Father honks up a big one and spits it on the ground. "Gotta go see what they want, I guess," he says.
"I'll wait out here." I slip out of the harness, stretch my arms high as I can, twist from side to side, reach down and touch my toes. What should I do with this free time? Maybe I'll head on down to the gully. I could sit on that ledge that hangs out over the stream and dangle my legs in the water. If there is any water, what with the rains being so late and all...
"Don't be stupid, boy," Father says. "You think soldiers come all the way out here just to see me?" He sounds like he's accusing me of something, like I decided to be this big just to get on his nerves.
He spits again. "Let's go, you big dumb ox," he says.
I make a face at him but not until he's turned the other way and then I trudge off down the hill to meet our visitors.
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©1996 Henry Charles Mishkoff