While Robert and Will are putting the things away, discussing ways how to get off the farm they gathered the rest of the items needed for EJ’s, Mr. Scarecrow.Not realizing Pa’s was right behind them. “Robert we need a pair of overalls and a shirt then I think we got it,” counting off the items, one straw hat, Pa's overalls and old work shirt that he never wears. “That should do it.” Boys tossing them into their bedroom closet, Pa quickly ducks around the corner. “Robert got any ideas how we are going to sneak EJ out of the house tonight?” He asked.
“Not yet, still working on it? How about you Will? Have any ideas how we are going to get there?” Robert asked.
“I got an idea, buts it risky, and kinda gutsy.The pickup would make too much noise and Pa would notice it. I was thinking of busting Richard out too and taking the horses out. But it will take all of us to do it if I can get him to go along with it.” Will said.
“Will, you do realize if Ma finds out EJ and Richard are missing she gona go through the roof, kill us then and skin us for breakfast,” he said.
“I know, I know but think of EJ. Let’s do it for him, besides. It would be fun.”
Pa sneaked back to the bathroom as he waited for his boys to leave the bedroom. Chuckling too himself. “They are right if their Ma finds out, she will skin them alive. I think they might need a little help from the man and the moon to pull this one off, and better make sure the horses are well rested to.”
“There you are Pa? Ma’s looking for you,” Julie said seeing Pa hiding in bathroom.
“Just washing up for lunch,” he said as he turned on the water grabbing a fresh towel from behind. “Need something dear?” Pa asked.
“She just was wondering where you went. She had a question about something that's all,” Julie said.
“Oh, be right there in a minute.” He said as Julie looked at him as if he was up to something, giving him an odd look. Pa turned off the water and hung up the towel went into the kitchen. “Martha was there something you needed?” He asked.
“Yes Wayne. I was just wondering about the boys,” she said. “They kinda dragging bit. I think they need to rest from working so hard, take a day off. You worked them pretty hard yesterday.”
Pa looked over at the boys seeing them rubbed his chin, thinking to himself. They look like more deep in thought then tired. Not going let the cat out of the bag.
“You are right Martha. They do look tired; let’s give them a day off, heck lets give everyone a day off. You been cooking up a storm for two days,” he said as he opened up the fridge. “Let’s have some lunch and I tell you what we are going to do.” He said as Pa went outside to gather all the buckets and potatoes sacks, floor sacks, and sets them by the side of the house. He went back inside the house too changes his clothes to simple farmer clothes removing his shoes, just slipping on his shorts and overalls and walks into the kitchen. “Martha is lunch ready?” He asked.
Martha looked at him from head to toe, “what are you up to?” She asked.
“I told you we are all taking a day off, I’ll explain during lunch,” he said.
Ma and Pa sat down at the table, everyone stared at Pa, Pa laughed, “I have announcement to make,” standing up. “After lunch today… I’m declaring the rest of the day fun day. We are taking a day off except from our normal chores of course, but those are fair game too as long as they get done and the animals don't suffer,” he said.
“What do mean Pa by fair game?” They all asked.
Pa just simply stands and up with a glass of water and poured it over Roberts head. Then takes another and poured another over Richards. “That’s what I mean boys, hurry up finish your lunch, the buckets are outside and you might want change your clothes, you to Ma.” As he walked over and emptied her glass over her head as she squealed watching water running down her face and the back of her neck, everyone laughed at the table.
The boys and girls gobbled their food down very fast, raced down the hall to their rooms to change. It was a mad house; the only one left in the house standing was poor Richard, but that didn't last long. Because Ma shoved him out the door with washtub of water "Splash.” Then Pa picked her up kicking and scream, "don't you dare" and drenched her good. Then she was chasing him around the farm with a bucket of her own. Pretty soon everyone had buckets in their hands chasing each other drenching each other. Pa carried EJ under his arms Robert with a bucket in his hand. Richard for the first time since he was on the farm was laughing his guts out; chasing Danny and Sam with his bucket of water.
Everyone soaked to the bone, mud in their hair, nobody cared. They were so tired they fell to ground laughing rolling top of each other. Then the tickling began they laughed so hard they had tears in their eyes, EJ ribs would hurt for days. Pa tied their legs together for the leg races and potato sack races. Then the best part came when he laid out the rules of no rules of chores wars. He separated the girls up with the little ones with buckets and the boys with theirs.
The one that came back the wettest lost if there really was loser in the game at all and chores hand to be done. So the boys headed off towards barn too do their chores with their buckets in hand keeping a close look out for the girls. The girls in the opposite direction was doing the same, while Pa and Ma watched from the porch with anticipation on their faces to see who was going to get it first.
The boys did their first chore and did a sneak attack around the chicken coop. Robert climbing on top of the roof, Richard handing him the bucket. Will on the other side of the door, Richard on other. EJ standing up in front so they think he was alone. When they came out as soon as the door opened "hello" Splash" Splash" Splash" and they got them good and ran, Richard grabbed EJ headed back to the barn laughing all the way.
Pa slapped his knee laughing to beat all, Ma turned to him. “Now that wasn't fair, they were tricked,” she said. This time it was the girls turn as they watched them climb the hay loft with Danny and Sam waiting for the boys too come out. As soon as all four boys came out of the barn. They empted their buckets right over their heads "Splash" Splash " Splash" Splash" Ma punched Pa in the arm, “now that was fair,” she said as she squeals with laughter.
All the buckets dry and both sides soaked. Ma and Pa hands them each a towel, with smiles on all their faces. They scoot them into the house to change their clothes for dinner. Pa went out to the barn going over the horses as he checked their shoes and the wagon. Making sure everything is prepared for boys sneak out ride. By adding few extra quilts under the seat for EJ and extra hay to soften his ride.
Leaving the barn Pa looked towards the house, he chuckled thinking about what his boys are about to do. Then headed back into the house thinking how was he going to help them get out of the house without their Ma knowing about it and them knowing he knows all about it to? He smiles remembering Indian tepee. “They don't have to sneak out if they are all ready outside,” he said to himself. He went into the house, “Martha what are you doing?” Watched her start dinner as she washed vegetables in the sink and setting a roast into a pan.
“Fixing dinner dear,” she said looking at him like he fell out of a tree.
“I told you we are all taking a day off dear.” Pa said as he looked into the fridge. Pa pulled out some steaks some potatoes and rolls and throwing them on counter and some more leftovers. “Now put that away dear, we are eating out Martha, I'll go start a fire.”
Martha looked at him. “Have you lost your mind, outside?” She said.
“Why not? Its nice night out,” he replied.
“All right dear if you say so.” Thinking what is he up too now? Pa walked down the hall towards the boy's room chuckled before going in. “Robert, Will how would boys like to sleep outside tonight under the stars? You to EJ,” he said.
Robert and Will looked at Pa, “are you kidding Pa?” They asked.
“Grab your sleeping bags and mattress for EJ and set them up out back while I build a fire for dinner. We are roughing it tonight and grab one for Richard too,” he said.
Pa closed the door. “Three down two too go, now how to kick Richard out the door and keep their Ma in.” Pa headed down to Richards room, “Richard?”
“Yes sir?” Richard said drying his hair as set on the bed.
“I need you to do me a favor,” he said then sat on the bed next to him.
“I want you to do what ever Will and Robert asks you to do tonight, I don't care how crazy it sounds, you just do it?”
Richard looked at him for a minute thinking how much fun he had today; things aren't as bad as he thought they were. “All right sir, I'll do it, but if they ask me to be dressed like Indian sir. I won't do it,” he said.
Mr. Downing laughed. “To bad son… I was just about to make you a loincloth,” then headed on back down the hall.
Robert, Will sets up their sleeping bags outside the back of the house. “Will, you don't think Pa knows anything?”
“About what?” He asked.
“You know, us trying to sneak out,” he replied.
“No way, he just thought we like to spend the night out here that's all. If he knew, do you think he let’s us do this?” Robert asked.
“I guess you are right, he’d kill us and ground us for a lifetime maybe two lifetimes,” Will said.
“I'll go grab our pillows off the bed and start bring out the you know what from the closet. While you set up EJ mattress,” Will said.
Ma calls around the corner of the house for Julie. “Julie, will you tell the boys that dinner almost ready?” Julie looked towards the table seeing it empty, Ma carrying and setting food on a tray.
“Ma do you need me to set the table?” Julie asked.
“No Julie, there's a quilt outside. We’re roughing it tonight around the campfire.” Julie looked at Ma as if she had fallen out of a tree. “It was your Pa's idea, now go find your sister and the boys,” she said.
“Yes Ma,” Julie said and headed on down the hall to find the boys in their room. Seeing Robert with their pillows in his hand, “Ma says dinner is just about ready, we are eating outside tonight.Robert where you going with those?” She asked.
“Oh Pa told us we could sleep under the stars tonight, the four of us cool ha,” he said.
Robert walked on down the hall with his loot inside the pillowcase, heads out the door.
Julie smiled. “Outside, the boys are going to be outside tonight,” and giggled. “Need to find Anna. Oh there she is coming out of the bathroom.Anna?” she called,
“Yes Julie?” She said.
“Are up to having some fun with boys?” she asked leaning against the bathroom door.
“Always,” she said placing the boys dirty clothing into the hamper and empties the tub.
“I just found out they are spending the night outside tonight,” Julie said.
Anna looked towards Richard room. “Do think he will be out there to?” She asked.
“I think so, Robert said the four of us,” she said.
Anna eyes go wide. “Well then. I still have some those feathers from last time and we can get Danny and Sam too help to,” as they giggled. “This going to be fun.”
Julie leaving Anna with their mischievous plan of their own heads on down to Richard room and knocks on his door; “Ma says dinner is just about ready Richard,” then handing his pillow. “Take this with you Richard, the boys and you are sleeping outside tonight,” she said giggling and walked out the door.
Richard looked at Julie and stares at the pillow in his hand. “Now they want me sleep outside, maybe I was right, they are crazy,” he said to himself bent down to tie his shoes.
“Oh good I see have your pillow, common Richard,” Will replied.
“Will what's going on?” He asked.
“We’ll explain later; Ma waiting, we are eating outside tonight.” Richard rolled his eyes and followed him down the hall. “This better be good Will, because there's a nice soft bed with my name on it,” he replied.
Will smiles then whispered. “Oh giddy up, Mr. horsy, giddy up.” Richard looked at Will as if he had been hit in the head a little too hard with the bucket today.
Ma at the campfire frying up steaks and campfire potatoes and leftovers salads spread out on the quilt with rolls and butter, yes sir they were roughing it in style. With pies and cakes, cookies; when Ma cooks up a storm she cooks, you just make sure you bring an empty belly to fill.
Pa still had one more problem to tackle as he looked over at Ma; the boys were on there own from here. The now question is how? Pa stretched his arms as if he was tired after along day, to see if she would notice… Nothing. Not so much as a glance. Pa looked at his girls and poked them in the ribs they just poke him back and giggled. He sees this going to be a challenge and rubbed his chin thinking how to get her go back into the house.
Pa stands up for a minute, looked towards the barn; everything ready there. Looks towards the house the boy's sleeping bags are lined up. He poked the fire a couple more times to watch the sparks fly through the air. Danny and Sam are still awake with pie and cake all over their face. Pa chuckled watching them eat it smearing all over themselves “looks like their having a goodtime,” he thought.
Pa turned to the boys. “I was thinking since the lumber wasn't going be here for least a day or two we could go out too the field cut some hay for the horses. Gives us a break from building for a while and check on the rest of the crops as well. Of course that's means becoming simple farmer boys again. What do say Robert, Will and I think EJ could help as well?”
Ma smiled likening the sound of sending the Indian boys home. Even Richard ears perked up when hearing the news and gave a sigh of relief… He could handle them being just being and seeing simple farmers. They weren't nearly as crazy except for their sisters. That's whole different matter entirely. For every time he looked over at them they give him a wink. He knows their up to something, but the question is what? And he watched them giggle in each other ear.
Richard stiff from all the work from the farm, starts rubbing the kinks out of his shoulders; Pa noticed Richard, but doesn't say anything just smiles to himself thinking how hard it is taking a city boy and turning him into a farmer. Pa poked the fire a couple more times then does couple more stretches himself, he chuckled then smiles looking over at Martha then at Richard. Pa gets up and yawns, “Richard?” he asked.
“Yes sir?” He replied.
What do say we put these to little boys to bed before they fall asleep on us?Danny you look tired,” he said.
“I'm not sir, really I'm not,” as he yawns.
“Of course your not son, let’s just get you cleaned up ready for bed then,” he said.
“All right,” and he watches him yawns some more. Richard takes Danny hand Pa taking Sam by the hand walked them into the house. Pa and Richard cleaned them up got them ready for bed. By the time they were done they were almost out like a light, laying them in their beds.
”Richard remember what I said, do what ever they ask you tonight, by the way I put extra quilts under the seat just incase,” he said.
Richard looked at Mr. Downing, “extra quilts for what sir?”
“Just one more thing, have fun… now scoot. I have work too do.”Richard looked at him, maybe crazy not the word… maybe crackers or crack pot framers might be better words to describe Mr. Downing and his little family.
Pa whistled a marry old tune watching Richard go down the hall, for he has figured out how to keep Martha in the house and busy and away from the boys. Grabbing some lotion and oil they have been rubbing on the boys. “Now where did she put those candles? Here they are,” and sets them up in the corners of the room. “Basin of hot water and clean towels; Oh yes a key to the door. Just incase she try's to get out. Also need to put Mr. Rooster with chickens tonight. The boys might be little tired when they get back, me to for that matter.” Pa closed the bedroom door with checklist in his mind. Pa rounded the corner running into his wife. ”Martha what are doing in here?” He asked surprised.
“Wayne what do you think I'm doing dear?” She asked. “Putting the food away, are you sure you are all right dear, you sure been acting funny all day?”
“As if you are trying hided something from me,” she replied.
“What on earth would I do that for dear? I just wanted give you day off too, that's all,” he said. Then thinking quickly took her by the hand twirls around the kitchen… picks her up in his arms and kissed her, knocking her back couple of seconds. “Oh my dear. I might have to call the Doctor back to find my husband,” she said.
He whispered in her ear. “Not tonight dear, he's busy tonight. Let’s go put the children to bed. I have surprise for you,” he said and hums in her ear.
“Wayne dear the moon not out tonight,” she whispers in his ear.
“That's funny dear. I thought I was the man in the moon.”He said then sweepers her up one more time. The room spins as time slows down just for them.
“Yes dear,” as she sighed. “Let’s go put the children to bed and the rooster too,” she said catching her breath.
“I already did dear.”
The boys in their sleeping bags as Pa puts out the fire and girls headed off to bed giggle on their way in. Ma and Pa tucked the boys in before going into the house. Pa giving Richard a final wink… Richard thinking he must be cracked and wondering what's going on.
Ma and Pa walked into the house and down the hall to the little boy's room giving them each final tuck and kiss on the cheek and wishing them a goodnight as they sleep. Making their way around the circle to the girl's room they can hear the girls giggling inside. “All right girls its time for bed,” she said.
“Yes Ma, YesPa,” they said watching them head towards their rooms and climb into their beds.
Ma and Pa know their girls are up to something mischievous and it has something to with the boys. Ma just whispers in each in their ear, “please let them sleep in a little bit, but not to late dear.” To each of the girls; after all why stop them from having a little fun of their own.Pa's up to something, she knows it. The question is what?
They tucked the girls into their beds wished them sweet dreams and a goodnight and closed the door behind them. Making full circle Pa started to hum in Martha's ear as he opened the bedroom door. The candles or lit in the corners of the bedroom. Wayne closed the door behind them and locked the door with the key and set it on the dresser. “Oh my dear! What did you have in mind?” She asked.
“I heard you needed a little soften dear that's all,” he replied.
Updated January 23, 2013
I have started a New Book Titled: My Life And How It Has Changed Me. Listed under my single books.
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