Today I’m continuing with a selection from my short story, “The Country Girl”.
To read the first selection from the story again, or for the first time, click here:
Once, I got stuck in Pete’s doghouse. It wasn’t big enough for the both of us. For a fleeting moment, I wondered what my life would be like spent entirely in Pete’s doghouse. I think that was when I first began to develop a touch of claustrophobia. It didn’t occur to me until several years later that my parents could have simply removed the top of the doghouse and set me free.
Our home was on several acres surrounded by beautiful piney woods. I enjoyed imagining we were way out in the country, but the truth was, we were only a few miles from a major metropolitan city. Still, my parents had a vegetable garden, cows, chickens, turkeys, ducks, cats, and of course, a dog.
Although the youngest child, I was the only one of we three who could milk a cow. I was so proud. In later years, my brother informed me that he, too, had milked the cow on occasion. I never knew. How could I have not known, he asked, about the time the cow put her foot right in the fresh can of milk he had just labored so hard to acquire? Beats me. But my ignorance of such a catastrophe was probably due to the fact that I rarely stayed in one place for very long. Things had to hold great promise for adventure for me to spend much time waiting.
Life was carefree for me, there on the “farm” especially during the wonderful summer months. Going barefooted was one of my true joys. The only drawback that I could see was what I came to call “summer toe.” After just a few weeks of running, jumping, sliding, swimming, and climbing, my big toes would develop a flap on the bottom. Actually, it was a little painful, but nothing that I couldn’t endure. Soon the flap would heal and the toes would toughen up.
Mama would make me wash my feet as soon as I came in the house after a day of playing. I remember my method: I’d stand in the bathtub with the cold water running, then wash the bottom of one foot by rubbing it on the top of the other.
Not the best way, but I was always in a hurry when it came to what seemed to be work. However, frequently I had to return to the tub with a rag and some scrubbing cleanser, to scrub it clean. Mama had inspected the tub.
See you next time.