Family Fiction posted March 28, 2022

This work has reached the exceptional level
My baby sister


by prettybluebirds

Pokey was the word that best described my baby sister Beverly. Not that she wasn't intelligent, Beverly was and still is exceptionally smart. She was just, well, Pokey.

When she started school, Beverly was five, and I, her older sister Ruth, was ten. We had to walk a mile to the country school we attended, and Mom put me in charge of getting my little sister back and forth. That was when the problems began. 

Dad would get us kids up, and we had about an hour to get dressed, eat breakfast, put our outside clothes on, and start our walk to school. Dad never drove us unless the weather became dreadful. We walked in snow, cold, and rain. In the winter, it was still dark when we headed out the door. We never complained; it was just the way things were in the fifties.

My problem was getting Beverly to move fast enough so we wouldn't be late for school. First, she would dawdle about getting dressed. She whined if I yelled at her, and Mom would scold me for picking on my baby sister. I found it easier to dress her myself than drag her to the table, where she ate as slow as she could. I often pulled Beverly to school on my sled so we would make it in time. In warmer weather, I rode her tandem on my bike. She was a pain, but, hey, she was my little sister. I was responsible for her.

Summer came, and with it, cherry-picking time. All of us kids were supposed to pick cherries along with the Mexicans my Dad hired. The same family came every year, and we were all good friends. Mom told me to introduce Beverly to the orchards and show her how to pick cherries. Yeah, right, I thought.

So, with extreme persistence, I managed to get Beverly to the orchards every day. If she was able to pick a lug of cherries a day, she was doing well, and she slowed me down, so I didn't get as many picked as I wanted to. That hurt my feelings because we used our earnings to buy school clothes in the fall. Finally, I got fed up and said to Mom, "It takes Beverly forever and five minutes longer to do anything. She is slower than molasses in January. Can't you find something for her to do around the house?"

Mom and Dad talked it over and agreed Beverly could help Mom in the garden. There, she would be under Mom's supervision and could earn her school clothes. I wished Mom good luck. She would need it.

It was that summer I gave Beverly the nickname, Five, and it stuck with her all her childhood years. The Mexicans called her Cinco, which is Five in Spanish. Beverly was good-natured about the whole thing as long as she wasn't required to move too fast.

Beverly is seventy now and teaches math at Muskegon Community College in Michigan. As I mentioned before, she is knowledgeable and possesses a Master's degree in both Math and Algebra. And just maybe she was smarter than we thought with her pokey ways. She usually got out of the hard work on the farm.

Fiction with Some Truth writing prompt entry
Writing Prompt
Entry must include You and Your BIOLOGICAL, real SISTER(s). Name of sister(s) must be included in first paragraph. The story's based on true events with fictional elements.
Word count--500-550 words
NO vulgar words, profanity, or sex/sexual terms including, innuendo, cross dressing, trans individuals, gender identification, or any sexual references
No war stories, Dear John letters, ghost stories, or adoption
No deathbed stories in hospital, hospice care, though death of people may be included



Most of this is true but I exaggerated a bit about her making us late for school. She knew how far she could push it before Mom and Dad would step in. I still call her Five today and she can still be pokey on occasion. Beverly and my brother Danny were a year apart in age. People often thought they were twins. The picture is of the two of them.
Pays one point and 2 member cents.

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