Thursday, October 11, 2012

Two Friends, One Day

                             Two Friends, One day

By F.J. Wilson

“I’m in a jam. I-I-I’m in a jam. I’m in a jam.”

“Why are you holding yourself?”

“I- I have to pee.”

“So, go inside.”

“D-D-Don’t have time.”

“Go behind that telephone pole.”

“Okay.  Aah th-that feels good.  Ow, Mama, ow.”

“Wanda, what in heaven’s name are you doing?  You’re five years old, too old to be peeing outside.  Don’t let me catch you doing that again, young lady.  Do you understand me?”
“Oww.  Y-yes, Mama.”

“Where did she come from?  Did you see her?”

“No, Ned says she has eyes in the b-b-back of her head.”

“If my mama spanked me, I’d cry.  Don’t you cry when you get a spankin’?”

“Naaa, I’m used t-t-to it.  Pretend like the sidewalk is a lake and y-y-you have to take a boat across the lake to g-g-get to the Queen’s house.  H-H-Hand me that blue car, I m-m-made a road over h-h-here.” 

“I’m using the blue one. Here, you can have the Chevy. I know you want to cry, so go ahead.”

“SO, what?  Y-Y-You have potato rows around your neck from the dust.  W-e could plant potatoes.”

“Look at your own neck.  It’s dirtier than mine.  Wanna go inside and play doctor, I have a new doctor kit?”

“Can I be the d-d-doctor this time?”

“No, silly, you’re only five, when you’re six like me, maybe.  Besides it’s my kit. I get to be the doctor.”

 “S-S-Selfish.  I let you p-p-play with B-B-Betsy yesterday.”

“That old doll?  You let anybody play with it.  This kit is new. Come on inside.”


“Watch that third step, Daddy hasn’t fixed the broken board.  I’ll hold the door open a little bit and you pull it from the bottom.”

“W-W-Why is it so heavy?”
“Daddy put slats at the bottom to keep the raccoons from tearing the screen again.”

“One two three and we both pull, Okay?”


“Now when it’s open, jump in quick or it’ll hit your bottom when it slams shut.”

“Count to t-t-three.”

“I will.  Ready?”
“I said y-y-yeah.”

“One, two three, pull quick, run inside.”

“Sue Ella, stop slamming that screen door, I’m tryin’ to sleep.”

“We w-w-woke your mama.  Will she be mad?”

“No, she’ll go back to sleep and forget about it.  She sleeps til eight thirty.  She’s still dreamin’. What time does your mama get up?”

“S-s-six to get Daddy off to work, then she makes breakfast for Ned and Sissy.  She walks th-th-them to the end of the block and watches them walk to the s-s-s-school yard. Then she m-m-makes me breakfast and by then, the baby’s up. W-W-When do you get up?”

“Seven with daddy.  He wakes me up fixin’ breakfast in the kitchen.  His  pots and pans make an awful racket.  He makes me breakfast and then Ruby comes in.”

“I like R-R-Ruby.”
“Me too.  Lets see if she’ll give us each a nickel from the grocery jar and go to Mr. Bird’s store and get doll Sunbeams.”

“Okay.  Sue Ella?”


“Why’re they called doll Sunbeams?”

“I named them that.  Have you ever seen a loaf of bread that small?  It fits in my doll house kitchen, so I call them doll Sunbeams.”

“Oh.  I’ll call them that too.  S-S-Sissy told me one time, fairies made them.”

“Sissy lies; Wanda Jean.  All big sisters lie.”


“Ok, don’t start crying, cry baby.  See, that’s the difference between five and six.  I used to get mad and cry when I was five too.”

“You girls stop that.  You gone wake up your mama.”

“Ruby, we want nickels to buy doll Sunbeams.”
“I ain’t giving you nickels, but I’ll pay you each a nickel to fold these diapers.”

“Okay.  Here, Wanda, empty the basket onto the rug.”

“The pile is taller than my head.”

“Don’t fold ‘em like that silly.  Watch. Make a big triangle, then pull this side in and then this side in and pull this end up the middle.  See?”


“Morning, Ruby.  You girls helping Ruby this morning?  That’s so sweet.  I don’t want coffee this morning, Ruby, just a cold co’cola.”

“Yes, Mrs. Hickman.  Baby keep you up last night again?”

“Oh, Ruby, five years is a long time between babies.  I’d forgotten what it was like having a baby in the house.”

“See who can fold fastest.”

“If I f-f-fold too fast, I’ll make a mess.  I’m not used to folding them l-l-like this.”

“Ruby, I think we can give the girls a nickel for the work they’re doing.”

“Yes, Mrs. Hickman.”

“The baby’s still sleeping; I think I’ll go back to bed.  You girls be quiet, okay?”

“Yes, Mama.”

“Here, take your nickels, I’ll finish those.  My program’s coming on.”

“Thanks, Ruby.  Let’s go out the back door, it’s not as loud.”

“I’ll beat ya round the corner.  Go.”

“I can’t run as fast, wait up.  Your l-l-legs are longer than mine. I don’t th-th-think he’s o-o-open yet, Sue Ella.”

“Sure he is; the lights on.  See, the door’s open.”

“Good morning, girls, what can I do for you this morning?”

“We want two loaves of doll Sunbeams.”

“Well, you’ll have to wait ‘til later, the bread man hasn’t come yet.  Come back around ten.”

“Okay.  Can we leave our n-n-nickels with you so we don’t lose’em?”

“I don’t think that’s a good idea.  You may want them if your mama takes you to the store or something.”

“He’s right, Wanda.  Here, put it deep in your pocket, it’ll be fine.”

“T-T-Thanks, Mr. Bird, see you later.”

“I think he’s the nicest man in all Wiggins.”

“Daddy says he used to be the b-b-b-best baseball player before his arm got shot off in the w-w-war.”

“Let me have the blue car this t-t-t-time.  Your hands are bigger.”

“Okay.  Look at my new road.  Play like the flowers are tall trees by the road.”

“Okay, and play like t-t-this rock is the church and the brick is Mr. B-B-Bird’s store.”

“Okay.  My knees are hurting, move over on the grass.”

“B-B-But if we do th-th-that, the roads are too far away.”

“Don’t be such a baby, you can reach.”

“There’s the m-m-mailman.  Hurry, he’s turning onto Iowa street. Hey, Mr. Buford, any mail today? Mama’s expecting h-h-her McCall’s magazine.”

“Nope, not today.  Tell your mama they don’t come until the fifteenth and it’s only the twelfth.  Here Sue Ella, here’s your daddy’s.”

“Thanks, Mr. Buford.  See you tomorrow. You gone’ take yours inside?”

“Nope, I’ll p-p-put it in the mailbox.  If I take it inside, m-m-mama’ll want me to clean my room and it’s S-S-Sissy’s turn.”

“I’ll take ours around back and give it to Ruby.  Don’t slam the door.”

“Ruby, wh-wh-what time is it?”

“Almost ten o’clock.  What you girls doin’ out there?”

“Nothin’, just playin’.”

“Come on, l-l-lets go see if the bread man’s come.”

“Okay.  Cut through Miss Charlotte’s yard.”

“Hurry up.  Oh, did you skin your knee?  I fell over that once.  Mama had to put mercurochrome on it.  She painted a rabbit on my knee.”

“I’ll put some w-w-w-water from the fish pond on it.  H-H-Here take Betsy, if she gets wet, she st-st-stinks.”

“Okay, lets go.”

“Wait, there’s the bell for the first recess.  Come on we can watch’em come out of school.”

“Hurry, cross the street, haunted house, cross the street hurry, haunted house.”

“I see it.  Come on, the big doors are opening.”

“Let’s sit up here under the bush. I see N-N-Ned, he’s got the basketball.”

“I see Sissy, she and Judy Amberson are fighting over the big swing.”

“Sissy doesn’t like J-J-Judy she says she’s b-b-bossy.”

“Nobody’s bossier than Sissy.”

“I know. D-D-Daddy says she’s bossier th-th-than Ole Aunt Sal.”

“Look, there’s Mrs. Dale.  I hope I have her next year.  My mama’s friend said she’s nice.”

“Oh no.”


“Sissy saw us, she’s telling N-N-Ned.”

“She’s pointing up here, get behind the bush.”

“Too late, r-r-r-r-un.”

“Cut across Mr. Davis’ back yard.  Hurry.”

“Haunted house, cross the street, h-h-haunted house, cross the street.”

“I can’t breathe, my side hurts.”

“We’re okay now.  Th-th-that was close.”

“Will you get in trouble?”

“No, N-N-Ned won’t tell and he won’t let Sissy t-t-tell.  He doesn’t l-l-like it when we get sp-sp-spankin’s, but he’ll let me have it.  I’ll be g-g-gettin’ one of his big brother lectures after s-s-supper.  Whew, sometimes I’d rather get the sp-sp-spankin’ and be d-d-done with it.”

“Let’s go to the store.  The bread man has to be there by now.”

“If you were K-K-Queen, what would you do first?”

“I’d buy a new coat for ruby.  What would you do?”

“I’d buy the N-N-North Pole and own all the t-t-toys.”

“You can’t buy the North Pole.”

“Who s-s-says so?”

“Santa Clause owns it and I don’t think it’s for sale.”

“You d-d-don’t know that.”

“Well it’s a stupid idea anyway.”

NO IT’S N-N-Not.  It’s better than buying Ruby a d-d-dumb ole coat. Besides, you just said th-th-that because last Sunday the S-S-Sunday School teacher said we sh-sh-should think about other people and do something n-n-nice and then she said she was buying her m-m-maid a coat for the w-w-winter.”

“So, I thought of it before she did.  I just didn’t tell you.”

“You are such a l-l-liar Sue Ella Hickman.  ICE CREAM TRUCK.”

“MAMA, can we have a nickel?”

“It’s not here yet, it’s three streets over.  You girls come in and fold these diapers until it turns at the corner.”

“Mama, w-w-we folded diapers all morning at Sue Ella’s h-h-house. Our a-a-arms are t-t-tired.”

“Well, maybe my arm is too tired to get two nickels out of my purse.”

“Okay, M-M-Mama.”

“Here, I can dump the basket.”

“N-N-No, dump them on the dining table.  Mama l-l-likes to fold f-f-from there.”

“No, not like that.  Fold th-th-them in half, then in h-h-half again.  Now, in h-h-half once more.  S-S-See?”

“Sure is a funny way to fold diapers, but okay.”

“Can you girls count how many you’ve folded?”

“I can only count to ten, I don’t know the teens yet, Mrs. Batson.”

“Well, I’ll help you, let’s count them together.  One, two, three….. twenty four.”

“I c-c-c-counted to twenty-four.”

“Me too.  Let’s do it again.  ICE CREAM TRUCK.”


“If you girls wake the baby, I’m going to strangle you. Here.”

“Hey, Mr. Johnson, I want a Eskimo pie.”

“Me too.”

“You girls aren’t in school today?”

“No, Mr. Johnson, we don’t go to school yet.  You ask us that every day.”

“Do I?  So, you’re telling me, you haven’t started school yet?”

“Yes, Mr. Johnson, we told you every day.”

“Wanda, you better be careful, your epidermis is showing.”

“Mr. J-J-Johnson.  My daddy said that means skin.  You can’t f-f-fool me anymore.”

“Well, your daddy’s a very smart man.  See you tomorrow, girls.”

“Want to go eat this on the porch?”


“The swing’s big enough for both of us, silly.”

“Oh, yeah.  I forgot.  My gr-gr-grandmother’s swing is small and my cousins all ways get th-th-there first.”

“You have to p-p-push, my feet won’t touch.”

“I love to sit here and watch the Bumble bees.”

“I like them, they don’t bite.  I like their b-b-buzzing.”

“Your ice cream is melting, eat it faster.”

“Here, you can have it.  I’m f-f-full.”

“Why are you on your belly looking under the porch?”

“I’m watching old Laddie, sleepin’ in the dirt.  Here, L-L-Laddie, here, b-b-boy.”

“Let him sleep, he has ticks.”

“W-W-We should pick them off.  We c-c-can burn them with a m-m-match.”

“No, that’s nasty.”

“You’d like s-s-someone to p-p-pick ticks off you and b-burn them if you h-h-had ticks.”

“I had ticks once.  I GOT THEM FROM LADDIE.  Leave him be.”

“Oh, all right.  L-L-Let him suffer then.  You’re m-m-mean.”



“That’s what you get for calling me mean.  Oh, yeah run home crying, cry baby.  Don’t come back over here anymore, cry baby.”

“Mama, Sue Ella h-h-hit me.  L-L-Laddie’s lyin under the p-p-porch full of ticks and sh-sh-she won’t let me pick em off.”

“Come on in and eat your lunch.  It sounds like you need your nap.”

“What’s for l-l-lunch?”

“How about a baloney sandwich and a cup of tomato soup?”

“Can I h-h-have crackers in my soup?”

“May I…. ‘have crackers in my soup’, yes, you may. Go wash your hands and face.”

“Mrs. H-H-Hickman has little crackers sh-sh-shaped like little round things.”

“Those are oyster crackers.  Mrs. Hickman doesn’t have four mouths to feed, now eat your soup.”

“Are they m-m-made from oysters or the shells?”

“No, now eat your lunch.”

“Can I have the fan on me while I t-t-take my nap?”

“’May I have the fan on me…’ yes, you may.  Say it.”

“M-M-May I have the fan?”

“That’s better.  I don’t know where you’re picking up this bad grammar.”

“Mama, can… m-m-may I get up now?”

“Yes. Did you have a nice dream?”

“I dr-dr-dreamed I was swimming.”

“That’s nice, dear, go play.  Sue Ella’s been over here twice asking for you.”

“Bye Mama.”

“Don’t slam the screen….door.”


“Hey.  I don’t have to take naps anymore.”

“I-I-I know.  You’re lucky.”

“Wanna go get the Sunbeams?”


“I’m glad my ch-ch-church is so close.  We only have to w-w-walk across the street.”

“Yeah, the Baptist church is all the way across town.  What’s it like being a Methodist?”

“I don’t know.  Church is b-b-boring except for Bible School.  I-I-I made a picture of J-J-Jesus out of macaroni and mama h-h-hung it on the kitchen wall.”

“We have a swimming pool in our church.”

“NO YOU DON’T.  Why you always gotta fib, Sue Ella?” 

“I’m not lying.  We do.”

“My gr-gr-grandmother says it isn’t ladylike to tell a fib.” 

“Okay, smarty pants, wanna see it?  We’ll walk over there right now.”

“Fine.  L-L-Let’s go.  You’re gonna be m-m-mighty sorry.”

“Watch for cars.  Quick, run across.”

“I th-th-think you were supposed to hold my hand crossing the street.”

“Next time.  There’s Mrs. Willis, hide behind this bush.  She’ll tell mama she saw us.”

“My mama l-l-lets me walk all over t-t-town.”

“No she doesn’t, you’ll get a spankin’ just like me if she knows we did this.”

“Yeah.  Sue Ella?”


“Will you go to h-h-hell if you lie?”

“Of course.  Everybody who’s six knows that.  What are you doing?”

“Wait a minute.  I have to pr-pr-pray since I lied about that sp-sp-spankin.” 

“Come on.  Five year old people don’t go to hell.”

“There’s the church only a few blocks ahead.  Wow, it’s closer than I thought.”

“Closer?  I-I-I don’t think you n-n-noticed how far we c-c-came.”

“Duck behind this car, Daddy’s coming out of the barber shop.”

“Sometimes D-D-Daddy lets me go to the b-b-barber with him and Mr. Tony l-l-lets me sweep up the h-h-hair.”

“That’s disgusting.”

“My lord, Sue Ella, y-y-you don’t like ticks and you th-th-think hair is disgusting.  If I-I-I didn’t know better, I’d th-th-think you were five and I w-w-was six.”

“Wait’ll you turn six, you won’t like ticks either.”

“Well maybe, b-b-but I don’t think so.”

 “No, don’t go in the front door.  Someone will see us.  Go to the side door.”

“It’s l-l-locked.”

“Try the other one.  Good, let me go first.  Now, close your eyes.”

“Holy cow, there’s a swimming pool in your church.  I’m g-g-gonna ask mama and daddy if we can be Baptist.”

“I told you, Miss Smarty Pants.  You don’t believe me when I tell you stuff.  What are you doing?  Put your shirt back on.”

“I’m going in.”


“What are you girls doing in here?”

“Sorry, Brother Mitchell.  I was just showing Wanda the swimming pool.”

“Well girls, it’s not a swimming pool.  Come over here and let me explain to you girls.  Sit down.”

“Whew, I thought he’d never stop talking.” 

“Let’s go back by Mr. Birds and get the doll Sunbeams.”

“Okay.  Is h-h-he behind us?”


“Is he b-b-behind us now?”

“No.  There’s nobody behind us.”

“W-W-Well that just doesn’t m-m-make sense.”

“Wanda, what in the samhill are you talking about?”

“God.  Didn’t you hear the preacher?  Y-Y-You should l-l-listen to him, Sue Ella, h-h-he’s your preacher.”

“I still don’t know what the heck you mean.”

“T-T-The preacher said God is a-a-always with us.  W-W-Wherever we go.  I j-j-just don’t see him.”

“Of course you don’t see him, silly, everybody who’s six knows he’s invisible.  I’ll sure be glad when you’re six so you’ll know more stuff.”

“I know pl-pl-plenty of stuff.  You j-j-just brag too much.”

“Duck, it’s your mama.  I think she’s looking for you.”

“Let’s d-d-duck around behind the ch-ch-church and we can s-s-say we were in the the the backyard all the time.”

“Haunted house, run to the other side of the street. Quick.”

“I-I-I’m gonna go inside and get us a cookie.  If m-m-mama comes back, just s-s-say we been here since before she l-l-left.”

“You’re going to hell for sure for this lie.”

“No I’m not, smarty, I’m only f-f-five, you said so yourself.”

“I want two cookies.”

“Okay.  Stay put.”

“Hey, Wanda Jean.”

“Hey, Miss Alice.  Where’s mama?”

“She’s gone shopping.  What do you need?  Why you smiling?  You girls been in trouble?”

“No, mam.  Can… May we have some cookies?”

“Here you go.  You girls have fun.”

“Mama’s g-g-gone shopping.  She’s n-n-not even looking for us.”

“Whew, that was close.  SCHOOL BELL, SCHOOL’S OUT.”

“Hide behind Mr. Davis’ truck and j-j-jump out and scare them.”

“I can see you, Wanda.”

“Shhh, Sissy can’t.”

“Yes I can.”

“What have you two criminals been doing?”

“Nothing.  Just playin’.  Ned?”


“Did you know the Baptist Church has a sw-sw-swimming pool?”

“It’s not a swimming pool, it’s a Baptismal pool.”

“You knew and d-d-didn’t tell me?”

“I know a lot of stuff I don’t tell you, kid.  Now go play, I’ve got homework.  Sixth grade is kickin’ my butt.”

“Ned, don’t say butt, or I’ll tell mama.”

“Shut up, Sissy, or I’ll call you a butt.”


“Don’t worry, N-N-Ned.  Mama’s gone shopping; b-b-by the time she comes h-h-home, Sissy will be c-c-complaining about something else.”

“Thanks, kid.”

“Come on, Wanda.  Let’s go buy the doll Sunbeams.  That pickle factory is really potent today.  Instead of a doll Sunbeam, maybe I’ll buy a dill pickle.”

“I have to stop at h-h-home and pee.”



















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