Crisp October Day

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The leaves are changing as the gentle breeze rolls around. My body shivers and finds warmth this crisp October morning. It may be cool, but we must still tend to the farm and I must do my chores. As I walk to the barn I see the deep blue sky turn to an ominous green-gray. Still looking at the sky, I run to the barn.

Out comes the pail and the three legged stool. Sitting down before the cow, my hands quickly start into a calming rhythm. It is a rhythm I know so well, for I do it twice a day. Squeeze, squeeze, squeeze, drop, drop, drop, plink, plink, plink. The pail is full and I rush to gather the eggs. Peek under the hen, gather the eggs, and look under another hen is the way this rhythm goes.

I carefully, but quickly, gather the warm brown eggs and gently jerk the milk pail up. Walking briskly to the house, without spilling milk or dropping eggs, I know that we will not work in the fields today. The sky says there will be a storm.

Approaching the weathered gray house, I smell a wonderful breakfast cooking. Bacon and biscuits are crackling and browning deliciously. Upon opening the narrow brown door, my two younger brothers charge me. After handing my eggs and milk to my younger sister, I begin to ruffle the boys’ hair. They are cute little things, only two and three. Their brown eyes and hair remind me so much of Father.

He went away to war a year ago, called in the draft. After being away six months, he was declared dead. We were left to tend to the farm and help the sullen person who had taken over Mother.

There are four of us kids. Derek and Dave are toddlers, Elisha is ten, and I am fifteen. Now before we sit down, Elisha carefully pours the milk in cups, without spilling a drop. When the disaster zone is clear, I always begin cleaning the endless mess of the kitchen.

Today, Mother jolts in and hurries us into the basement. The dark earthen basement lets us cram in. We can tell the storm is bad, a tornado. The crop will be destroyed and we will have nothing. I hold Derek tight, not letting go for fear that he will be sucked into the swirling black hole-like thing. Derek and Dave squirm on endlessly and Elisha and I sit, fearing for our lives.

Minutes pass like hours, and hours like weeks. We sit in silence for what seems like ages. I know I am not the only one wondering why this has happened to us and what will be left. I don’t have to wait long, because shortly after, the tornado ceases.

Cautiously, we climb out into the empty world. Everything is gone; we have absolutely nothing except each other. Dave and Derek are joyfully jumping and rush around, trying to trying something to our attention. I squint in the direction they are pointing and see a man.

Why would anyone come out here in a storm? Like a wave, the truth hits me. “Father! Mother, Father is home!”





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