I wasn't going to post a blog today, but so many friends sent so much love and kindness I felt I had write a story to say thanks. So I wrote this story for you this afternoon. Your kindness and friendship means the world to Robbie & me. God Bless and be safe!
"We'll Sort This Out"
Finally the sun burned through the heavy fog like haze, lifting its chilly, dreary cloak. With a happy gleam yellow and silver rays drifted down bringing a cheerful glow to the yard and woods around the barn. Even though the rays warmed him, now that the fog had lifted, his hiding place behind the fallen oak, a short distance from the barn, seemed not as safe as it had just moments before. There was still too much activity in the barn to run and hide there. Where to hide? His young mind wondered.
Crouching low in the mud, leaning against the cold tree he stayed put. Wet, cold, tired, he tried to sleep.
It had been a long night of running. His little body craved warmth and rest. His short legs had done all they could but now, they begged for rest. Not everything is easily understood by ten year old boys, but not being wanted was something he could understand, and one more whipping wasn't needed to make the point. So when the belt came off, and was once again swung his way, his legs carried him away.
As quickly as it came, the sun was gone again. The sky, crisp and blue a second ago, now loomed dark and gray. Cold rain replaced warm yellow rays. He had to get to the barn. He worried even if he remained hidden by the big tree, his chattering teeth would give him away.
The small barn door swung open. A tall man carrying a lantern and bucket stepped out whistling as he shut the door. "Thank you girls," the tall man called into the barn as he started away. The boy could almost smell the milk in the bucket. His belly was empty, it hurt. He watched until the tall man was in the house then dashed as fast as he could for the barn.
Waiting a second for his eyes to adjust he stood just inside the door, already feeling the warmth. A cow chain rattled in the dark. As his eyes focused he saw three cows and two horses in their stalls, munching hay. One horse was lying down; it was toward that horse the boy moved.
He crawled alongside the sleeping horse, pulled straw around his legs for a blanket. The horse nickered softly. Sleep came quickly.
"Hey there, young fella," the tall man said, his jolly face held in the warm glow of his lantern. "Who do we have here?"
The boy cringed, then grasped the outstretched hand and pulled himself to his feet. But did not speak. He studied the cheerful face, the big smile shinning down on him.
"You're the little fellow who lives over at the Clark place, aren't you?"
The boy nodded.
"What brings you to hide here in my barn?" The tall man offered a seat on a stack of hay.
Turning back to the horse, the boy tried to be brave, but fear was building inside. Not fear of the tall man, or the barn. But fear of having to go back. He should have kept running. Tears washed his cheeks, a sob broke his voice, "Could I stay here? Please."
The tall man dropped to one knee, "Why sure," he wrapped his arm around the boy's shoulders. "We can sort this out together. How about a big bowl of hot soup? I think Martha has a kettle cooking on the fire."
The boy recognized the look of understanding on the tall man's face and heard himself say, "You won't tell them I'm here will you?"
"Not if you don't want me too." With a smile and a nod the tall man led the way to the house.
"Martha," he told his wife as they entered, "We've got company tonight."
"Why Frank, wherever did you find this young man?" The boy caught the smile and the wink she tossed toward Frank.
"All huddled in the barn, wants to bunk here a spell."
"I see. Well you look mighty wet and hungry. Let's get you out of those wet cloths and a bowl of hot soup in your belly." Martha led him toward the back of the big room, past the blazing fireplace. The warmth touched him. The warmth of the fire, and their kindness. It was a new feeling.
Then he heard a horse outside and a man's voice he was far too familiar with. "Inside the house … You have something that belongs to me."
Fear gripped the boy. "Don't let him take me back. Not yet." He pleaded with Martha. She looked at Frank.
"Inside the house!" Came the bellow again.
"Be right there," Frank answered. Turning to the boy, "Are you afraid to go home?" Tears and a quivering nod told Frank all he needed to know and he turned, snatched the rifle from its pegs and strode to the door.
The boy clung to Martha as she tried to comfort him, they could not make clear the words Frank said, but they heard the horse start away and the man yell, "This ain't over farmer!" Then they heard Frank's reply,
"Yea, maybe it is."
When he came in, he knelt next to Martha and the still shaking boy. He ruffled the boy's hair and with a smile told him, "Like I said, we'll sort this out."
Since posting this I've continued the story ... You can find PART 2 ( HERE)
Gitty Up ~ Dutch