Family Non-Fiction posted January 9, 2017 Chapters: 1 2 -3- 4... 

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A Fascination for Janice!

A chapter in the book A Truck Load Of Hard Times!

The Bumblebee!

by junglefighter

A special note to my friends: As I write chapter after chapter, I invite you to join in. My wish, "is to make you laugh and cry, while leaving you in a state of uncertainty of what will happen next." Hope you enjoy, and best wishes wherever you are.

Previously in chapter 2: After calming down somewhat, I told my story, did some homework then went off to bed. No one ever reported seeing the dog, dead or alive. Could it have been a figment of my imagination? Of course, not. What mattered to me was that my family truly believed my story. I didn't go to Youth Night at Church on Wednesday's for a little while. "A cowardly approach," I thought, then started back regularly.

Chapter 3

There were times that food was scarce on our little sharecroppers farm. Some days we ate leftovers from supper for breakfast. My mother managed food wisely all things considered. I remember well her saying, "Now, Son! What you don't eat, I'll put back on ice."

I did my chores at the crack of dawn, grabbed my lunchbox and was off to school. Our
closest neighbor, Mr. Jones, lived within a couple of miles. He was a World War II double amputee from the knees down. With exception of my father and grandpa, he was the finest man I had ever known. He had one daughter named Janice. She was the most beautiful seven-year-old girl in my world. Walking past, I saw Mr. Jones sitting on the porch in his wheelchair. I waved and he waved back.

"Billy! Would you walk Janice to school this morning" he asked.

I glanced at Janice; she smiled, then waved. "Beautiful smile, and well developed," I thought. It was last year that grandpa predicted a pretty girl would come into my life on my birthday. "Thank you Grandpa, for being right," I whispered.

"I'd be delighted to escort Janice to school, Mr. Jones."

Grandpa had explained what the word "escort" meant. So, why not impress her, with big words? After my theatrics, we headed out for school. Although I was only seven years old, I was already displaying a conventional masculine character, so to speak. Of course, when I was alone with girls my age, I had a tendency to be shy and retiring at times. Just then, a bumblebee flew into Janice's long red hair.

"Please, get it out, Billy!"

After gently brushing the bee from her hair, I reached down and touched her face. She quickly backed away then asked;

"What are you doing, Billy?"

After fumbling for an explanation, and making a fool out of myself, I finally answered; "I'm sorry, Janice." After a good laugh, we joined hands then continued on our walk to school. When we arrived, the last bell had rung, the door was shut, and class had begun.

Mrs. Cooper's policy on students being tardy, was effective for discouraging second offenders. Her procedures were to knock three times on the door, enter the classroom, identify yourself, explain why you were late, then apologize to your classmates for interrupting their study. Regardless of the formality, it was quite embarrassing for me, especially with Janice on my arm. Although we shared the blame for being late, It was me that did the knocking, introductions and apologizing.

My reasons for being late had drawn no remorse from Mrs. Cooper. It had however, generated an urge to laugh with my friends. What had started out to be a beautiful day, quickly became ugly. Considering my macho image had been clouded, I would deal with my snickering friends later.

"Billy, tell your mother about your being late this morning and why, okay?"

"Yes, Ma'am!"

"You may tell her as well, that you have satisfied my policy on making amends, and that you're back in good grace once again."

"Oh, I promise to tell her that right off. And thank you, Ma'am."

I didn't walk Janice to school in the mornings for a while. However, explain that I was only trying to keep something intact. And that was "my butt." After blushing, she smiled, then said, "I forgive you."

"Thanks for sharing your story with me, Billy. I wouldn't have heard it otherwise. Your confessing to being late, saying you were sorry for disrupting class, and then having the embarrassment of it all, was in itself enough discipline. If your apologies were accepted by Mrs. Cooper, then its "history with me."

"Okay, Mom! Is that saying that you won't tell Dad?"

"That's what I'm saying, Son. Because if I did, he would laugh himself silly."

"Thanks, Mom."

"May I ask, what took you so long to brush the bumblebee from Janice's hair? Well, on second thought, forget I asked."

"Yes, Ma'am. Do I have time to do the chores before supper?"

"If you hurry along. When you see your Dad, tell him that the fried chicken will be on the table in thirty-minutes."

"Okay, I promise."

After finishing my chores, and eating my fair share of chicken, I lit the lamp, did my homework from school, said goodnight to all then went to bed. The day had not gone well and I was crestfallen. Hopefully, tomorrow would be a better day, so I could flaunt my masculine character once again. As Grandpa would say, "Blow your horn, Billy."

Cool night air crept beneath my open window, the agonies of the day became less and less irrelevant. Somewhere off in the night, an ole owl called for its mate. I listened for an answer and hearing none, I began counting sheep as they jumped the picket fence.

The next three weeks of school seemed never ending. Having Mrs. Cooper leave for the Teachers Conference in Nashville would be a Godsend. Our School Superintendent had decided to close school, rather than employ a substitute teacher. A very smart move which allowed us to help in the fields. Regardless of how you slice it, I would be able to stash the books, forget homework then sleep in the mornings.

For those of you have tilled the rich soil, planted seed, watched them sprout and grow and yet, have the crops burn in the field, can certainly relate to an empty stomach. Thank God! We had saved enough money back, for the bare essentials.

Being early August, replanting our crops was out of the question. It really didn't matter because we had no money for the seed and fertilizer. I remember hiding in the shadows, and listening to my father and mother discussing our financial dilemma.

"The sad part of it all, is there's no money to support us much longer, Mother."

"Then, what are we to do, Father?"

"Please don't cry, I'll find work somewhere."

Having said that, he hugged my mother gently, wiped the tears from her face then walked away. Although we were dirt-poor, our faith in God and trust in one another gave us courage to face the uncertainty of the difficult days ahead. I remember trying to swallow and couldn't. Tears ran down my cheeks. I looked toward heaven and whispered, "Please, God, make work for my father."

A "Salute!" Alveria, for the Artwork.

Continued in chapter 4...


My cousin out in California is in the motion picture business. He and I were joined at the hips as kids growing up in Pigeon Forge, (Dollywood) Tennessee. We're meeting
there to discuss filming a movie of my book. I'll be editing the chapters, then posting
them for review.
Pays one point and 2 member cents.

Artwork by helvi2 at

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