sign of him havin’ done so.

“What are you doin’ in my bed?” Kristen was heard shoutin’ from down the hallway, “Ma Kyle-Lee is in my room!”

“I know he is, leave him alone!” ma sang back.

Well at least now Kane and I knew where Kyle-Lee had been all afternoon.

Kristen came into our room complaining, “Ma I got to change my clothes, I can’t do it with him in there!”

Ma groaned, “Aaaaah Kristen just get your clothes and change in the bathroom then!”

Kristen seein’ Kane layin’ on top of his covers with his diaper in plane view took one whiff reached up and plugged her nose, “Wow that stinks!” she said wavin’ her other hand in front of her face.

“Need help with the babies?” Kristen said which turned out to be the wrong thin to say at that second. Apparently Kyle-Lee had decided to abandon the girl’s room and return to our room but he had walked in when Kristen had said that. In a flash he was on her punching, kickin’ and scratching. The whole thin lasted all of three seconds but when ma pulled Kyle-Lee off Kathy we all could see that he was bleedin’ again; not from his forehead but from his arm where Kristen had sank her teeth into his upper arm.



Pa was late gettin’ home from the farmers feed store and after ma told him what had happened he stormed into our room, pulled Kyle-Lee from his bed and took him out of the house and into the barn. Kane and I didn’t see either one of them again until the next day.

Not long after the sun had set ma came in with Kathy in tow. Ma proceeded to change Kane’s diaper and she had instructed Kathy to put a diaper on me tonight. Ma’s reasonin’ to her was, “You might as well start gettin’ practice for when the baby comes.”

Kathy did a really good job of pinnin’ a diaper on me without hurtin’ my bottom at all. I was a little embarrassed when she started rubbin’ the diaper cream all over my diaper area but when I looked across the room and saw mom doin’ the same to Kane and I seen how he was smilin’ gleefully I made up my mind that I wasn’t goin’ to be embarrassed about it.

While Kathy was pinnin’ the diaper on me I got up the courage to ask, “Ma, is Kevin ever comin’ back again?”

Smilin’ she answered, “He and your father are goin’ over tomorrow to talk with Meggin’s parents.”

“But where is Kevin sleeping?” Kane asked.

“He’s in the loft.” Karen added.

“Won’t pa let him in the house?” I asked.

Ma made a clickin’ sound with her tongue, “It’s not like that at all. May-Bell has the worms and he’s been tendin’ to her.” Ma reassured.

Kane snorted at this and said, “Will we get worms since we drink her milk?”

This idea disgusted Kathy to no end, “Eeeeew! I had milk today for breakfast!”

Ma chuckled, “That wasn’t from May-Bell; it was goat milk from the Guffy’s place.”

I added, “I new it tasted different!”

“How do you know? You had chocolate in you’re!” Kathy said.

“I could still tell!” I argued.

“That’s enough.” Ma said.

Kathy held up three different pairs of plastic pants and asked, “Green, clear or fire trucks?”

“I WANT THE FIRE TRUCKS!” Kane squalled.

I don’t know why that embarrassed me so much but it did. Kathy shrugged, tossed the plastic pants with the fire trucks on them over to ma and then said, “I like the green ones; they remind me of Christmas.



Our bedroom window was cracked about two inches and from outside we could hear music. Not just any music, it was the strummin’ of a guitar and the screechin’ of a violin. It was a good sign that Pa and Kevin were not all mad and fightin’ with each other about Kevin wantin’ to get married; at least not tonight. They were out in the barn playin’ music together and as always happens when they play, Whiskey, pa’s huntin’ dog, joins in and begins howlin’ along.

It was perplexin’ to be hearin’ pa play his violin the way he was, I mean after seein’ how mad he was when he came for Kyle-Lee I guess I didn’t expect him to be playin’ such a happy kind of tune.

That thought lead me back to Kyle-Lee again and I guess I wasn’t the only one wonderin where pa had taken Kyle-Lee cause when I asked Kathy and Kane wanted to know too. “Ma where did pa take Kyle-Lee?”

“Did he throw him out of the house?” Kane asked stupidly. At least I thought it was stupid.

“No he didn’t throw him out of the house, but never you mind about your brother right now,” was ma’s reply.

The next day we found out from Kristen that pa had made Kyle-Lee and Kristen sleep on the floor of ma and pa’s room. Pa had told them both that if they are goin’ to act like an animal then they get to sleep on the floor like animals.



The next day for breakfast Kane, Kyle-Lee and myself were allowed to eat breakfast at the table but had to return to our beds afterward. Kyle-Lee didn’t say a single word to Kane and me all stinkin’ day and after a while we acted like he wasn’t even there. Just as we’d done the day before Kane and I told each other jokes, made up ghost stories and told about thins we were goin’ to do the next day.

At dinner time that evenin pa, ma and Kevin were absent. Karen had made supper and was left to watch the rest of us while they were gone over to the Griffiths. Pa had taken the night off at the feed store and all three of them had dressed in their Sunday best before leaving. I’m not sure what I was expectin’ but when they all returned lookin’ just as tidy as when they left I had felt a little disappointed. I guess I had expected pa to have got into a fist fight with Meggin’s pa, but that’s not what happened at all.

We were not told the details of what transpired but later the next day I was able to put together this much. Our pa did a lot of yellin’ at first and Meggin’s pa did his share of yellin’ too; then both our ma and Meggin’s ma stepped in and told them to stop behavin’ like a couple stubborn mules. In the end, Meggin’s pa forbid Kevin and Meggin to get married and if they did he’d have nothin’ to do with his daughter again.

That was how it was left and everyone thought that it was over between Kevin and Meggin until the day that they both came up missing.

Two days after Kyle-Lee and Kane had crashed into each other Doc Wilson had stopped by to check on ma who had been havin’ some pains in her back. He gave my two brothers a look over and said that they looked like they both needed to be back in school. I don’t think Kyle-Lee was too keen on the idea of goin’ to school lookin’ like a raccoon but I think he was happy just to be able to get out of bed and get outside again. Kane on the other hand was more then excited with the notion of showin’ off his busted nose and grossin’ out all the girls at school.

None of us realized at all that somethin’ was wrong with ma and I guess that’s the way she and pa wanted it up until that evening. All of us kids had been sent to our rooms while Doc Wilson talked to our pa and ma but none of us went to our rooms. Everyone except for Kevin, who we thought was in the barn with May-Bell, had stopped on the steps and was listening.

“I’m sorry to have to tell you this,” Doc Wilson was saying, “but I don’t like the sound of yours or the babies heartbeats.”

“Is the baby ok?” pa asked soundin’ very concerned.

“Well, I think with strict bed rest,” Doc Wilson paused before adding, “and I mean strict!” he continued, “You and the baby will be just fine.”

“She’ll get it!” pa reassured.

Ma started to protest but Doc Wilson jumped in, “Listen, I’m not goin’ to sugar coat this, you’re to go to bed and you’ll stay in bed until you deliver this baby or the chances are high that you could loose this baby, and your family could possibly end up loosin’ you.”

Despite the surety that we’d all be in big trouble when pa seen us with sayin’ a word the six of us went down the stairs and into the livin’ room where we found ma sittin’ in her rockin’ chair crying. Pa looked pretty dang angry but Karen spoke up, “We all heard and we will help.

Kathy added, “I will do all the washin’ and I can make super and keep the house clean.”

“I will help!” Kristen said which chewin’ on the collar of her shirt.

Kane who was nearly in tears, “I want to help too.”

With a lump in my throat I added, “We all can help and you will be fine ma, you’ll see!”

I looked up at pa expectin’ him to start yellin’ at us all for listenin’ in when we were supposed to be in our rooms but instead he had tears rollin’ down his face. He looked at Doc Wilson and then down to ma and said, “She’ll get all the rest she and the baby need. We’ll see to it.”

Doc Wilson pulled out a handkerchief from inside his jacket pocket, blew his nose into it and said, “That, that will be just fine.”

Pa reached out for ma’s hand, “Come on; let’s get you to bed.”

Kane turned to face the rest of us, “Well don’t stand there, ma needs lots of rest!” and everyone, ma and pa included, laughed.


Chapter 7



Shortly after I had gone upstairs to get ready for bed pa called for me to come back downstairs. Whenever pa calls for me at an unexpected time the first thing I think is that I am probably in trouble for forgetting to do something.

I climbed out of bed and went to see what he wanted. I found him in the kitchen holding the telephone receiver out for me.

“You have a phone call!” he sounded as shocked as I was. Not because of the time but because I’ve never in my life had someone call just for except like on my birthday when granny would call to wish me a happy birthday.

I took the receiver and placed it to my ear, “Hello?” I said.

“Hi Nevada!” the voice screamed into the other end of the phone.

“Who is this?” I asked and got popped in the back of the head.

“You know better than that!” pa said.

“Sorry pa,” I whispered with my hand over the receiver.

“Sorry, can I ask who’s calling?” I said nicer.

“Nevada?! It’s me Nugget!” the voice sceamed again.

“Nugget?” I said not really believing it was him at first.

“Yeah, how are you?” He didn’t leave me a chance to reply before blurting our, “Hey I just asked your father if it was ok to come over tomorrow and I just had to tell you! I hope you are ok now! Are you ok?”

He actually paused, “Uh, yeah I am ok.” I said not really understanding why he was coming over and why he had been talking to my pa.

“Ok good, then we’ll see you tomorrow! Bye!” Nugget shouted into the phone and then hung up.

I looked up at pa, “He hung up!”

Pa smiled, “I know, I could hear him!”

After handing the receiver back to pa I rubbed my ear and said, “Dang pa my ear is going buzzzzzz!”

I got popped in the back of my head again but not nearly as hard, “Boy you best forget you ever learned that word!”

“Which? Buzzz?” I asked knowing full well which word he meant.

I tried to get away from him before he tried to pop the back of my head again but he was faster than me and caught me by the back of the neck, pulled my head backwards and kissed my forehead.

“Don’t let it go to your head, but I love you son!” he said with half a smile.

“Hey pa?” I asked as he pushed me toward the steps.

“What son?” he said still using his humorous voice.

“Why did Nugget call you first?” I asked.

Pa pulled down his eyebrows like he were angery but I knew better, “He didn’t, his daddy did. Now get your backside to bed before I warm it up for you!”

I quick stepped to the bottom of the stairs but stopped again, “Pa?”

“Boy!” Pa said pointing at me like he was about to get after me.

A lump popped up in my throat, “Is mama going to be ok?”

Pa’s eyes went all glassy, “You’re ma is going to be just fine! Don’t you worry none t’all. Now git!” he said and smiled again.

I smiled back and took off up the steps but stopped about halfway up, turned and went back to the bottom step. Pa was sitting at the table already and was reading a piece of paper.

“Pa?” I called softly.

Pa looked up and I new this time his look was serious.

“I love you too pa,” I said and flew up the steps using my hands and my feet as though I were climbing a ladder.



The following morning each of us kids got ourselves out of bed, washed and ready for school however a couple of us had to have some help from one or more of our brothers and sisters. Ok, I was the only one that needed help but that doesn’t mean that I couldn’t have done everything myself if I really wanted too! Well, maybe not. I was going back to school today, well that was the plan although I wasn’t so sure I would be able to sit down for all or even part of the school day. My sister Karen had come into the bathroom as I was drying off and offered to help get me re-diapered and to make sure my bottom was OK.

“What if it hurts to sit on the bus or in my classes?” I asked Karen and the two of us walked back to my room.

Karen paused to think and then patted my wet hair. “Why don’t you lie down on your bed? I have an idea.”

I took off my towel but before I lied down I quickly made my bed. I was very careful as I lowered my bottom down on the edge of the mattress and I was sure glad I was careful ‘cause I felt a twinge of tenderness in my rear.

Karen chuckled and I hadn’t realized until that second that she had been watching me as I’d settled myself down.

“Still sensitive huh?” she said.

My head bobbed up and down like a cork on a fishin’ line and it struck me that I had been holding my breath. I exhaled apprehensively and replied, “Not too bad.”

“Well, I think I have the answer for that,” she said holding up a handful of cloth diapers.

“You going to use all those?” I said with wide eyes.

She smiled to try to reassure me, “Well it should give you plenty of padding so that you can sit through the whole day of school.”

She used four of the cloth diapers, pinning each one on me before sliding the next one under my bottom. She had pinned a fifth one on me but she had to take it back off ‘cause my plastic pants wouldn’t go up over all five. My school pants were quite a challenge too. Karen had to have me lay back down on my bed to get them zipped up all the way and that was without my shirt tucked in.

“But I ain’t allowed to have my shirt un-tucked at school.” I said.

She had me stand as normally as I could, given the multiple cotton layers that were bunched up between my legs. With an appraising grin she knelt in front of me and began to fold the bottom of my shirt under itself and then using more diaper pins she pinned it from underneath. I wasn’t so sure her idea was going to work until I put on my school jacket.

“Hey that ain’t so very bad!” I exclaimed and then asked, “Can you tell I got on a diaper?”

Karen smiled and I knew it was fake, “Well you don’t have on ‘A’ diaper, you’re wearing four.”

She must have seen the reluctance on my face ‘cause she softened her voice as she added, “Listen, if you don’t want to go to school today I will tell pa you are staying home.”

I never did get to answer ‘cause right then we heard someone coming down the drive and then Kyle-Lee shouted, “Hey that big ol’ funeral car is back!”

Kane could also be heard, “Stop shouting you will wake up ma!”

Kane appeared at the door of our room out of breath from having run all the way up the steps, “Nevada your friend is here and I think he brought FBI too.” Until that second I had honestly throught that Nugget’s phone call last night was just a weird dream I had.

Karen gave me one more check, having me turn around to see me at every angle before telling me I looked handsome. “Yeah you’re pretty all right too!” I said with a playful girn.

It was difficult to walk, let alone try to run down to see what was going on. When I got to the kitchen I found Nugget and some man in what looked like a really expensive suit. They were standing there talking to pa; the man in the suit was shaking pa’s hand and talking really funny. It was English that he was speaking but it weren’t regular English that’s for sure. Pa looked more nervous than a long-tailed cat in a room full of rockin’ chairs.

Nugget spied me first, “Hey there you are!” he said and thrust out the wrong shakin’ hand just as he’d done when I had first met him only a few short days ago.

“Hiya Nugget,” I said using my left hand too and tried to take in the moment.

Nugget turned to the man in the suit, “Father?” he waited for the man to acknowledge him before continuing, “This is my friend that I was telling you about.”

Suddenly everything made sense; the man in the expensive suit wasn’t with the FBI, I never really thought he was but I also didn’t have a better explanation then what Kane had come up with. However, I made a mental note to slug Kane the first chance I got. The man was Nugget’s father, and... “Oh what did he say his pa was?” I thought to myself, “Oh yeah, the Lieutenant Governor of Ohio,” and my pa was acting all nervous ‘cause it was the first time ever that he done met someone so important like that. I must admit I was feeling kind of small and insignificant too.

Nugget’s father turned to face me as Nugget introduced me to him, “Nevada this is my father, George Goldberg but you can just call him George if you like.”

My pa spoke up and directed his words to me, “Uh, that’s Mr. Goldberg.”

Nugget’s pa smiled at my pa and then to me as he extended his hand and I gave him mine. He shook my whole arm so hard I thought it was going to pop off at my shoulder. I wish bigger people would stop doing that to me ‘cause it hurts. Also, I couldn’t help but notice that when he smiled he showed off nearly every tooth in his whole mouth and boy they were all sparkly and white like new snow.

“How smashing! It is a pleasure to finally meet you Nevada.” He paused and squeezed my hand tighter, “Do you mind terribly if I call you Nevada?”

I shook my head hoping he wouldn’t break my fingers.

“Splendid! Splendid indeed!” he said, “Jr. has been talking about you for days. I feel as though I have already met you.”

Nugget made an annoyed tick sound with his tongue and I guessed he didn’t like being called Jr.

When Mr. Goldberg finally let go of my arm I wanted to rub my shoulder but I didn’t want to risk insulting him. I was more than a little relieved when Nugget jumped in between us and started talking again.

“So, I finally heard yesterday why you have not been in school the past couple days.” He said this in a kind of hush-hush matter so as not to embarrass me.

I could hear Mr. Goldberg telling my pa, “Well I was absolutely gutted with our driver, that’s the gentleman I was telling you about last night, anyway I was wholly displeased when my son recounted the episode.”

Our pas continued to talk but I couldn’t follow what either was saying ‘cause Nugget was talking louder and was being very excited. Plus Kane, Kyle-Lee, Karen and Kristen were all talking too.

“I am sorry Nevada, I was so mad at myself when I found out that I got you into trouble.” Nugget said to me, “I begged my father to call or come here to fix everything, he’s really good at that sort of thing. Well he did both now didn’t he?” Nugget smiled obviously pleased with himself.

I was about to say something to Nugget when pa discharged a boisterous chuckle, slapped Mr. Goldberg on the upper arm and the two of them laughed loudly. Pa looked as though he was relaxing some I think. Then pa turned and was going to lead Mr. Goldberg outside but paused just long enough to reached out and pat my cheek. I glanced up to see him nod and I knew he was telling me that it was OK for me to get a ride from Nugget anytime.

Nugget must have picked up on pa’s unspoken message too ‘cause after both of our pas were outside and my bothers and sisters went back to getting breakfast he said, “So would you like to ride to school with us today?”

I didn’t need any time at all to make up my mind, “Yeah, you betcha!”

Momentarily looking serious Nugget leaned forward and quietly asked, “Oh hey, did you know you forgot your books the other day?”

I shrugged, “That’s alright, I didn’t miss them,” and we both laughed.

It was then that I think maybe Nugget noticed first time that something wasn’t quite right with my school uniform and I had enough time to get concerned that he was going to say something about it but mercifully he didn’t. It was very much like someone wiped the thought from his mind; he grinned mischievously and said, “Oh man you missed the funnies thing the day before yesterday.”

“Yeah?” I said glad that he was bringing up another subject.

Before he could tell me what it was Karen interrupted, “Little pants, what do you want for breakfast?”

Karen realized straight away what she had called me in front of my new friend and redness spread across her face and up into her ears. I think maybe even her hair turned a little red.

Had the subject been left at that I think I might have been able to accept the measure of embarrassment it caused me but you got to know that Kyle-Lee couldn’t keep his food-trap closed.

With a mouth full of toast Kyle-Lee mumbled, “I think we should start calling him big pants instead!”

SMACK!

THWACK!

CRACK!

Kyle-Lee received three blows to the back of his head in succession, one from each of my three sisters.

“Hey what was that for?” he whimpered.

Kristen decided Kyle-Lee hadn’t learned his lesson and while Kyle-Lee had his back to her she bit him hard, right on the back of his left arm. She didn’t let go either, not right away and it must’a hurt like the dicken’s ‘cause his mouth was wide open but no sound was coming out.

Nugget laughed through the whole ordeal and taking hold of my arm he said, “Boy I wish I had a family like yours.”

I leaned toward his ear and whispered, “I’ll sell you a couple of them cheep!” Nugget sniggered at this.

Using a dishtowel Karen swatted at Kristen who broke her hold on Kyle-Lee. Kyle-Lee ran from the room holding his arm and I think maybe he might have been crying.

Kristen sat down at the table and smiled at Nugget with big flirtive eyes.

I don’t think that Nugget picked up on it; either that or he was choosing to ignore her. He turned his back on the lot of them and said to me, “You like bagels? We have bagels in the car.”

I wasn’t sure how to answer and since neither pa nor ma was around just then I looked past Nugget to Karen who simply shrugged, “Hey, one last meal for me to cook!” and smiled though noticeably still embarrassed by her and Kyle-Lee’s comments about my overly diapered bottom.

Nugget gave my arm a firm tug and I was yanked out the door and onto the porch. As we were stepping off the porch we both spotted our pa’s coming out of the barn talking up a storm and I was about to ask Nugget where Basset was when a terrible ruckus could be heard coming down the drive. We all looked toward the sound and saw that there was a pickup truck flying down our gravel drive kicking up a dust storm behind it. Whoever was driving that truck was driving like they were on their way to a fire or trying to run from a jealous husband. Whiskey started growling and barking which got the chickens all worked up too.

What happened next sort of happened so fast that it seemed like it was all over before I even knew something was happening? The truck skidded to a stop only a few feet from the limo and it was several seconds before the cloud of dust settled enough to see that it was Meggin Griffith’s daddy that had been behind the wheel of that truck.

Mr. Griffith jumped from his truck cussing and carrying on like a Wildman growed in the jungle. All of a sudden Basset came out from behind the steering wheel of the limousine like he’d been fired from a ten-ton-cannon. Right before I seen Bassett tackled Mr. Griffith to the ground I seen a bright flash of light, like someone had just taken my picture. Like I said, everything seemed to happen so fast and thank goodness Basset was there or else I betcha pa or Mr. Griffith might have started fight’n or maybe even killed each other.

Mr. Griffith and Basset hit the ground hard and pa, Mr. Goldberg, Nugget and I raced over and arrived just in time to see Basset putting a big silver gun to Mr. Griffith’s head. I guessed that the flash I’d seen was the morning sun gleaming off that big silver hand gun.

“Whoa, whoa!” pa shouted, “It’s ok!”

Mr. Goldberg looked more than a little concerned, “It’s what-oh Basset, I dare say you can let him up now. Good show though.”

And turning to my pa he asked, “You know this gent?”

“What in tarnation?” Mr. Griffith growled as he reached for his hat.

“Yes, I am sorry to say I know him. My oldest son had been dating his daughter.” Pa answered and then quickly shouted at me, “Nevada, grab Whiskey!”

I had turned just in time to catch hold of Whiskey’s collar. Whiskey is normally very laidback but if’n she thinks one of us is in danger you best believe she’d kill to protect us.

Mr. Goldberg and Basset were trying to help Mr. Griffith up but he was so mad that he jerked away from them and cursed “Gosh dang it!” when he nearly fell back down; except he used the real words.

Mr. Goldberg cleared his throat, “Aahhum, I’m terribly sorry about this sir! Absolutely top hole – I have to say.”

It was plane to see that Pa was seething with anger, “Well I’m not!”

“Now you listen here Doctavio, I want to know where my daughter is and I want to know right now!” Mr. Griffith was so worked up that he spat as he spoke.

“What?” Pa had obviously not been expecting those words.

Mr. Griffith poked pa in the chest, “Don’t play the Jack-Ass with me!”

Pa’s fists were clinched and hanging to his sides. “I’m only going to ask you once to watch your language around my kids and my guest.” Pa said through gritted teeth.

“Why you no good...” Mr. Griffith started to say as he took a swing at pa.

I was looking right at Mr. Griffith when Basset blocked the punch and I still didn’t see Basset move. He moved like lightning; all I heard was a whooshing sound and then Mr. Griffith groaned as Basset held his arm. It didn’t really look like Basset was doing anything but holding Mr. Griffiths wrist but it must have been more then just a holding thing ‘cause Mr. Griffith looked like he was in a heap-load of pain.

I glanced at pa and managed to also see Mr. Goldberg give a nod to Basset. Basset suddenly seemed to grow in stature and his eyes became hard as steel as he took command of the situation. Without letting go of Mr. Griffith’s wrist, Basset twisted himself around so that he was standing face-to-face and eye-to-eye with Mr. Griffith. “Sir, I realize that you are upset but I am only going to ask you once to get a hold of yourself.” The way Basset said it made my blood chill. My first impression of Basset the other day had been wrong, he might be nice, funny and playful on the outside but inside he was evidently not just a simple driver.

“Who the hell are you?!” Mr. Griffith cursed again.

“Please, let him go!” pa said trying to break Bassets grip on Mr. Griffith’s wrist.

Basset peered over to Mr. Goldberg who nodded again; Basset released his hold and stepped back though still keeping himself between Mr. Griffith and Mr. Goldberg.

Mr. Griffith tugged at his shirt and shot daggers at Basset.

“Now, heavens above! Please lets try to be civil about all this; what were you saying about your daughter missing?” Mr. Goldberg asked and he sounded genuinely concerned.

“He knows good and well what I mean!” Mr. Griffith pointed at pa and though his voice was still raised he did not cuss or try to lash out at pa again.

Basset’s body twitched and despite his seemingly composed posture I knew he was braced, ready to react again if needed.

I hadn’t realized that all the noise had brought everyone else out of the house too. So when Kathy exclaimed, “Oh I bet they ran off to get married!” I was startled and nearly lost my hold on Whiskey. She had been standing directly behind me and her words seemed to cut through Mr. Griffith and our pa like a razor sharp sickle.

“Honey what’s going on out here?” ma called from the porch.

Pa seemed baffled and momentarily torn but then he seemed to regain his thoughts, “Dear, you are supposed to stay in bed.”

Before ma had even got out her second word Karen, Kathy and Kyle-Lee had started toward her.

I looked up at pa who’d taken a single step toward ma but stopped when he saw my sisters and brother running to fetch her back to bed.

An odd thing happened when I looked back to ma, time seemed to stop for me as I noticed that, seemingly overnight, she had somehow become frail, weak and fragile. She seemed to be only a ghost of the woman I have always known. Her hair was wild and looked as though it hadn’t seen a brush or comb in ages and her skin pale, almost powdery white. She was leaning on one of the porch posts and holding her baby filled belly.

I was brought out of my daze when I heard Mr. Griffith threaten pa, “I swear to God that if that is what has happened, I will have your sons’ head mounted above my barn door!”

Pa looked at Mr. Goldberg then to me and told me to, “Take Whiskey and put her in the barn.”

Nugget quickly added, “I’ll help him!”

Administrator
Site Admin
Posts: 46
Joined: 18 May 2020, 15:23

Re: Goodbye normal jeans part 2

Post by Administrator » 20 May 2020, 09:54

Goodbye Normal Jeans

A novel by Danny

Chapter 8

“Wow what was that all about?” Nugget asked once the two of us had managed to pull Whiskey into the barn.

“Here hold Whiskey so she don’t go running out there again.” I said, “Ya got to hold her tight or she’ll bolt.”

I took hold of the edge of the barn door and pulled for all I was worth to get it to slide shut. As soon as it was closed I reached up and clicked on the barn lights before I answered him, “I think my older brother has gone and run off with his sweetheart.”

“No kidding?” Nugget exclaimed.

“Ok you can let Whiskey go.” I said.

As soon as Nugget let go of Whiskey’s collar she took off like a shot for the back of the barn. I guess she figured that the back barn door would be open but it weren’t. She went to where May-Bell was still recuperating and seen that her door was closed to the outside too. Whiskey weren’t none too happy and was whining while she scratched at the door to try and get me to let her out.

“Sorry girl, pa said you got to stay in here.” I told her but it didn’t help none.

“You know that is the second time I have ever seen Basset like that. He scares me when he is like that.” Nugget said but the sound of his voice didn’t seem to match up with what he just said. He sounded kind of like a little puppy at play.

I quickly dismissed what he’d said and motioned for him to follow me, “Come on.”

“Where we going?” Nugget asked.

I led him to May-Bell’s stall; opened the half-door, pushed him in and slipped in behind him before Whiskey figured out that we were leaving.

“Wow that’s a big cow!” Nugget said with a shudder in his voice.

“Don’t worry, she’s harmless. Besides she’s still not feeling so hot.” I said patting May-Bell as we made our way through.

“You sure?” Nugget asked and I looked back to see he was still standing next to the half-door we’d just come through.

“Honest, it’s OK!” I said but I ended up having to walk back to him, take his hand and escort him past May-Bell.

We were back outside, leaving Whiskey inside barking and whining. Unfortunately going through May-Bell’s stall meant we had to go the long way around the barn to get back to the front side ‘cause of the pigs being in the way the other way ‘round.

“Why are we going this way?” Nugget asked, “Wouldn’t it be quicker this way?”

I didn’t mean to but couldn’t help it when I laughed as I said, “You don’t want to step into the pig pin, they are eating right now and might think you are food too.”

We were rounding the first corner of the barn when I stepped in a pile left by one of the animals. And by the feel and smell of it, it was fresh and I guessed that one of the pigs had got loose earlier but I knew that once that slop was put out for them any stray pigs would have grown wings to get back into the pin. Steppin’ in a pile of pee normally wasn’t such a big deal really; I mean I done stepped in every kind of manure loads of times but this time was different ‘cause I had a hole in my bottom that wasn’t supposed to be there and was wearing four layers of diapers as well. My foot slipped out from under me and if Nugget had not been right behind me to catch me I would have fallen right onto my diapered bottom and into the manure. Nugget had managed to steady me and even though I hadn’t fallen on my bottom, it still hurt nearly as much. When my foot slipped my leg went forward and a pain shot from my bottom reminding me, as though I had forgotten, that I still was tender back there.

“Oh, that looked like it hurt.” Nugget said mimicking the same expression I was doing.

His face was only inches from mine with my back against his chest and I was taken off guard by the peanut-butter on his breath. “You smell like peanut-butter,” I commented without thinking.

He laughed, “That’s because I always have peanut-butter on my bagel in the mornings unless I have a muffin and then I smell like blue berries.”

He gave me a little shove to get me back on my feet and when he saw the condition of my school shoes he made a retching sound.

“You going to blow chunks?” I asked.

He closed his lips tightly together and shook his head.

“Pa always says that if you live around a farm and your shoes don’t look like this, then you ain’t doing something wrong.”

Nugget put a hand over his mouth and nose and attempted to speak, “Yeah but still, that is nauseating!”

I didn’t know what that word meant and had to ask, “What’s nos-ate-ing?”

Nugget rolled his eyes back into his skull, “Sick, gross, pukified!”

“No, gross is when it has been raining all night and you come out in the morning to feed the pigs and they knock you down face first into their pin when your mouth is open.” I said laughing as we walked past the back of the barn.

“Oh man did that really happen to you?” Nugget asked.

I weren’t laughin’ none when I said, “Yep, about a month or so back! I never thought that taste would leave my mouth neither!”

Nugget gagged and pleaded, “Oh please stop or I will be sick!”

We were rounding the other corner of the barn only to come face to face with my pa.

“Pa?” I said with shock.

“What are you two doing back here?” Pa asked.

“I didn’t want Whiskey to get out so we went out through May-Bell’s stall.” I said thumbing over my shoulder.

I didn’t realize until too late that Nugget was standing literally right behind me and when I had pointed over my shoulder with my thumb I jabbed him right in the eye.

“Oh dang Nugget I am so very sorry! I didn’t know you was so close! I am so very sorry!” I apologized profusely.

Nugget hadn’t cried out or nothing, he just rubbed at his eye and made a joke out of it, “Good thing God gave me two of these things huh?!”

I was surprised to hear pa chuckle.

“You ok there son?” pa asked calling Nugget son.

Still rubbing his eye Nugget grinned much the way I do when I am being particularly wicked. He also did a great job of imitating the way I talk, “I recon I’ll live pa.”

Pa pulled Nuggets hand away from his eye and tilted Nuggets head backwards to get a good look at his eye before saying, “Yep, that’s what I need, another broken-down, smart mouthed kid around here.” And then pa added, “It’s a bit red but otherwise...”

The change in pa’s attitude was striking but then I understood why he’d been headed around the back of the barn, “You feel up to running over to the old house and seeing if your brothers hiding there again?”

I remembered that a few years ago when Kevin had been caught stealing something from the corner store in town he had run away from home and three days later the sheriff had found him hidden in the old house. I have always thought it was so neat that he was able to catch rabbits and squirrels and found wild berries to live on.

“Sure pa! Come on Nugget!” I said but pa stopped Nugget.

“Not you lad; I don’t recon your pa would like you getting all spoiled before school.”

“I’ll be right back!” I said to both of them but that turned out to not be completely truthful.

I couldn’t sprint, not only because of my bottom being sore but also because Karen had put so many layers of diapers on me and my legs were held too far apart to do more then waddle quickly.

It took me more than ten minutes to reach the old house and when I did get there I didn’t find Kevin or anyone else there but I did find signs of life. Long before my pa and ma got hitched pa’s grandparents lived in the old house. Great Grandpapa and Great Grandmamma had built a new house for pa and ma as a wedding present. When Great Grandpapa died Great Grandmamma moved out of the house and ever since then no one has lived there except animals.

It wasn’t until I reached the front porch that I realized something wasn’t right; or maybe I should say that something was right. The roof over the front porch had fallen down long ago but now it was back, good as new.

“What is going on?” I said aloud.

I stepped up onto the porch and suddenly a grey fox shot out from under the porch steps like its tale was on fire. It startled me so bad that I screamed, and soiled myself.

“Ah dang it! Not now!” I said critically.

Frustrated, I kicked the front door but instead of it thumping, it swung open revealing a nearly spotlessly clean home inside. It was still empty but it looked like someone might just be living inside the house.

I took a step inside and the floor creaked beneath my shoe. I got scared, jumped off the porch and took off as fast as my diapered butt would let me go. I was a good piece away from the old house before I allowed myself to look back. I didn’t see anything or anyone but I still didn’t slow down. I quickly discovered that though I couldn’t run, I could do a sort of skip-hope combination that allowed me to move swifter than I was able to do when just walking fast.

I could just see the top of the barn when I stumbled and fell to the ground. I had been moving along fairly steadily so when I went down I did a sort of belly flop on the tall dew drenched grass and slid several feet before coming to a stop.

The wind had been knocked out of me and I gasped to try and get air back into my lungs. As it turned out, tripping and falling into the grass saved my life. If I had continued going I would have skipped right onto a Timber Rattlesnake. As it was, I had skidded to within a few feet of the scaly pit viper. I could see it through the grass, coiled up on a large flat rock and poised to strike if I so much as twitched. I couldn’t see its tail but I could hear it rattling and knew I was in trouble. With the snake all coiled up there was no way to tell just how big it was but I knew enough about them to know it if it bit my face, which was the closet part of my body to the snake, that I would be a goner and that is for certain. I’m sure had that gray fox not startled me so badly before, I probably would have soiled myself when I seen the snake.

It is strange the things that go through your mind when you are looking a deadly snake in the face. I was wondering what it was doing around here this time of year. Normally, once the night temperatures drop all the snakes, except for the black rat snakes, disappear to hibernate until spring. The black garter snakes usually head into the barn or under the house where it is warm and they can feast on mice, rats and the occasional mole until the first snow and sometimes even longer. There is one big black garter snake that makes a showing every few weeks right up until the first frost. Ma calls it Blacky and it is nearly six feet long and so dang fat. Pa once seen it go into the chicken coop and he was going to shoot it but instead of trying to get a chicken it caught a huge rat that had been stealing the chicken eggs. After that day pa didn’t mind Blacky being around so much. Heck, even Whiskey lets it alone though she is still very watchful whenever she spots it slithering from place to place.

I’m not sure how long I had laid there motionless staring down the fanged serpent; it seemed like forever but it was probably only a few seconds. The Timber Rattlesnake was making a lot of nose, which was not a good thing for the snake. Even though I was looking right at it, I only saw a blur of feathers and the snake was gone.

I looked up and seen a relatively small eagle flying away with the snake dangling from its claws. The eagle must have been watching the snake all along and took advantage of my distraction. Eagles are another animal we don’t see much in these parts and though I had been told there are some, this was the first one I had ever seen that wasn’t in a book or on TV.

When I finally was able to catch my breath I pushed myself up onto my knees and seen that the front of my school uniform was covered with grass stains. The palms of both of my hands were scrapped and stained green and my chin was hurting.

I reached up and touched my chin with my finger, “OUCH!” I exclaimed.

When I looked at my finger there was a little blood and I was glad no one else was around to hear what I said. I won’t repeat it here incase someone ever reads this.

Anyway, I got up, brushed off as much of the dirt, mud and grass from my clothes and toddled back to the house.

When I rounded the barn I was panting and out of breath, “Pa!?” I gasped.

Mr. Griffith’s truck was gone, as was Mr. Goldberg, Nugget, Basset and the limo they’d come in.

“Pa!” I gasped again.

Whiskey was out of the barn again and had started running toward me before pa had even seen me coming.

Pa came around the far side of the house, “What’s wrong?” he asked and before I could answer he asked, “You fall?”

I told him what I had seen at the house, about the Timber Rattlesnake and about how the eagle had saved my life.

Pa pulled his handkerchief from his back pocket and held it to my chin.

I ain’t sure but I think I heard pa cuss as he stormed into the house. I was following him in, holding his handkerchief against my chin, but he slammed the door before I was even up on the porch. A moment later the door opened again and out came Karen, Kathy, Kristen, and Kane all looking worried and scared.

“What’s going on?” I asked.

“I don’t know but pa...” Kane started to say but stopped when he saw the condition of my clothes.

“What happened to you?” Kathy asked.

“I tripped,” is all I said leaving out the rest of the story.

“I’d say so,” Kane commented.

“Where’s Kyle-Lee?” I asked.

“Pa sent him down to the creek to see if Kevin is down there fishing or trapping.” Karen answered.

As though we had summoned him Kyle-Lee came jogging around the house, “Wheren’t pa?”

“Inside,” Kristen answered.

The window to ma and pa’s bedroom opened and pa’s head poked out, “Did you find Kevin?”

“No pa, no sign that anyone had been down there.” Kyle-Lee answered.

Pa withdrew his head and slammed the window shut again.

“Whoa, pa’s mad!” Kyle-Lee observed.

“You just figuring that out?” Kristen said and the two of them stuck their tongues out at each other.

“You two stop being so hateful,” Karen chastised them.

“He just came in the house and told us that we had best get to school now or else.” Kane said.

Karen put her hand on my shoulder and sounding sad she said, “Come on I’ll walk you to your bus.”

I pulled away from her.

“What?”

I stammered, “I-I can’t go like this.”

I must have blushed slightly ‘cause she finally figured it out that besides having grass stains all over the front of my uniform and a scuffed chin, that there was a more urgent reason that wasn’t obvious at first glance. Unfortunately, Kyle-Lee picked up on it two.

He was kneeling on the porch tying his shoe while the others had started walking up the drive without him.

“Why don’t you just come right out and say that you pooped your diapers!” his words came out sounding lethal and filled with hate.

I don’t think Karen actually thought about it when she swung around and backhanded Kyle-Lee across his face. For several seconds Kyle-Lee stood there holding his cheek and looking utterly shocked.

Karen sounded more like mom than ever, “Honestly Kyle-Lee! I don’t know what’s gotten into lately but I have news for you. No one here has any need for your smart mouth or your attitude!”

Kyle-Lee was crying now and at first I thought he was going to say something back to her but instead he took off running up the drive.

Karen looked down at me and I seen that she too was weeping. “I’m sorry he said that little, I mean Nevada.”

“It’s ok, you can call me little pants if you want. I don’t mind so much.”

She smiled, leaned down and kissed my forehead. “I recon you probably missed your bus anyway.”

I looked down at my shoes they were muddy, covered in grass and the one still had some manure on it despite having run through the dew wet grass between here and the old house.

“That’s ok, I didn’t much want to go today anyway.” It wasn’t the truth but since Nugget and his pa had left without me I was figuring that his pa wasn’t ever going to let me be around his son again.

Right then the door opened and out came pa all red and angry. He didn’t even acknowledge either of us as he stormed past us and got into his truck. The truck started and pa threw it into gear but then stopped, re-opened his door and whistled for Whiskey. After Whiskey jumped in the cab of the truck pa said, “You two stay here with your mother,” it was the first time I ever heard pa call her that in such a nasty way, “I’m going to go look for your brother. If that loudmouth Griffith comes back, shoot him!” and then he slammed his truck door and sped off.

Karen and I watched him drive away before she ushered me into the house to get cleaned up.

“Why don’t you go upstairs while I check on ma, ok?” Karen asked.

“Can I check up on her with you?” I asked back.

She smiled, “Sure come on.”

We found ma sitting up in her bed crying really hard. She cried and cried and wouldn’t stop crying. Karen was holding ma and after a while I started to feel really weird like I didn’t want to be there no more. I don’t think either one of them noticed when I slipped out of the room.

I climbed the steps and made my way to the bathroom where I started to get ready to take another bath.

As I was slipping off my shoes I mumbled to myself, “I bet I take more baths than any other kid alive!”

Kevin, Meggin, Ma and the new baby were racing around him my head as I stepped into the tub and started to strip off my clothes. The diaper pins took me a while. Karen had pinned the diapers on so tightly that I had trouble getting the pins to open up but eventually I did.

Boy when that smell hit me it was like I’d been rolling around in the pig pin. Talking to myself I said, “How can food that smells so good going in, smell so bad coming out again?”

“I don’t know.” Nugget answered and I slipped in the tub and crashed down on my sore bottom.

“AAaaaahhh!” I cried out.

Nugget raced over to the tub to help me. “Oh boy, I am sorry Nevada, are you ok? I didn’t mean to scare you like that!”

“Nugget? Get out I’m naked!” I squealed.

“But, but, but...” Nugget hemmed and hawed.

I reached up and grabbed the towel from off the wall, “Stop saying butt and get out!” I ordered.

“No!” he argued.

“NUGGET, GET OUT!” I yelled.

“Nevada look you’re bleeding!” I was finally able to speak.

“What?” I said and held the towel over my privates and twisted in the tub until I seen blood slowly flowing toward the drain.

Now what I had meant to say was, “Dang, I must have broke open my stitches in my bottom,” however that’s not what came out of my mouth; instead I said, “Dang, I must have broke my bottom.”

The look on Nuggets face was priceless and as soon as I realized what I had said I started laughing. Not just giggles but full out laughing and Nugget joined in.

“You broke your butt!” Nugget snorted with laughter and tumbled over backward to the bathroom floor.

Thankfully Karen had heard me fall in the tub and came to check on me. When she came into the bathroom she found Nugget curled up on the bathroom floor holding his stomach and laughing frantically while I lay in the tub, nude except for a towel and covered in my own poo. However, she couldn’t see that I was bleeding from my rump, at least not right off.

“I thought you left?” she said to Nugget.

Nugget was shaking his head and kicking at the air, “No, I went next door!” he managed to say though through his laughter he could hardly be understood.

The laughter was contagious and Karen couldn’t help herself. She chuckled, “Sounded like you fell?”

That only made the two of us laugh so much harder and I think maybe that the laughter wasn’t just coming from what I had said but was maybe partly fueled by all the stress and tension of the morning.

I nodded my head and laughed out the words, “I did, I did!”

Karen was laughing almost as hard as us now as she asked, “You did fall?”

“And he broke his butt!” Nugget roared and flopped his arms causing his hand to fly off and land in the tub with me.

Karen squealed, “Oh my!”

I was gone after that. I honestly thought I was going to die laughing there in the tub. “Please stop!” I pleaded though my laughter.

Karen’s expression didn’t help matters at all she stopped laughing when Nuggets hand came off and seemed to be catatonic with shock.

There was a siren outside and Karen rushed from the bathroom leaving the two of us to try and stop laughing but one or the other would do or say something to get the other going again.

I picked up his hang and said, “I’ve heard of giving someone a hand but this is ridiculous.”

Finally Nugget was able to lift himself from the floor and was kneeling next to my dirty diapers which I had rolled up and left lying on the floor. He took his hand and said, “Ah man, you got my hand dirty.”

“Well you shouldn’t have had your hand on my bottom!”

That set us both off again until Karen returned and saw that I’d pulled out all but one of my stitches and tore open the wound again.


Goodbye Normal Jeans


Chapter 9


“Nevada, hold still!” Dr. Wilson instructed.

My back side was hurtin’ worse then ever. For some reason, it hadn’t hurt near this much the first time he had stitched me back together.

I felt a sharp stabbin’ pain and moaned, “Ah bug-nuts!”

“Hold still please!” Dr. Wilson said again.

“Criminently doc, I would if you stopped hurtin’ me!” I grumbled.

Nugget got right in my face, “Does it hurt much Nevada?” he said jokingly.

“Trade you places any day!” I said grittin’ my teeth.

Apparently Dr. Wilson wasn't in a good mood seein’ how I hadn't heeded his instructions and thus he had to redo the stitches from the other night. I suspect that’s why it was hurtin’ so badly this time. He was probably tryin’ to teach me a lesson.

“Are you done yet?” I whined to the doc.

“Hold still, please!” Dr. Wilson said and gave my head a thump with his knuckle.

“Hey! Don’t break my head too!” I said in protest.

I know now that I should have kept my big mouth shut but dang, it felt like he was killin’ me and takin’ his sweet time doin’ it too! I finally shouted, “I’ve seen road kill move faster than you.”

Karen chimed in with, “Stop bein’ a smart mouth Small Fry or I’ll tell pa on you!”

I bit the inside of my cheek and suffered through the last stitch.

“That should do it.” Dr. Wilson said.

Nugget playfully asked, “Do you think things will still work back there doc?”

Dr. Wilson make a humorous tittering sound, “Oh, well if he doesn't settle down and stop getting himself hurt every other day...” he thumped my head again, “then I’m afraid I might have to cut the whole thing off at the neck.”

“Alright, gee-whiz you two don't got to rub it in!” I said squirmin’ off the kitchen table and holdin’ a towel around myself to hide my nakedness.

Dr. Wilson bent down so that he was at my eye level, placed a hand on my shoulder and asked, “Would you do me one small favor?”

I gave him an apprazing eye then apprehensively asked, “Is it goin’ to hurt?”

“I expect it will hurt a great deal but I think you’re man enough to take this pain.” Dr. Wilson stated while poking me in the chest with his finger, “Try, and I mean try with all your might not to get hurt, sick or anything else for a while! OK?”

“Gee-whiz doc, you make it sound like you don’t like seein’ me no more!” I kidded with him.

Before I could block him he grabbed hold of my nose and wouldn’t let go.

“HEY! I need that for pick’n!” I said tryin’ to pull his hand off my booger palace.

“Promise me you’ll try and I will let you go.” He said almost laughin’.

“Ok-ok, I promise!” I surrendered.

“No fingers, toes or eyes crossed?” Dr. Wilson teased.

Nugget was nearly fallin’ over laughin’ as was Karen.

I wrapped both of my hands around his wrist to keep him from pullin’ on my nose and said, “Doc you’re goin’ to break it off and then you will have to sew it back on too!”

Finally he let me go and I gave my nose a wiggle to make sure it still was still in workin’ order. Once again I opened my big mouth one too many times and said, “Gee-whiz doc you sure are gettin’ grumpy as you get old!”

“Nevada!” Karen said sternly.

Dr. Wilson just laughed it off and turned his attention to Karen, “How about I check in on your mom while I’m here. From what you have told me, there was quite a bit of excitement here this morning.”

“More then I care for so early!” was Karen's response.

“Uh, do you think he go to school?” Nugget asked.

“What? Oh yes, I image that might be a tender matter in deed...” Dr. Wilson drifted off into thought before exclaimin’, “I might have just the thin’ for you out in the car.” He poked me in the nose when he said that and continued sayin’, “I'll get it for you before I leave.”

After checkin’ on Ma, Dr. Wilson slipped out to his car and returned with two items. The first was some sort of clear tape and I wondered if he intended to use that to tape my mouth shut. The other item looked like a blue tire inner tube like on the tractor.

He handed the tape stuff to Karen and told her, “Use this over the dressing and it should water proof the area while it heals.”

I didn’t really understand that right away but later I would understand.

It was Nugget that asked, “What’s that?” while pointin’ at the blue inner tube thang.

“Well my boy... I’m glad you asked! This is one of the greatest inventions of modern science!” Dr. Wilson said in true snake oil salesman regalia.

“What am I supposed to do with that?” I asked.

“Why, you just blow it up using this handy dandy nozzle right here and then,” he leaned closer, “this is the hardest part of all... you sit on it!” Dr. Wilson said.

I thought I would try to be funny, “Does it come with explosives?”

“Explosives?” Nugget asked with his nose all scrunched up in confusion.

“Yeah, you know, to blow it up!” I said.

Nugget slapped himself in the forehead and laughed, “Oh Nevada that was really bad!”

Doc Wilson stood upright, grabbed the lapels of his suit coat and said to Nugget, “Go away lil’ boy you’re bothering me! Can’t you see I’m talking with a customer?”

Right then Pa, Mr. Goldberg and Basset came back.

“Did you find them Pa?” Karen asked.

“Doc, I thought that was our car I saw out there.” Pa said shakin’ Doc Wilson’s hand.

“Here to check on the misses?” pa asked.

“Nah, had to stitch up Nuggets, uh, second smile again.” Doc Wilson said givin’ me a wink.

I rubbed my bottom, “Yeah and you ‘bout kilt me too!”

Pa was still plenty mad about Kevin and I should have known better then to get mouthy when pa was around let alone when he was as upset as he was today.

Pa snapped his fingers at me and said, “You best watch that mouth boy!”

“Sorry Pa, Sorry Doc Wilson.” I quickly apologized.

Nuggets pa must of already known Doc Wilson ‘cause he thrust out his hand and smiled with all his purdy white teeth, “Doctor Wilson! It’s a pleasure as always!”

I was plumb aggravated when Karen shoed us all out of the kitchen. I wanted to hear what was goin’ on but Karen made everyone else go outside except for me; she took me upstairs to get me re-diapered.

I didn’t get to say goodbye to Nugget. By the time Karen was finished diaperin’ me and puttin’ that clear tape stuff over my stitches, Nugget, his pa, Basset and Doc Wilson had all left. There was also a terrible racket comin’ from inside the barn. I figured it was pa and he was probably blowin’ off some steam.

A little while after lunch I received another phone call. I had been lyin’ on the floor of the livin’ room readin’ the funny pages when Karen called for me, “Small fry, you have a phone call.”

I got to my feet as fast as I could but I’d been lyin’ still so long that I got a bit stiff. That made it hurt a bit when I tried to bend my hips to get up.

I went waddlin’ into the kitchen like a drunk duck and took the phone receiver.

“Hello, this is Nevada.” I said.

“Hi Nevada it is Nugget! Hey I didn’t get to say goodbye before and I didn’t get to tell you that your dad said that it was ok for us to pick you up in the morning for school... I mean if you think you can go.”

“Really? That is so nice of you to do that.” I said.

“So does that mean you will be going?” Nugget asked.

“Yeah, sure, I guess so.” I said.

“OK I got to go 'cause I am at my Father’s work today. Since I missed so much school already today he said I could go to work with him. I am calling you from the Governor’s phone right now.”

“You are actually in the Governor’s office?” I said in amazement.

“Yep! He is here too. Do you want to tell him hi?” he said and before I could say no he had already handed the phone to the Governor.”

“Hello this is Governor, Theodore Shunning. Do I have the pleasure of addressing Mr. Nevada Doctavio?”

My mouth suddenly went dry and I didn’t know what to say so I said, “My real name is Kristian Billiam Doctavio sir.”

“Oh please excuse me; it does appear that my personal assistant, Mr. Nugget, had informed me incorrectly.”

I could hear Nugget giggling in the background.

“Uh, that’s ok, you can call me Nevada is you want. Everybody else does.” I said awkwardly.

“Well then, I am indeed honored and by all means please call me Ted.”

“Um, I don’t think my pa would like me doin’ that.” I said.

“Oh, how about just Mr. Shunning then?”

“Yeah, I think that is gooder.” I said.

“Splendid then!” The governor said.

“Um, Mr. Shunning sir?” I asked, “Can I talk to Nugget again please.”

“Well of course you may but might I say that it has been a sincere please speaking with you Nugget.”

Not knowin’ what else to say I thanked him by saying, “Thank you sir, same to you too.”

“Hi Nevada!” Nugget shouted into the phone nearly rupturin’ my ear drum.

“Nugget you big goof! Why did you make me talk to the Governor! I was so scared I nearly fell over dead.” I growled into the phone.

I could hear Nugget gigglin’ hard on the other side.

“Oh sure laugh it up but when I see you again... Oh boy you just wait and see!” I said and that just made Nugget giggle louder.

Finally Nugget said, “Hey, I got to go; father wants me to make copies for him. We will be there tomorrow early ok?”

“Ok, I will be ready and waitin’ on the porch!” I assured him.

“Bye Nevada!”

“Bye, see you tomorrow Mr. Nugget!” I said and giggled as I hung up the phone.

I told Karen what Nugget had said about pickin’ me up and about how I got to talk to the Governor; she was impressed. I then raced in and told ma about it and she thought it was really neat too. I stayed in there with ma to keep her company for a while until she went to sleep again and then I went and got the round blue thang. It didn’t take me too long to blow it up either and I tested it on one of the kitchen chairs.

“Hey that ain’t so bad, but I might still be a bit sore after sittin’ all day.” I said to no one.

I hadn’t realized that Karen was within ear shot so I was surprised when she said, “Well we can double or even triple your diapers again tomorrow and between the extra layer and that silly thang you should be just fine.”



The rest of the afternoon I took it easy until everyone came home from school. The first thin’ they asked was if Kevin had been found. The second thin’ they asked was where pa was and lastly they all asked how ma was doin’. I told them that far as I knew Kevin was still not found, that I thought pa was in the barn or out in the fields and that ma was sleepin’ the last time I checked on her.

I didn’t see much of anyone after that until supper time. They all had chores and homework and what-not to do. By the time supper was on the table my bottom was hurtin’ quite a bit so I blew up my sittin’ tube again and sat my bottom right down on it.

“Wow Nevada, that makes you look taller when you’re sittin’ on it.” Kane said measurin’ me with his hand from the top of my head to the side of his neck.

“Hey? How the heck did you get so tall?” I asked him knowin’ that there was no way that he was that much taller then I was. I looked down at his chair and saw that he was sittin’ on one of his legs.

“That’s cheatin’!” I complained and laughed at the same time.

After supper Kane, Kristen and I went outside and around to the back of the house where we had a rope swang hung from one of the trees. It’s just an old bit of rope with a bit of wood tied to the end so you can sit or stand on it to swang. As sore as my backside was I didn’t want to risk hurtin’ myself again so I purdy-much just watched them swang.

We’d been back there for a good ten minutes when Kyle-Lee came around. I guess he was still feelin’ sore at me ‘cause he weren’t talkin’ to me none at all. I don’t think he has any reason to me sore at me. I ain’t the one that got him into trouble and I ain’t the one that made him wear those diapers.

“My turn!” Kyle-Lee announced.

“No way, we were here first!” Kristen said and pushed him away.

I was expectin’ a fight but instead Kyle-Lee turned and walked away again.

“Bet he’s goin’ to tell the snitch!” Kane said with a sneer while he pumped with his legs and swung backwards.

“Let him!” Kristen said and gave Kane a big push.

“Whoa, not so hard!” Kane complained.

“You got to do it hard if you want to go high.” Kristen said.

“I don’t want to go too high!” Kane sounded a little anxious.

She pushed him again and as he was swangin’ forward he came off the swang and flew threw the air. At first it seemed like he was just hangin’ there in mid-air for the longest time but then he dropped to the ground fast. He hit feet first and then fell forward in a roll before comin’ to a stop face down in a puddle. For a second I thought he meant to jump off the swang but then he didn’t move.

“Can’t you for once not goof around!?” Kristen shouted at Kane.

Kane didn’t move.

“Alright, I get it, very funny! Ha-Ha! You can get up now!” Kristen said.

“Kane?” I called out.

“Kane?!” Kristen said louder and started to run toward him.

I started to move toward him too and saw his left hand twitch, then his leg, then his hand again. He made a sound like he was hurt bad.

Kristen fell to her knees beside Kane and picked his head up out of the small puddle of ground water. “Kane? Kane are you ok? Say somethin’!” she was nearly sobbin’.

She rolled him onto his side. His eyes were closed and he looked to be unconscious.

“Kane?” She said takin’ hold of his head with both of her hands and shakin’ him as if she were tryin’ to wake him from a deep slumber.

Suddenly a jet of water squirted out of Kane’s mouth and right into Kristen’s face. Kane smiled and laughed out loud while Kristen stared at him totally shocked. I had fallen to my knees and was laughin’ so dang hard that I was snortin’.

“That was not funny Kane Rupert Doctavio!” Kristen shouted as she was wipin’ her face with her hands.

Kane rolled back and forth laughin’ as he cheered, “I GOTCHA BOTH!”

Kristen stood up and tried to kick him but he rolled away from her foot in time to avoid her kick.

“That was so dang funny!” I cheered.

“It was not!” Kristen said stompin’ over to the rope swang and gettin’ on it.

“You are mad ‘cause you didn’t think of it first.” Kane said gettin’ up and brushin’ himself off.

“So!” Kristen said tryin’ to hide a smile.

Kane went around behind her and started to push her.

“I saw that!” I said to Kristen, “I saw that smile!”

She playfully stuck her tough out at me.

“No thanks, I use toilet paper!” I joked.

“No you don’t!” Kane teased!

“Oh yeah!” I said as if I had just realized that I was wearin’ a diaper.

Chapter 10

The next few days were almost normal as one day flowed into the next and then the next without much notice except for the continued absence of Kevin and his sweetheart, Meggin. Kevin did call home and spoke with ma, but pa, he weren’t home when Kevin called so pa missed out gettin’ to yell at him that time.

That one call was the only time ma has been out of bed for the last couple weeks. Dr. Wilson has taken to comin’ over every day and some days he shows up more than once, usually around eatin’ time. Lots of ladies from church have come by bringin’ food over and I think Karen is most happy about that ‘cause she ain’t hardly had to cook since ma got sent to bed. Mostly she just heats stuff up, puts it on the table and we scarf it down. Pa says that ma has to hurry up and get better ‘cause soon he is goin’ to get so fat from eating all the pies that keep showin’ up that he ain’t goin’ to be able to fit into none of his clothes no more.

To be honest, for the last couple weeks, I have been so busy that I’ve not been able to get into too much trouble. When I ain’t been at school, or up in my room tryin’ to catch up on my school work then I, along with everyone else, have been helpin’ take up the slack farm work that Kevin normally does. Pa has said a number of times, “That fool brother of yours picked the worst time to run off and get married!”

He’s been saying that ‘cause it’s harvest season and it takes all us to get it done.

Even with all that goin’ on I was still able to find some time to buddy around with Nugget. He’s even come over a few times to help around the farm. I ain’t said nothing ‘bout it but I think he is sweet on my sister, Kathy ‘cause he gets all goofy whenever she is around.

Pa and me taught Nugget how to drive the tractor; I think that is his favorite thing ever to do. I also showed him how to milk a cow and how not to get pecked to death by the chickens. Surprisin’ enough, Nuggets pa and ma came over last weekend to help out. Nuggets pa turned out to be a really hard worker and was no stranger to gettin’ dirty. His ma took to takin’ care of our ma, along with Karen’s help they got everythin’ ready for when the baby comes.

Basset was around too but mostly he just stayed with the limousine except for when Mr. Goldberg fell while tryin’ to get up into the hay wagon. That’s when Basset decided he needed to stay closer to Mr. Goldberg—just in case.

Now you might have noticed that I said that I ain’t been able to get into too much trouble... I couldn’t say that I didn’t get into none ‘cause I did get into a little bit of trouble. My brother Kyle-Lee and I got into a fight one afternoon. He was bein’ so dang mean to me but only when no one else was around. I figured out for myself that he was only doing it when we were alone so that he wouldn’t get into trouble again. I wanted to tell on him but I figured that ma and pa had enough worryin’ ‘em and they didn’t need me addin’ to that too.

Well the other day I was in the barn with him and he called me a name so bad that I don’t even want to write it down here ‘cause the paper might just burst into flames. When I said I was goin’ to tell on him he punched me in the belly which knocked the wind right out of me. You best believe that I was powerful mad after that and Kyle-Lee, he shouldn’t have turned his back on me. He should have known that I was goin’ to get him back and boy did I ever! Soon as I could breathe again I leapt on him like a wild animal; he fell face first into one of May-Bell’s fresh baked cow patties. The two of us were punchin’, kickin’ and rollin’ around inside the barn until pa came in and stopped us. Even after pa jerked me off Kyle-Lee I kept tryin’ to fight more until pa lifted us both by the seat of our britches, carried us out of the barn and dropped us right into the pigs’ waterin’ trough. That put an end to our fightin’, mostly ‘cause I couldn’t hardly move now that my diaper was waterlogged and weighin’ me down.

When everythin’ was over, Kyle-Lee had a bloody nose, a fat lip, a sprained fin’er from me tryin’ to break it off and one of his bottom teeth was loose. Amazingly enough I only had one sore eye that turned black later that same day. Boy pa really was mad and yelled at us both but he didn’t send us to our room and we didn’t get spanked. My bottom was healin’ up right good but still, if pa had spanked me I knew it would’a hurt so much... but it would a been worth it ‘cause Kyle-Lee had it comin’.

The next mornin’, while I was takin’ my bath before school pa came into the bathroom and we talked. He couldn’t believe that I got the better of Kyle-Lee but he said I ain’t allowed to tell no one that he said that. Pa also done told me that he knew Kyle-Lee had been teasin’ me but he didn’t say or do nothin’ ‘cause he figured I was gettin’ grown enough that I needed to stand up for myself. He also said that he supposes Kyle-Lee had been feelin’ left out ‘cause ma, Kevin and me were gettin’ so much attention. I ain’t sure I buy into that but I guess maybe pa could be right.

Before he left me to finish my bath pa also told me he was proud of me and that he loved me. Then he reached into the water, I thought he was goin’ to pull the drain plug but instead he took hold of my ankle and tugged on my leg causin’ my head to go under. When I came back up he was hightailin’ it for the door laughin’ as he went.

“I’m gonna get you for that pa!” I chuckled as I wiped the soap from my eyes.

Ever since our fight, Kyle-Lee and I been best of brothers again. He never did tell me what was eatin’ at him and I didn’t ask; I guess I have accepted pa’s explanation and now I am just glad Kyle-Lee ain’t bein’ mean to me no more.

Probably the most talked about thin’ to happen in the past couple weeks was when my best friend, John-Jo; you remember him, I told ya about him before. Anyway, John-Jo got himself caught in his zipper when he was peein’ back behind the church when he was supposed to be in Sunday school. Well, he says he was peein’ although I think he might have been up to somethin’ else but I better not say what. Ma says it ain’t right to spread rumors about someone so I suppose I will keep it to myself but I will say that he weren’t the only one playin’ hooky from Sunday School class that mornin’.

I am sure you know what I mean when I say that he got himself caught in his zipper. He had to get three stitches from Dr. Wilson and after gettin’ stitches twice in my backside I got an idea how embarrassed John-Jo must’a been.

Now, if’n you ask me, I think that should have been bad enough for John-Jo but it got worse and I don’t know why but just this very second I started hearin’ the preacher inside my head preachin’ about how God don’t ever give a person more burden than he can carry. I guess that popped into my head ‘cause poor John-Jo, he sure got a heavy dose of humiliation to be sure ‘cause the whole dang town knows what happened. I mean when it happened he yelped so loud folks in the next county could hear him. Now John-Jo can’t go nowhere without someone sayin’ somethin’ about it to him and he weren’t in church this past Sunday and neither was his ma and pa. I expect they got a dose of humiliation over it all too. Anyway, I done been over to see him twice already and he says he is fine but he walks like he has the worst case of diaper rash in history. But you best believe I didn’t laugh none at him and I think he was grateful for that much anyway.



This morning, when I got back to the bedroom after taking my morning bath Karen was there getting my diaperin’ things ready. She already had my school uniform laid out for me.

“Morning,” I said to her.

“Good morning small fry,” Karen said as she turned and smiled at me.

Kyle Lee was still getting dressed too. He was standing there in his underwear and socks and was pulling his shirt over his head. “Morning!” he said from inside his shirt.

“Eeek, it’s the headless underwear monster!” I teased.

Karen walked up to me, took hold of my chin and announced, “You’re eye looks a lot better today.”

From behind me I heard, “Too bad his face isn’t any better!”

I spun around and saw Nugget standing there.

“Hey, you ain’t supposed to be here yet.” I said with surprise.

“Yeah, well good morning to you too!” Nugget said.

“Oh sorry, good morning!” I said offhandedly, “but you ain’t supposed to be here yet!”

“Basset had to take my father into work early so my mother is driving us to school today.” Nugget said.

As she was passing Nugget Karen messed up his hair and said, “Good Morning Nugget and bent down and kissed his cheek.”

“Hey! How about evening it up?” He said with a grin and pointing to his other cheek.

Karen kissed his other cheek and grinned like a big goofball.

“Oh, ok!” I said accepting his reason and dropped my towel.

You might think it odd that I would just go around naked with Nugget right there in the room but for the past couple weeks he’s become one of the family. Besides, we’ve seen each other naked a couple of times now. He’s also seen me in just diapers and getting changed too. The most recent was yesterday after the two of us got into a pig slop fight. It was all in fun but boy we got dirty. Karen laughed when she sheen us covered head to toe in pig food and made us both strip on the front porch, him to his underwear and me down to my diapers and plastic pants. She then proceeded to hose us down right there before sending us up to take a bath. Heck, even his pa, ma and Basset know about my diapers. Ma told them for me ‘cause she was worried that they might think I was sickly or something. So now you see why I ain’t bothered by Nugget being in my room while Karen diapers me and helps me get my uniform on for school.

“Where is your ma?” I asked as I got on the bed.

“Down visiting with your mother and the doctor.” He said picking up my towel that I’d left lying on the floor. Over the past couple of weeks I’ve learned that Nugget has one really big quirk, he’s a neat freak. You should see his school locker, it’s organized and labeled for each text book. Aside from that, he’s just as normal as anyone else that has a fake hand.

“Doc’s here already?” Kyle-Lee asked while zipping up his pants.

“He pulled in when we were getting out of the car.” Nugget said handing the towel to Kyle-Lee who in turn tossed it into the laundry basket.

“You come in that long car again?” Kyle-Lee asked.

“Nope,” Nugget answered quickly.

Kyle-Lee invited him to have breakfast here by askin’, “So ya hungry then?”

“Why don’t the two of you head down and we’ll be down in a minute,” Karen said.

“Hey, and you might want to stop by the bathroom and comb your hair again.” Kyle-Lee said to Nugget with a grin.

Karen swatted at the two of them with my diaper and they took off.


Chapter 11



“Kristian Billiam Doctavio!” pa’s voice reverberated like thunder. I was inside the barn cleanin’ out the stalls when I heard pa’s distinctive call and the fact that he had used my full name meant that I was in trouble. Before I could reply he called for me a second time; only louder this time. “KRISTIAN BILLIAM DOCTAVIO! BOY, YOU DON’T WANT ME TO HAVE TO COME FIND YOU!”

I emerged from the front of the barn and seen that pa was standin’ on the front porch. I shouted back to him, “I’m right here pa!”

“You get yourself in this house right this very minute!” he shouted, opened the screen door and disappeared inside again.

The first thing I thought was that I’d done somethin’ wrong or forgot to do something important but I couldn’t for the life of me figure out what I could have done to get him so mad. And then the horrible thought struck me that maybe somethin’ was wrong with ma and the baby! That thought scared me more then the idea that I was in trouble. I ran toward the house and I don’t think I even touched the front steps. I just went from the ground to the porch and then swung the screen open so hard that I nearly broke it off its hinges.

Forgettin’ briefly my first notion that I was in trouble I blurted out, “What’s the matter? Is ma all right? Is the baby all right? Should I call Doc Wilson?”

Pa looked so very infuriated that his nostrils were flarin’ like an angry bull about to charge me down and squash me to death. With a single movement he yanked his belt off and slung it over his left shoulder like a leather whip. My legs felt like they were goin’ to buckle under my weight and instinctively my hands went behind me to protect my bottom. A lump the size of an apple rose in my throat, nearly chokin’ off my air supply.

“Where’s your other shoe?” He snarled.

His expression as much as the question caught me off guard and with the lump in my throat, the best I could do was to make a confused sound at the back of my throat which seemed to make him even angrier.

“Shoe boy, shoe! Where’s your other shoe!” he said pointin’ down at my feet.

Stupid me! I was dumb enough to look around the kitchen as if I expected to find it. When I finally did look down my right shoe was indeed missing. I reasoned that when pa had yelled for me to come into the house I had run so fast that I ran right out of my shoe.

I shrugged my shoulders while he stood there looking down at me, fingerin’ the buckle of his belt and lookin’ at me as if I had been the one to nail our Lord to the cross.

“Pa, what’d I do?” my voice quivered as I fought back my tears and I can’t be sure but I think my heart had stopped beatin’.

It seemed that the floor beneath me shook when he stepped toward me. I backed away from him but the dang kitchen table halted my escape. That didn’t much matter none ‘cause pa has always been faster then me. As his big hand came down I turned away from him and he caught me by the back of my diaper, lifted me right off of my feet and held me upside down. You would a thought that pa had started beating on me right then and there the way I screamed my head off. “Pa, pa, pa! Please pa! Please pa! I’m sorry pa!”

I was carryin’ on so much that I didn’t even realize that pa had hauled me into his and ma’s bedroom. However, I figured it out when he dropped me on their bed like I’d done a belly flop off the Clear Creek Trestle into the creak below. My first hint that pa had been messin’ with my head was when I saw ma sittin’ up in bed and smilin’ a big silly grin. It was the first time I’d seen her smile in several days. I still wasn’t sure that I wasn’t in trouble but then pa started to tickle me while asking, “Why were you so scared? What did you do that I don’t know about? I bet you and that new friend of yours, Nugget, have been up to no good! You’ve been up to no good, admit it! Maybe I should whip you just in case?”

I was rolling, kickin’ and flailin’ about tryin’ to get away from him ticklin’ me. “Pa, oh please pa! Stop please pa! Ssssttttooopppp!” I even tried some reverse psychology that they told us about in school. “Pa, I love you and you are the best pa in the whole world!” but that didn’t’ work either.

He finally took hold of my legs and tucked them under his one arm; he then captured my flailin’ arms and held them against my stomach. I was still laughing, though he had stopped ticklin’ me.

“Boy pa! You scare’t me so bad! I thought I done somethin’ wrong!” I said still partly wonderin’ if maybe I was in trouble for something.

“Well that was the idea.” Pa teased.

Ma was still smilin’ when she said, “Your pa and me have been talkin’ about how grownup you are becoming.”

“I growed almost a whole half inch since last time you measured me!” I said tryin’ to wiggle loose from pa’s python-like hold on me.

“Well, we don’t exactly mean taller.” Pa said and tickled my belly again.

I let out a squeal, “Uncle! Uncle!”

When I caught my breath I asked, “How did you mean then?”

Ma looked at pa and smiled wider. I looked up at pa and he was lookin’ at ma the way he does whenever he’s about to say somethin’ mushy.

“Do you want to tell him or should I?” Pa asked her.

“OH NO!” I exclaimed.

“What?” Ma asked looking concerned.

“You are goin’ to have two babies?” I said hopeful disbelief.

“NO!” Pa said very firmly, “The good Lord wouldn’t curse me like that again!”

“Pa!” I complained as I once again tried to worm away from him.

“Oh honey, let him up before you make him hurt his sort bottom.” Ma said.

“It’s ok ma, my bottom ain’t so sore no more.” I assured her.

Pa let me up anyway but he sat on the side of the bed and held me tightly in a backward bear-type hug.

“Well, what then?” I asked and then the thought jumped into my head and burst out of my mouth, “IS KEVIN COMIN’ HOME?”

“No! This isn’t about your brother’s or sisters!” Pa said squeezin’ me so tightly and pretendin’ to chew on my ear.

“Pa stop you are goin’ to get your old people germ in my ear!” I joked.

“OLD PEOPLE?” Ma complained and implored pa to, “Squeeze him tighter for me!”

“Pa you are goin’ to squeeze the stuff’n out of me!” I groaned.

“Alright, settle down now!” Pa said.

“I ain’t the one doin’ nothing!” I protested as wiggled my finger in my ear.

“Seein’ how you are getting’ so MATURE,” ma put extra emphasis on that last word.

Pa quickly jumped in with, “I think the word you’re looking for is manure!”

I gave pa an elbow in the gut for that one but not hard, just enough really.

Pa mad an, “Ooph!” sound and then said, “Ok, maybe not.”

Ma just continued like he hadn’t said nothin’. “We have been thinkin’ that you old enough and responsible enough to get your farm license now so that you can be more help to your pa around the farm.”

I couldn’t believe what she just said. Kevin got his farm license when he was twelve which meant he was allowed to drive the farm truck anywhere as long as whatever he was doin’ had somethin’ to do with the farm; like takin’ crops to the market, runnin’ to the feed store or whatever.

The idea hadn’t completely sunk in yet so I asked, “Sooo, I ain’t in trouble?”

“No you are not in trouble!” ma assured me and added, “We just wanted to surprise you.”

I could feel the excitement growing deep down inside of me but I still needed to ask, “So, I can get it? Really?”

“Yes really!” Pa answered and added, “You’ve been so much help to me these past few days. And I even if you weren’t old enough, I expect I would have found another way to reward you for everything you have been doing, not just for me, but your ma and the farm.”

For a moment I felt guilty for my brothers and sisters who had been working just as hard as I was. It must’a showed ‘cause pa said, “Now don’t you go fretting none about the other’s.” Pa began, “This is about you and I have something in store for each of them too.”

I looked over at ma, she looked like she was going to bust with pent up excitement for me. I gleanced down at my hands and seen that they were balled up into two tight little balls. I asked again, “Really, Really?”

“Yes really, really!” Ma answered.

Pa released me and I slid off his lap to the floor. I was like a lit stick of dynamite standing there looking from one to the other and then I asked. “You are not kiddin’ me again are you pa?”

Pa rubbed his chin and made a sound like he was thinking.

“PA!” I groaned with impatient agony.

He laughed. “I am not kiddin’ you!” pa said crossin’ his heart and holdin’ his left hand up.

“Hey, that’s the wrong hand!” I said pointin’ an accusing finger at him.

“Oh!” he said trying to make me think that he didn’t know he was use’n the wrong hand. He switched hands and said, “Honest Ingin!”

I exploded with cheers, “I’M GETTIN’ A LICENSE!!!! I’M GETTIN’ A LICENSE!!!!” and I began to dance around the room punchin’ my fists triumphantly into the air.

Laughing, pa called out, “Hey, this ain’t no Hoedown! And it isn’t a real license; you’ll have to wait until you’re sixteen to get the real thing.”

That didn’t matter to me. I knew that with a farmer’s license I would be able to drive on the streets, drive in town, just about anywhere, anytime as long as I was doing stuff for pa and the farm. I remember once Kevin saying that is why he always kept a few bails of hay in the back of his truck. Besides giving his friends and us a place to sit, it also was an easy way for him to say that he was just hauling hay, or going to the market for feed or something like that so that he could drive anywhere he wanted anytime he wanted. Yeah, it was sort of like cheating but it was the good kind of cheating.

I kissed ma softly on the cheek so as not to hurt her. Then I pounced on pa and hugged his neck, “When? When? When?” I asked excitedly.

“Soon as you go get washed up and get your best clothes on.” Pa said.

I was out of their room in the blink of an eye. Pa called after me, “Go fetch your other shoe first before Whiskey gets it and chews it all up!”

I was half way up the stairs already and had to spin around to go get my shoe. It was a good thing too ‘cause Whiskey was already over by it sniffin’ it.

“Oh no you don’t!” I shouted at Whiskey.

Boy I spooked her good! She hadn’t seen me comin’ out of the house so when I shouted at her she tucked her tail and ran into the barn. With shoe in hand I tore up the grass racin’ back to the house.



Two hours later I was sittin’ behind pa’s truck drivin’ us I back to the farm. Seein’ how I had been drivin’ the farm vehicles most of my life, Charlotte-Rose Blackwell, who had known me all my life and that worked at the Town-Hall where licenses are given and who I might add has the biggest hair I ever seen, didn’t make me take the drivin’ test part. She just looked at pa and asked, “Can he drive?”

Now, she knew perfectly well that I could drive and probably better then her and there is a good reason why. She is my ma’s second cousin and I might add that her and my pa absolutely love to hate each other. Putting them in the same room together is like stir’n gasoline with a hot poker. After her husband run off with her sister, Charlotte-Rose was beside herself. It just goes to show that no matter how much they hate each other, my pa was the first one to offer to help get their crops to market. For nearly two straight weeks I drove their tracker all over that little farm listening to the two of them grumbling at each other all the dang time. Since Charlotte-Rose didn’t have no kids to mind the farm, she sold that winter to Mr. Griffith and moved into town where she got a job working in the Town Hall.

I suppose that things got to be done right when you are getting a license to I didn’t much mind her askin’ if I could drive. Pa answered her by simply sayin’, “I recon he could drive before he could walk!”

After that, she had me look into this weird contraption that flashed lil’ green lights all over and I had to say where they was’s flash’n at; then I had to read an eye chart that was hangin’ on the wall behind the counter. I did real good at that; she even said so.

I wasn’t sure what to do when she looked up at me and made a face like I smelled of poo. For half a second I thought maybe I had gone and made a mess in my diaper again but then she asked, “Don’t you want to comb your mop before I take your picture?”

Luckily pa came prepared; he pulled a comb out of his shirt pocket and combed my hair nice and neat for me. I didn’t even complain none when he spit on my head to get my hair to lie down.

Oh yeah, I also had to answer some silly questions like what does it mean when a light is yellow and Charlotte-Rose made me sign my name a bunch of times. The first time I started to sign my name I was so excited and nervous that I started writing Nevada but pa stopped me by thumpin’ me in the back of my head and saying, “Your real name!”

Pa straightened my tie for me and I stood on the spot where Charlotte-Rose told me to stand. Pa kept makin’ faces at me and Charlotte-Rose told him if he didn’t stop she was goin’ to make him wait outside until she was done. I don’t think she really would have done that but it would have been funny watchin’ her chase him out the door.

As we were leavin’ I think I wasn’t even touchin’ the ground as I walked and I think I would have floated right away had pa not had his hand on my shoulder. I was holdin’ my new farmer’s license and lookin’ at it as we walked toward pa’s truck. That’s when pa said, “Hey!” I looked up at him and he tossed me the keys to his truck. “Why don’t you drive us home?”

I clutched them keys so close to me that I think I left a key shape in my chest. When he pulled a stack of phone books out of the bed of the truck I realized that he had planned all along to let me drive home. We had to scoot the seat way up so that I could reach the pedals and that meant that pa had to sit with his knees nearly up to his chin. When I sat down on the phonebooks I felt that familiar squish and knew that I was hawlin’ a load and I don’t mean in the bed of the truck. I was so dang excited to have my own farm license and to be drivin’ pa’s truck that I even if I was wearin’ nothin’ but my diapers I wouldn’t have cared if someone seen.

I ain’t braggin’... well maybe I am just a little, but I drove pa’s truck all the way back to the farm without any trouble at all. A couple of times pa had to tell me to loose up on the steerin’ wheel or I would break it ‘cause I was squeezin’ it so tightly. I guess maybe I was a little nervous and super excited all at the same time.

When I pulled the truck up to the house I think pa and me seen at the same time that Kevin’s pickup truck was back and so was Doc Wilson’s car which was parked halfway into the yard.

Chapter 12

When pa and me seen Kevin’s truck sittin’ there halfway between the house and the barn and the odd way that Doc Wilson’s car was parked we both thought the worst. But I learned a long time ago that sometimes the first things we see ain’t really right. Like lookin’ at a pie, you see the crust on top and you might think it is a nice yummy fruit pie but maybe under that crust there is meat or veggies! That’s just how it was for pa and me. We thought we were lookin’ at a nice fruit pie but we couldn’t have been more wrong.

The first thing that jumped into my head was that somethin’ was wrong with ma or the baby. As it turned out, while we were gone Kevin and his new bride, Meggin, had come home not long after pa and I had left for town. Their timin’ couldn’t have been better ‘cause Kathy had accidentally let the pigs loose and the pigs were runnin’ all over the place. Kathy, Kristen, Kyle-Lee, and Kane were runnin’ all over the place tryin’ to round up the pigs again and weren’t havin’ too much luck at it.

When Kevin and Meggin pulled up and seen what was happenin’ they joined the chase as though they hadn’t been gone at all. I expect that their home comin’ was nothin’ like they had been expecting; not that I know what they were expectin’ but I do know what I was expectin’ it to be like and it was nothin’ like that. Not long after Kevin and Meggin arrived Doc Wilson had stopped by to check on ma again but was blindsided by one of the pigs as he was gettin’ out of his car. He was knocked on his backside, bashed his head against his car and was knocked out cold. Everyone was so busy chasin’ the pigs that they didn’t even realize that Doc Wilson was hurt.

Pa’s huntin’ dog Whiskey had seen him fall and bein’ the good dog that she is had ran over to keep him safe from gettin’ attacked or trampled by one of our pigs. She stood beside Doc Wilson and barked but all her barkin’ did was get the pigs to runnin’ scared even more.

Most people think pigs are gentle animals but the exact opposite is true. They bite hard enough to a pair of leather shoes and if you get your hand to close to them when they’re eatin’ they’ll chomp it right off without givin’ you any warning. Given the chance they can run faster then a grown man and I’ve even seen one run right through a sold wood fence without gettin’ hardly a scratch or get slowed down none.

Karen, who had been inside washin’ clothes, had heard Whiskey barkin’ as well as the pigs squealing and everyone shouting so she went to see what the heck was goin’ on. That is when she seen Doc Wilson lying on the ground with Whiskey sitting beside his head and ran out to make sure the Doc was ok.

When pa and I had returned I didn’t see Doc Wilson layin’ on the ground beside his car with Karen and Meggin kneelin’ beside him but I guess pa could see from his side of the truck ‘cause he threw open his door and jumped out of the passenger side even before we had come to a stop.

“Pa!” I screamed as I panicked and jumped on the break peddle with both feet causin’ the truck to skidded to a stop. I threw the shifter into park just as three of the pigs ran in front of me closely followed by Kristen.

Between the excitement of drivin’ pa’s truck and realizin’ that somethin’ was wrong here at home, any awareness of the condition inside of my diaper had been pushed out of my head. However, when I opened the truck door and started to slide off the phone books a confused and remarkable sensation began to take hold of me as my poop smeared backside slid inside my diaper. It felt like I was movin’ but my diaper and pants were stayin’ in place. When my feet hit the gravel driveway I wanted to run to see what was goin’ on but I had a bit of a situation myself that caused me to hesitate. When I had slid off the phone books and out of the truck the sensation I had felt was the poo as it was squeeze out of the back of my diaper like toothpaste from a tube. With my undershirt and button up shirt tucked into my pants my poo was contained but I could feel it against my back and what was worse, I could smell it now too; that meant everyone else could too. It felt unusually heavy and bulky like I’d been holdin’ it in all day. The smell, well that is difficult to describe; it was like no smell that had ever come out of me before or since. It made me gag and I waved my hand in front of my nose in an attempt to get some breathable air into my lungs.

As I took a couple steps toward the house uncertainty grew with every step; I convinced myself that whatever was goin’ on, it didn’t need me involved. I just wanted to sneak into the house and get changed but that didn’t happen. My stink was overwhelmin’ me and I wondered how somethin’ so horrible could come out of me.

I froze in mid stride when I heard someone shout, “Half-Pint, look out!” The next thing I knew I was bein’ dragged across the gravel with my arms clamped around one of the pigs neck and its ear was slapping me in the face

“I got this one!” I bellowed but in fact I wasn’t even slowin’ the dang pig in the least bit.

“Go Little-Pants, go!” Someone cheered.

When I lost my grip I went tumblin’ head over heals before comin’ to a stop flat on my back inside the pig pin lookin’ up at the sky while laughin’ the whole time.

Kane was the first to get to me, “Holy buckets! Are you ok?” He asked soundin’ amazed, ammused and scared all at the same time.

I was still laughin’ when I said, “Now that is what I call fun!”

At the time I had no idea what pig it was that I’d latched onto but Kevin later told me that I’d been blindsided by the biggest pig we got. She’d drug me quite a ways before I lost my grip on her but I must’a scared her enough ‘cause she had run right back into the pig pin. After that, all the pigs followed her in with a bit of persuasion by pa with his cattle prod. Kane and Kristen had helped me to my feet and the three of went over the fence on the far side of the pin ‘cause the pigs were comin’ in from the other end.

By the time all the pigs were back in the pin everyone, Meggin included, were covered in mud, dirt and grass stains. Kevin was the only one that got hurt. He had a fat lip where one of the pigs had head butted him and Kyle-Lee had ripped up the knees of his pants.

To say that I was dirty would be like sayin’ that Mexico has a lot of Mexicans. I was covered head to toe, top to bottom and everywhere else with pig filth! And I sure didn’t smell like a field of daisies that’s for sure but I was just glad that pig pucky helped to mask my own retched stench. I laughed even more when I realized that my left pants pocket was full of gravel and grass.

“Now how do you suppose that happened?” Kane said trusting his hand into my pocket and pulling out a fist full of pebbles.

I don’t think I stopped laughin’ until the lot of us realized that Doc Wilson had been hurt. He’d hit his head good and Pa and Kevin had to carry him into the house where they laid him on the couch. After a while he woke up but he said he had a whopper of a headache and after restin’ up a bit was laughin’ about the whole thing.

I on the other hand wasn’t allowed into the house as I was told to stand beside the front porch along with Kristen who’d slide on her belly through a pile of poo. Kane and Kyle-Lee took turns hosin’ us down while the two of us stripped down, me to my birthday suit and Kristen to her pink underwear.

I allowed Kristen to go up and take a bath first while I hung my clothes on the wash line and allowed Kane and Kyle-Lee to use them as water cannon targets. They both took great delight in repeatedly shootin’ me over and over again as I hung up my dirty clothes.

“Two points if you get him in the head!” Kane sang and Kyle-Lee squirted me in the face.

“Guys! The clothes not me!” I griped.

“Five points if you get him you know where!” Kyle-Lee cheered and Kane shot me right where it counts.

“GUYS STOOOP!” I whined but I didn’t mean it. Heck, I think that even if it was twenty below and ten feet of snow was on the ground, playin’ with the garden hose and squirtin’ each other would still be fun. Yeah of course it was cold but heck, that is what hot chocolate, fireplaces and warm bathes are for right?

Shiverin’ and teeth chatterin’ I left them to their water games and streaked into the house. Karen was comin’ out of the livin’ room and I quickly asked, “Is Doc Wilson ok?”

“It’s just a goose,” she said dismissively.

Kristen and I ran up the stars skippin’ every other one. I let her go take a hot bath first and went to get something to cover myself up with. The first thing I spotted was a pair of Kane’s underwear. I pulled them on, it felt funny since I hadn’t worn underwear in a while now. I didn’t doddle over those feeling too long; I wanted to race back downstairs to check on Doc Wilson for myself and to show ma my new farm license.

“Wow that is a big goose you got!” I said admirin’ the bump on the back of his head. He shot me a crooked smile and closed his eyes as he rested a towel filled with ice against his throbbin’ welt.

Without openin’ his eyes he said to pa, “When you’re ready to slaughter that pig, you’ll let me have first whack at it won’t ya?”

Pa grinned, “You got it! How about next weekend?”

When Doc Wilson was feelin’ up to it, pa insisted that he drive him home. After a little fussin’ Doc Wilson gave in and pa drove the Doc’s car while Kevin followed them with his own truck.

You know, in the Bible it says that everything works out for the good and I guess now I understand that better now. Durin’ the drive back pa and Kevin got to do a load of talking. You should have seen how relieved Meggin was when the two of them came home laughing.

Pa, Kevin and Meggin spent the better part of that evenin’ talkin’ in pa and ma’s room. The rest of us were curious ‘cause we couldn’t hear nothin’ that was goin’ on inside either so we tried to keep busy to keep from goin’ crazy with the not knowing.

I guess everyone was extra hungry too ‘cause the whole lot of us ate enough for two meals. Karen cooked up a mess of Stew Bake. If’n you don’t know what Stew Bake is, it’s loads of taters, corn, beans, bacon, and whatever other stuff you want to toss into a big fryin’ pan. When it’s almost done you got to pore cornbread batter over the lot of it and shove the whole thing in the stove for a bit. Karen makes it good but ma makes it loads better.



Later, after everyone had gone to bed Kyle-Lee woke me up by pokin’ me in the forehead and asking, “Are you awake?”

“Well I am now!” I grumbled. I’d been havin’ a really nifty dream were I was a secret agent and now I was annoyed that Kyle-Lee had interrupted it.

“I’m hungry,” he said and I couldn’t believe what I was hearing.

“You’re what?” I asked bitterly.

He made a face as if I was the one bein’ bothersome, “Well I don’t know if it is ok to go get a snack or not.” He said.

I rubbed at my eyes, “What are you talkin’ about?”

He pulled my hand impatiently away from my eyes, “What if they are still awake and talking?”

“What—what time is it?” I asked.

It was Kane that answered energetically, “Nearly 1:30!”

“In the morning?” I whined with disbelief.

“Do you think it is ok to go get a snack?” Kane asked.

“Yeah we’re hungry!” Kyle-Lee added.

I was gettin’ really upset now. I mean, that was a really good dream and those two rat-brained buffoons woke me up just to tell me they had a case of the munchies?!

“What are you askin’ me for? It’s not like we’ve never snuck down in the middle of the night!”

I must have been talkin’ louder then I thought because Kyle-Lee pressed his hand against my mouth. Takin’ a page out of Kristen’s book I gave his hand a good chomp. I could tell that it hurt by the way his eyes nearly popped out of his head. He sucked on his bottom lip, pressed his achin’ hand against his thigh and moaned softly.

“Dangit that hurt!” he sniveled.

“Serves you right!” I said softer this time, “Now leave me alone so I can go back to sleep!” I huffed, rolled over and squeezed my eyes tightly closed hopin’ I could continue dreamin’ that same dream. But my brothers weren’t willin’ to let me alone.

“Come with us?” Kyle-Lee pleaded and I could tell by the sound of his voice that he was scared but was tryin’ not to show it.

“Ok but if we get caught I am tellin’ dad that it was your idea!” I said throwin’ off my covers and climbin’ out of bed. My diaper felt a little heavier then it had when I’d gone to bed and I knew I’d already wet in it at least once but wasn’t worried ‘cause I was sure it could take a lot more.

The two of them made me take the lead; they are both such cowards! We crept down the steps and I stopped at the bottom to make sure everyone was indeed in bed; they were. However when I had stopped my stupid brothers kept comin’ down and nearly plowed me over.

“Hey watch it!” I grunted softly.

One of them, I don’t know which, whispered, “It’s so dark!”

“Yeah what were you expecting?” I shot back, “Kevin and Meggin are probably sleepin’ in the other room.”

Back to belly the three of us tiptoed through the dark to the pantry. I knew from experience that if I opened the door too fast that it would squeak so I was careful to open as slowly as possible. Once it was opened I pulled out a jar from the very back of the third shelf from the floor. The third shift is where ma keeps the jars of sweet peaches and I was sure to take it from the back ‘cause those are the freshest ones; plus I figured pa or ma would be less likely to realize that we’d snuck it.

Now typically whenever we sneak a late night snack we’ll smuggle it back up to our room to limit our chances of bein’ caught but for some reason this time we didn’t. Instead the three of us sat down on the kitchen floor knees touchin’ and ate our late night snack under the cover of darkness.

At the time none of us gave any thought to the fact that when we opened the jar it didn’t make that familiar burpin’ sound. It wouldn’t be until days later that we would realize that we hadn’t heard the sound made when the seal is broken between the cannin’ lid and the glass jar.

Without speakin’ we took turns thrustin’ our eager fingers into the jar and pullin’ out a wedge, then quietly slurpin’ it down like a big fat noodle. Once the peaches were gone we took turns sippin’ the juice straight from the jar until we’d drained the very last drop.

Like I said before, we’d done these late night snack raids before and we knew that to keep from havin’ the evidence discovered in the morning we had to take the empty jar back to our room and stash it away were it wouldn’t be found.

I’m not sure what time it was when once again I was awakened but this time it wasn’t my brothers that were waking me up, it was a most perplexin’ feelin’ in the pit of my stomach. It felt like I had two squirrels inside my belly fightin’ for the same acorn. From across the room I heard Kane whimper, “Oooh, I don’t feel so well!”

As I began to move my hands toward my tummy my bottom discharged into my diaper with the force of a hurricane and it sound of a bomb had gone off. I was never so glad to be wearin’ a diaper before and just as I thought I was done a second bomb detonated and I filled my diaper again with hot liquid butt gravy.

I heard Kane poundin’ across the floor past my bed headin’ toward the bathroom and I knew he hadn’t made it when I heard him near the door cryin’ quietly to himself.

“Those dang peaches!” I thought to myself, “They must’a been bad!” and in fact they were. In the dark we had no idea that the jar we had opened was filled with peaches that hadn’t sealed properly and had gone bad in the jar. That’s the thing about peaches, unless you can look at them and see that they are brown you’d never know from the taste whether they were spoiled or not.

Kane must have got the door open slightly before soilin’ himself ‘cause I distinctly heard someone in the bathroom. It sounded like someone was repeatedly dumpin’ buckets of water into the toilet from a great height. And then I heard a moan that could have only come from Kyle-Lee. The sound was deep and forceful as if he were tryin’ to lift a ten-ton bolder over his head.

The hallway light came on momentarily blindin’ me and then I could hear Karen askin’ Kyle-Lee, “Are you alright in there?”

“Oh god Karne! Get dad fast!” Kyle-Lee cried out not even tryin’ to quiet his voice.

Kane must have still been standin’ by the door and I thought that because I could hear what sounded like someone blowin’ bubbles in their milk. I figured he was filling his pajama pants the same as I’d done to my diaper.

Those two squirrels were still fightin’ inside my stomach and as I tried to set upright I began to vomit. I don’t mean just a little spit-up; I mean I hurled with the force of a cannon. If my mouth had been closed I honestly believe I would have blown the front of my face off! It was as if someone had connected a hose to a fire hydrant and shoved the other end up my bottom; I wanted to stop but it kept comin’ out of my mouth!

Pore Kane had been closer to me then I thought and received the full brunt of my stomachs contents. I puked so hard and so long that I remember thinkin’ that I was goin’ to suffocate ‘cause I couldn’t breathe. To top it off, the light in our room came on burnin’ my eyes as I continued to spew peach scented evil onto the kneelin’ body of my youngest brother.

The best that I can figure is that as Kane was tryin’ to run for the toilet a stab of belly pain had caused him to double over and fall to his knees. It was only dumb luck that he happened to fall right were I was about to throw-up everythin’ I have ever ate in my entire life.

As my eyes adjusted to the light and the delouse comin’ from my mouth stopped for the moment, I could see Kane bent over on the floor lookin’ like some sort of mutated blob havin’ just been born. Exhausted I fell back against my pillow gaspin’ for air. The sent of peaches in the air was intense as I lay there with sweat porin’ off of me like I’d just come in our of the rain.

The next thing I new pa was leanin’ over me wipin’ my face, neck and chest with a wet rag. I had just enough time to say, “Pa,” before I again vomited this time all over pa, the floor, my bed, my pillow and myself. Between heaves I was able to catch a glimpse of my follow night-time cupboard raiders. Kyle-Lee was sittin’ upright in bed with a bucket between his legs and his head shoved down inside it. Kane was standin’ at the foot of Kyle-Lee’s bed while Karen pulled a pair of my plastic pants up over the thick cloth diaper he was wearing.

The three of us spend the next few days lyin’ in bed sicker then I think any of us have ever been in our lives. Though none of us remember it, we were told that Doc Wilson had come to see us the followin’ mornin’ despite the enormous, throbbin’ goose-egg he had on the back of his head. I don’t even remember him or anythin’ else for over three days. We later found out that all three of us had a very bad case of food poisoning. We had fevers over 104 and we were mostly cared for by Meggin, Karen and Kathy.

I found it odd that neither Kane nor Kyle-Lee seem the least bit upset when they found out that they had been kept in diapers that whole time. Even after our fevers broke we were too weak to get out of bed and yet they didn’t fuss about havin’ Meggin and our sisters changin’ us. Kyle-Lee took longer to recover than Kane and me. His fever didn’t break until late in the fourth day and only yesterday was he able to hold down some water and a little chicken broth.

In our fevered state we had confessed to sneakin’ down and eatin’ the peaches. I mean why wouldn’t we since our room reeked of peaches and still does to this day. Kyle-Lee seems to think that it was good that we confessed when we were so sick ‘cause pa’d never tan us when we were nearly dying. The more I think about that, the more I think Kyle-Lee is right.

Pa had gone through the pantry and found three more jars of bad peaches. Ma seems to think that maybe she got some bad cannin’ lids this time and to be safe she made pa toss out every jar of peaches from this year. You can bet that I won’t be eating peaches again for a very long time... if ever!

Chapter 13

For the next couple of weeks pa had sworn the entire family including Doc Wilson to secrecy concerning the return of Kevin and Meggin. You might think that was something cruel to do to Meggin’s ma but really it was Mrs. Griffith that asked everyone not to tell Meggin’s pa just yet. I recon that it was a good idea ‘cause if’n Meggin’s pa found out they were back he’d be over here shoot’n off his mouth again and causing all kinds of trouble. What’s worse is if’n he would have caused ma any more grief; seein’ how she’s got more then she can hardly stand right now, pa probably would have shot him or something.

During that first week after they had returned, while Kyle-Lee, Kane and I were in bed sick, Kevin and Pa managed to finish repairing the old farm house and building some furniture too. I ain’t been all the way out to see it but I was told that they plowed a driveway all the way from the old house out to Doglick Road which runs along the east end of our property. I think ma was glad to have something to do as well as the company of Meggin too. Along with Karen the three of them sowed curtains and blankets and knitted an afghan for their bed for this winter.

That first Saturday pa invited Doc Wilson and his wife as well as Nugget and his parents over for a pig roast. Of course I insisted that Basset come too ‘cause he’s more like a friend then just their driver.

Sure enough pa let Doc Wilson kill the pig that had knocked him down the previous week. Well, no one really knows which one done it but that don’t matter much. I expect that cutting one of the pigs’ throats made the Doc’s head feel better ‘cause he seemed to ejoy it... maybe even a little too much. They killed the pig early Saturday before the sun was all the way up. Then with Kevin’s help they dropped it in the ground behind the house, covered it with a piece of corigated of metal and about a foot of dirt on top of that. It was left in the ground to cook all day.

It turned out to be the last kinda warm day we would have this year. Ma, who had been suffering from a bad case of cabin fever, was allowed out of bed to come out and join us but only after sweet-talking Doc Wilson. Actually, he seemed to think it was a good idea as long as she kept covered and didn’t exert herself any. Pa even fired up the barbeque to cook up a mess of corn on the cob and taters.

Now you might recall that I said Kane, Kyle-Lee and me didn’t get any licks from pa for the whole late night peaches incident but we didn’t get totally away with it. Seeing how we had been so sick the best that we could hold down was water and a bit of plain toast dipped in chicken broth. So while everyone else was eating roasted pig and grilled corn on the cob me and my two younger diapered brothers were forced to sit at ma’s feet sipping chicken broth through straws and chewing on plain dry crackers. It was torture watching everyone else eating pork, corn, taters and apple pie. And I think Karen might have done it on purpose ‘cause she baked a peach pie too.

Ma was sitting under the big oak tree talking with Meggin and Mrs. Goldberg while watching Pa, Kevin, Doc Wilson and Mr. Goldberg playin’ Horseshoes with Kristen sitting atop Bassets shoulders keeping a close eye on pa so he didn’t cheat like he tries to do when he’s playing against us.

I suppose that Kane, Kyle-Lee and me were feeling a little better; I guess it was the fresh air that done it. Anyway, we felt good enough to stir up a little trouble. Actually, it was Nugget’s idea to do what we done and boy it was a good idea too!

While no one was lookin’ Nugget snatched Basset’s pipe from out of his jacket pocket. He had left his jacket hangin’ on a broken tree branch so it weren’t hard to sneak off with it. It was my job to act as lookout and warn them if someone was looking or coming over. While Nugget was knocking all the tobacco out of Basset’s pipe Kane and Kyle-Lee picked up a few fallen leaves from the ground around us and passed them to Nugget who then carefully repacked the bowl using the leaves. He pressed them down with his finger just the way we’d seen the Basset do it earlier. When that was done, Nugget took the pipe and placed a thin layer of real tobacco over the top. It was all any of us could do to keep from laughing while we watched him work. Kyle-Lee insisted on being the one to replace the pipe in Basset’s jacket pocket, and as he was doing it Ma and Mrs. Goldberg seen him. They must’a guessed what we were up to and I thought for sure we were about to get yelled at but instead ma bit her lip to keep from smiling. She then looked at Mrs. Goldberg who nodded toward Kyle-Lee and they both looked away as if they were giving us their blessing to pull the prank on Basset. I was so glad ma didn’t get all upset; I would have felt really bad if something happened to her or the baby ‘cause we got her upset.

The four of us sat there trying not to look guilty while waiting for the end of the game. The whole lot of us were in this together now, including Ma and Mrs. Goldberg. By allowing ourselves to be, we had got them mixed up in our little prank.

The players came back over, Kevin thumping Mr. Goldberg on the back and congratulating him on a well played game. “Great game!” he announced to everyone.

“Don’t think we could have asked for a more beautiful afternoon!” Mr. Goldberg added.

“Yeah and that pig,” Mrs. Goldberg said licking the tips of her fingers. She looked at me kind of odd and made me wonder if she and ma knew about the pipe too. I was sure they hadn’t seen, I mean we were real careful... but then again.

Ma patted her big belly and said, “I think the twins enjoyed them most.”

“TWINS?” Kevin shouted as he was sitting down next to Meggin. He was so shocked that he missed the lawn chair and fell over backward. Everyone laughed so hard.

Pa, still laughing at Kevin, said, “Of course your ma isn’t having twins!” and then turning to ma he asked with concern, “You’re not having twins right?” He then looked at Doc Wilson, “Tell her she can’t have twins!”

“Oh dear you’re so funny!” ma said dryly.

Kane made the grossest comment, “I bet the baby comes out covered in barbeque sauce!” and then laughed. You should have seen Mrs. Goldberg’s face. I thought she was going to be sick right then and there.

As pa was heading for the lawn chair next to ma he reached down and with one hand snatched Kane off the ground and dropped him on his lap after he was seated. Kane giggled with joy, “Hey, that was fun!”

Ma said, “Oh honey, don’t get him all sickly again!”

Pa poked Kane in the nose with a single finger and jokingly said, “You puke on me again and I’ll tan your hide and hang it on the back of the barn next to your little brother!”

I ain’t sure if Kane was acting or if he forgot that quickly about the pipe but at any rate he pushed pa’s hand away from his nose and cuddled up to pa with he head nuzzled under pa’s chin. It took nearly a full minute before Kane rose back up and squeeled, “I ain’t got a younger brother!”

Kathy laughed, “Took him long enough!”

The suspense was getting to Nugget and he was beginning to crack. He was sitting closet to pa and began to giggle quietly. Pa tickled Nugget’s ribs with the toe of his boot and said, “How about I cover you in barbeque sauce and drop on you in pig pin?” to which Basset replied, “No, they still wouldn’t eat something that’s as ugly as him!”

Nugget sprang up and launched himself at Basset but Mr. Goldberg caught him in mid air, spun him like a baton before tossing him over to Kevin.

“Don’t give him to me; I don’t won’t him! He smells like barbeque sauce and grape Kool-Aid!” Kevin teased.

Nugget scrambled away from Kevin and sat back down on the ground, this time on my other side away from pa’s foot and everyone else’s reach.

While all this was going on those of us involved in the conspiracy were watching Basset out of the corner of our eyes. I thought Kyle-Lee had given us away when Basset reached for his pipe and Kyle-lee gasped with anticipation.

Half a dozen pairs of eyes watched him intently. Not a one of us so much as giggled or made a peep to give Basset any clue that he was about to be prank. My legs began to tremble with expectancy and a good deal of suspense was caused by the fact that none of us knew just how he was going to react.

Out of consideration of ma and the baby Basset walked over to the furthest tree, about twenty feet downwind before he struck the match. He held the flame over the bowl and sucked. The tobacco on top ignited and glowed and Basset’s head was enveloped in a cloud of blue smoke.

“Ahhh!” he sighed, blowing smoke through his nostrils. “There’s nothing like a good pipe after a good meal and a good game of Horseshoes.”

Still we waited. We could hardly bear the suspense. Meggin, who evidently knew what we’d done, couldn’t bear it at all and asked with superb innocence, “What sort of tobacco do you put in that thing.

“Captain Black!” Basset answered proudly, “It’s the best there is. Folks will smoke all sorts of disgusting scented tobaccos, but not me!”

“I didn’t know they had different flavors,” Meggin went on.

When I glanced over at ma she looked like she was about to bust at any second. I knew for sure then that they had seen us and seemed to be enjoying it as much as we were. I knew she felt; it was exciting and funny at the same time.

“Oh yes, of course they do!” Basset said giving his pipe another puff. “All tobaccos are dissimilar to one with a discerning palate. Captain Black is refreshing and nothing short of breathtaking.” Basset was yapping on but that didn’t much matter ‘cause I wasn’t really listening to him, I was just watching and waiting for him to take another puff or two.

Karen had come over, settled beside me putting her arm around my shoulders and snuggling her cheek against mine. I was so keyed in on Basset that I forgot she was beside me so when she whispered into my ear, “Do you need changed?” I jumped ‘cause her breath tickled the inside of my ear. I shrugged her off with the jerk of my shoulder and whispered, “Not now!”

And then Basset lifted the pipe to his lips once more and all of a sudden he let go a howl and began to jump around like his britches were on fire. His pipe shot from his mouth and landed a couple yards away. Basset began to cough and thump his chest all the while still jumping up and down like an overgrown bunny. His face was all screwed up like he was trying to poop out a sharp pointy rock or something.

“What in tarnation?” Doc Wilson shouted and rushed over to offer aid by thumping him on the back. I don’t know what thumping him like that was supposed to do but from the look of it, it seemed to just make things worse.

The whole lot of us stared at Basset spellbound and about to burst.

Basset somehow found the ability to cry out, “I’m on fire inside!” before sputtering into a fit of coughing.

Pa musta known something was up ‘cause he went over, picked up the pipe and sniffed it.

“Deep breaths, deep breaths!” Doc Wilson said over Bassets coughing.

Basset fell against the tree and breathed in deep breaths of autumn air and in another minute or so he was on the mend.

“What on earth caused all that?” Doc Wilson asked.

“Think I know,” Pa said looking right at us and holding up the pipe.

“What was in my pipe?” Basset asked going over and snatching it away from pa. He tapped the contents out and sniffed. “LEAVES!” he said looking at Nugget.

Nugget squeeled with delight, “He’s figured it out! Run!”

Well seeing how sickly Kane, Kyle-Lee and I had been and the fact that we’d not had a decent meal in nearly a weeks time, we were in no shape to walk let alone run. Like a fox after a squirl Basset took off after Nugget.

“Run Nugget, RUUUNNNN!” I shouted.

Of course Basset didn’t catch Nugget. He was still suffering from sucking down the smoke from them leaves to try running too much.

Before Basset came back over ma suggested we head back up to our room to, ‘REST’ and we sure didn’t waste no time at all getting the heck out of there. All the way into the house we were laughing and falling all over each other.

Not long after Nugget came storming up the stairs and into our room. “Hide me!” he cried and that’s just what we did.

Basset came in about the time the three of us had gotten into bed, “Did he come in here?” he asked looking like he wanted Nuggets head on a plate. We innocently shook our heads and from half-way down the steps we heard him call out, “You got to sleep sometime you little...”

Too keep Basset from getting Nugget I asked ma and pa if Nugget could sleep over and they said yes. Mr. Goldberg thought it was probably a good idea and laughed when he said to Nugget, “Top notch show son! Top notch!”


Chapter 14

One funny thing happened a little while after our guests had left. Karen had come upstairs to see if I needed changed, which I most certainly did. Nugget was reclinin’ on my bed and I was sittin’ near the foot of my bed. Karen looked at Nugget and said, “Unless you want diapered too you better get.”

At first Nugget didn’t move; I think he might have been shocked by her comment, or maybe he just wanted to be diapered like my two younger brothers and me. Whatever it was that caused him to hesitate was gone the second she moved toward him with a diaper in hand. With a fear filled cry he bounded off my bed and out the bedroom door like his backside was on fire.

I laughed through the whole diaper change and when he returned Nugget confessed that he thought she was really goin’ to do it.

Kyle-Lee told him, “Well, she probably would have too.”

And Kane who had been quietly reading a comic book added, “Yeah, you were smart to run.”

I felt that I needed to add a bit of silliness into the heavy moment so I said, “Yeah and screaming like a girl as you ran away was a nice touch.” I got two punches in the arm for saying it.

Whispering he asked me, “How can you stand havin’ your sisters do that to you? Isn’t it embarrassing?”

“Don’t bother me none!” I said and he climbed back onto the bed.

“But you know what really bothers me?” I added once he was comfortable.

“What?” he said.

“Your face!” I joked.

All four of us laughed.

Nugget and I began readin’ a book which we have to do a report on for school next week. The book is called ‘Father Martini’s Children’. It’s about this Italian monk that rescued hundreds of Jewish kids durin’ World War II by smugglin’ them through a tunnel under his church. At the end Father Martini was caught and executed and his church was burned to the ground. Since the book has 317 pages we both figured it would be so dang borin’ and we had been puttin’ off readin’ it.

Before we started readin’ I honestly felt at the time that I could have found somethin’ else to occupy my time like counting each rock on our property. But Nugget convinced me that we really needed to get it read. Especially since our book report was due next week. About halfway into the first chapter we both started to like it and didn’t want to stop reading. We even got in trouble ‘cause we were sittin’ up in my room readin’ the book even after pa had asked us to help wash dishes. When pa came back and we were still readin’ he said it was good to be readin’ but there is a time for readin’ and a time for working. He then said, “You had best put the book down and get busy or else.” Well, we could guess what ‘or else’ meant so we slammed the book closed and got downstairs fast. However, as soon as the dishes were washed, dried and put away Nugget and I returned to my room and the book. That’s where we stayed the rest of the day.



Nugget and I didn’t know it at the time but we later learned that Saturday evenin’ Pa, Kevin, Meggin and Mr. and Mrs. Griffith met at the church to have a sit down with our Pastor.

Ma was so upset that she couldn’t go but Doc Wilson had put his foot down on that one. You should have heard him spoutin’ off, “No! No! A thousand times no! The world was spinning long before you came down from heaven to take bodily form and the world will continue to spin long after you have returned to Abraham’s bosom!” It didn’t make a whole lot of sense to me but he went on and on like that until ma promised that she wouldn’t try to trick pa or anyone else into takin’ her to the church.



The two of us were up very, very late finishin’ the book. Yeah we should have been sleepin’ but we just couldn’t stop readin’; that’s how good the book was. A few times I got ahead of him readin’ and a few times he got ahead of me; when that happened we would bug the other to, “Hurry up, will ya!” We were careful to keep our voices soft and low and stayed under the covers of my bed with a flashlight while we finished the book. As soon as we both finished readin’ we began talkin’ about how we would go about writin’ the report.

Eventually we found ourselves lyin’ side by side on my bed tellin’ each other silly jokes and smotherin’ ourselves with the pillow to keep from bein’ heard giggling. Nugget kept pullin’ his artificial hand off and doin’ the weirdest things with it. He would stick one of the fingers in his nose, or in my nose. Once he took it and stuffed it down the front of my pajama pants and inside my diaper. It was funny but weird too. I guess that’s why Nugget and me get along so well, we’re both so weird that we don’t care that the other is weird.

I don’t know what time it was that we actually fell asleep but I’m guessin’ it was around two or three in the morning, maybe even later than that.

I was awakened again because my bed was shaking. At first I thought maybe I was dreamin’ but then I realized that I couldn’t move and remembered that Nugget was in bed with me. He was lyin’ on the left side of my bed and had his arm and leg draped overtop of me. His whole body was shakin’ like he had been out in the cold.

“Nugget,” I said softly but he didn’t respond so I gave him a soft elbow in the stomach, “Nugget wake up!”

Only his right eye opened, the other was still buried in my pillow. I don’t think he knew where he was or why he was seein’ me but then he got this really upset look on his face and leaped out of my bed as fast as he could. He ran right out of the room and of course I followed him ‘cause I was worried that somethin’ was really wrong.

He tried to close the bathroom door before I could get in too. “No, don’t come in!” he whispered with a sense of urgency and fear in his few words.

“What’s the matter?” I asked.

“N-nothing! Go back to bed, please!” he pleaded.

I pushed the door open as I said, “Nugget come on; it’s just me!”

He was keepin’ his back to me and at first I thought he was cryin’ but that wasn’t it.

“Please let me alone?” he sounded like he was pleadin’ for his life.

I reached out to touch him but he shrunk away.

“Come on, I am your best friend you can tell me what’s wrong! And I promise I won’t laugh or nothin’ like that.”

He sighed hard and turned, standin’ with his arms down to his side. I reached out and flicked on the bathroom light. As I did he tried to say, “No don’t!” but it was too late the light was on.

We both rubbed at our eyes tryin’ to get use to the brightness and then that’s when I seen it. The front of the pajama pants he was wearing, which were Kyle-Lee’s pajamas, had an obvious wet spot.

Really, I didn’t see any reason for him to be so worked up over wettin’ the bed just a little. I mean he has known that I wet and that I wear diapers. Heck, he’s even seen Kyle-Lee and Kane in diapers this past week and up close yesterday so I couldn’t see what the big deal was.

“So ya peed a little!” I said with a shrug, “It’s ok, I won’t tell!”

He shook his head and spoke so softly that I could barely hear him, “... not pee.”

“Huh?” I grunted.

Without lookin’ at me he explained that he had been havin’ a dream about this girl from school. “It was a dirty dream.” He said softer still.

At first I didn’t get it but then he gave details about the dream and I started to feel sick in my belly. At least I think I was feelin’ sick, except it wasn’t really a sick feeling... more like I had a belly full of grain moths.

Nugget finally looked up at me and frustrated asked, “A wet dream? You know what that is right?”

I shook my head.

He seemed very uncomfortable as he illustrated it for me. “When stuff comes out of your—you know what—while you are dreaming?”

I shook my head again. Not because I didn’t get it, ‘cause I finally got it; no I was shakin’ my head ‘cause nothin’ like that had ever happened to me... thank God!

“Does it happen a lot?” I asked without even knowin’ I had thought it.

He nodded.

“A lot?” I continued to probe.

He nodded again.

That feelin’ in my belly was growin’ and I probably shouldn’t have asked him but I did anyway, “Does it feel good?”

He looked up again and grinned sheepishly while nodding, “Yeah”.

“You never had that happen?” he asked me.

I shook my head as I said, “Never!”

“Basset said that it happens to everyone sooner or later.” Nugget said and blushed.

Surprised by that statement I asked, “Basset said that?”

And then I started to wonder what girl at school could make Nugget act this way and I just had to know. “Why were you dreaming about.”

He got quiet again.

“Come on tell me!” I said.

“No, better not.” He said sheepishly.

“Nugget you best tell me or I am going to...” I jokingly shook a fist at him.

He actually smiled just a little. “Promise you won’t laugh or tell?” he finally said.

“I promise.” I answered.

“Cross your heart and hope to die.” He added.

“Grrrrrr!” I growled like a bear at him and he smiled just a bit wider.

“Ok, well I sort of lied.” He looked up at me to see how I was reacting but I was just standing there listening. “It wasn’t a girl from school that I was dreaming about.”

“Who then?” I said nearly on the tips of my toes with excitement.

“Karen,” he said softly.

“Karen who?” I asked.

“Your sister you dope!” he said thumping himself on the head.

I slapped both of my hands over my mouth in shock. “Oh my... You ... I mean, her ... I mean ... You like my sister?” I squeeled from behind my hands.

“Hey, you promised you wouldn’t laugh!” he said.

“Yeah but that was before you said you like my sister!” I giggled.



Once Nugget had calmed down and I’d promised never to tell a soul the two of us tiptoed back to bed. Neither one of us said another word to each other. I think we were both feelin’ too uncomfortable.

After we lay there for a good while Nuggets quietly asked, “Are you still awake?”

“Yeah,” I whispered back.

Nugget moved his mouth closer to my ear and asked, “Can I ask you something?”

“Sure!” I said.

I knew he was right by my ear ‘cause I could feel his hot breath as he asked, “Do you think God will send me to hell?”

How do you answer somethin’ like that? I mean how am I supposed to know what God thinks about wet dreams. After lyin’ there thinkin’ for a few seconds I finally answered, “Yeah probably.” for which I received a firm elbow in the ribs. We both laughed quietly and soon afterward we both tried to fall back to sleep.

That’s when we heard my pa screamin’ up the stairs, “Kids get up! Get up! The barn’s on fire!”

Everyone, even those of us that had been so sick for the past week jumped out of bed, ran down the steps and outside. The barn wasn’t blazin’ yet but it was belchin’ grey smoke and flames were lickin’ out the side window closest to the house.

Pa was shoutin’ to get the water hose and buckets. There was a loud crashin’ sound inside the barn and our cow could be seen runnin’ away from the barn. She must have kicked her way out of her stall to escape the fire.

Within ten minutes the whole barn was lit up on the inside and every window and door had flames shootin’ out.

From the direction of the old house, now Kevin and Meggin’s home, we saw lights flashin’ off and on. Minute later we all realize it was Kevin drivin’ his truck like a wild man behind the wheel. He had seen the flames and rushed to help but the fire was already more then we could deal with.

By the time the fire men arrived it was too late, the barn was completely engulfed in flames. Pa and Kevin were shoutin’ at everyone to get back and we did just as the gas used in the tractor exploded. It felt like someone kicked me in the chest when the gas went and nearly knocked me over. It did knock Kathy and Nugget on their backsides.

At first the firemen tried to put the fire out, but with all the hay in there they quickly realized that they were fightin’ a loosin’ battle. Instead they focused on the house, hosin’ it down with water to keep it from gettin’ too hot and catchin’ on fire too.

Pa, Kevin and one of the fire fighters had gone into the house to get ma out and bring her to a safe distance.

Later I found out that fireman was none other than Uncle Billy-Ray. He’s not really our uncle but we call him that ‘cause he’s just like family. When Billy-Ray was about my age he nearly drowned and it was my pa, his best friend that saved his life.

There was nothin’ any of us could do but watch the fire. It seemed to burn for the longest time and when it finally fell in on itself I looked around to see that everyone was cryin’ except for me and Nugget. Kane and Kristen were sobbin’ hard and holdin’ onto ma who was cryin’ probably the hardest.

So many people we know from around here seen the fire and rushed over to help. Meggin’s pa and ma were the first to arrive, even before the firemen came. The Hawthorn family that runs the junk yard came right behind the fire truck. Out of everyone that came, they live the furthest away and said they first heard the fire truck and when they looked out they seen the horizon lit up like a birthday cake.

It took until well after the sun was up for the firemen to put out the fire but it still smoked and popped for more than two days after that. Pa’s truck was parked close enough that the whole driver’s side was burned and the tires melted. Under the hood all the hoses and belts and things were melted too. Funny thing was, inside the truck nothin’ at all was burned or melted except for the door panel and part of the dashboard. The tractor burned up in the barn as did all our chickens and all but one of our pigs.

It wasn’t until nearly lunch time on Sunday when Kevin and Kathy came walkin’ our cow back home that anyone realized that Whiskey was no where to be seen. As Kevin was comin’ up on the porch pa asked him, “Did you take Whiskey with ya?”

“No, just Kathy,” he answered, his words trailin’ off at the end. And that’s when the lot of us realized what pa had already figured out. Whiskey must have been in the barn to stay warm and was burned up too.



Well, somethin’ else had happened about the time the firemen were gettin’ the fire under control. With a wail that got every last person’s attention ma started to have pains and everyone knew that the baby was coming.

Mrs. Hawthorn, who’s nearly as old as God and probably the nicest lady I know ‘cause she always has candy in her purse and lets us sneak some durin’ church. She had been kneelin’ next to ma when the baby decided it was ready to come out. Mrs. Hawthorn told Kevin, pa and her son, Jed to pick ma up and carry her back into the house. All the rest of us could do was watch the firemen finish puttin’ out the fire and stand around cryin’ and feelin’ useless while ma screamed inside.

Mrs. Hawthorn, Mrs. Griffith and Karen took care of ma and helped to deliver my new baby brother. When we heard the baby cryin’ everyone started to cheer and hug on each other. It was Karen that ran out to shout, “It’s a boy!” and the firemen all cheered along with everyone else.



Just about the time that church is usually lettin’ out on Sunday the most incredible thing began to happen. Meggin’s pa returned pullin’ a horse trailer behind his pickup. In it were four beautiful pigs, two he gave to pa and two he offered to Kevin and Meggin. It was plain that Mr. Griffith was still sore about Kevin sneakin’ off with his daughter but he was tryin’ real hard to do right by them. Also in the bed of his truck were at least two dozen bails of hay. That wasn’t it; also in the trailer were six sacks of feed grain and two enormous sacks of oats.

Not much longer after Mr. Griffith had brought all that, a parade of church goers, friends and other town folks started arrivin’ one after the other. They brought chickens, turkeys, hay, straw, feed, seeds, tools and more food then we could eat in three winters.

The Pastor hadn’t preached a sermon, he had got up in front of the congregation and told them what had happened durin’ the night and then dismissed everyone. He didn’t say for everyone to go get stuff and bring to us; he didn’t tell them to do anythin’. Everyone just did it on their own out of the goodness within them.

Shortly before suppertime is when Nuggets ma and pa came to get Nugget. Since Nugget had slept over that night they had decided to take advantage and went to some fancy place; just the two of them. They had also given Basset the day off so it wasn’t until well into the evening before they found out what had happened.

I think Mr. and Mrs. Goldberg were the most concerned out of everyone that came and it wasn’t so much for Nugget but for all of us. I mean they were worries about Nugget but they also not satisfied until they got to see for themselves that each and every one of us were completely unharmed.

It was Mrs. Goldberg that asked ma the question that everyone else had somehow managed to not think to ask up until that very second.

“What’s his name?” she asked while takin’ the baby from ma and holdin’ him in her arms lovingly.

Pa smiled so dang big I thought his face was goin’ to split in half crossways. “Philip!” pa said proudly.

Nearly everyone in the room gasped with disbelief.

“But that doesn’t start with the letter K!” Kristen objected.

Ma swatted at pa, “Stop teasing!”

Pa laughed, “I’m only kidding! His name is Kole Ross Doctavio!”

All the girls squealed.

“Oh I love it!” Karen said.

“Kole with a K, that’ so beautiful!” Kathy added.

“I bet you don’t even know how to spell Kole?” Kyle-Lee said to Kathy. She just shot him a mean look and then ignored him.

“Does this mean I am not the littlest no more?” Kane asked a little too loudly.

“You are not the baby of the family. Now you’re a big brother too.” Kevin said messin’ up Kane’s hair.

Kane thrust his fists triumphantly into the air and cheered, “YEAH!”

“Shush! You’ll wake the baby!” Kevin said puttin’ a hand over Kane’s big mouth.

I went up to the baby, touched Kole’s tiny little hand and he grabbed a hold of my finger. “Boy he’s strong.” I commented.

“Hi there Kole,” I said softly to him, “I’m your big brother Kristian.”

It was Nugget that started singin’ softly, “Happy Birthday to you! Happy Birthday to you!” and the rest of us softly joined in, “Happy Birthday dear Kole! Happy Birthday to yooouuuuu!”



The End

Post Reply