by Lazy Writer
This is a rewrite, added more descriptions and names. Please tell me if it flows.
| “Penny, want to play ball with me?” Derek asked as he was bouncing the ball off the side of the house. Derek is a little shorter than me and has blue eyes like Mom, and light brown hair.
“Not right now, I’m making a clover neckless.”
“Why’re doing that? It’s just going to get tangled up in your long hair.”
I thought about that for a minute, I did have long hair. I liked it, but it did get in the way sometimes. My hair is brown and Mom likes to put perms in it, I don’t like it when she does that. It makes it all curly!
“Because it’s fun, and look there is a lot of clover. They’re pretty don’t you think?” He just ignored me. “Mom is going to get mad if you don’t stop that.” Derek just looked at me, grinned, and kept right on bouncing that ball.
We lived in the countryside outside of a little town in Mississippi. The house was small and it wasn’t finished inside, no walls, just the frame (that’s what Dad called it) and the outside walls. We didn’t have a bathroom, so we used the outhouse. We didn’t have running water either, we had to go to the well to get our water. It was good, really cold coming up out of the ground.
Dad (his name is Thomas Pickle, but Mom calls him Tom) is tall, his hair was black but it has streaks of gray and silver now. I like it that way. His hands are rough and have hard spots on them, he calls them calluses (not sure what that means). He is always working so that we can have things. His heart is soft and I love him.
Mom (her name is Lois Pickle, Dad calls her ‘honey’), is short, she only comes to Dad’s shoulder. She has brown hair with speckles of gray. Blue eyes that are really pretty and she wears pretty dresses. Her heart is soft too, but not as soft as Dad’s, but I love her.
There’re four of us kids, Brittney is the oldest, dark brown hair and brown eyes. Then there’s me, Penny (short for Penelope), Derek is next and the last is Donald, he is the baby in the family with light brown hair and brown eyes. We are known as The Pickle Kids. We sometimes get into a pickle when we get bored. We’re not bad kids but I guess we do sometimes get into trouble.
“Who is hitting the house?” Mom came outside wiping her hands on a towel and looking for who was doing it.
Derek heard her coming and dropped the ball and ran to the back into the gardens where she could not see him.
“Penny, who was hitting the house?” She saw me sitting in the grass making a neckless but did not see anyone else.
“It was Derek, Mom.”
“Where is he now?”
“He ran off when he heard you coming.”
“Will you go find him for me and tell him to come to see me?”
“Yes ma’am.” I got up carefully so I would not mess up my flower neckless. I found him in the garden hiding so no one would see him. It was his favorite place to hide.
“Derek, Mom wants to talk to you.”
“Because you were bouncing the ball on the house. You better come with me like she said.”
“Okay, let’s go.” He was not happy about it, but he came with me to talk to Mom.
“Derek, why were you hitting the wall?” Mom asked as she stirred the soup for dinner.
“I didn’t throw the ball.”
“Well, if you didn’t, then who did?”
“I don’t know, maybe, Penny did it.”
I just looked at him, I could not believe he had just said that
“Penny, were you throwing the ball?”
“No, Mom, I was making my neckless.”
“Well, it wasn’t me, so it must have been you,” Derek said looking at me. “Mom, it had to have been Penny because I was in the garden looking at the corn and Brittney was in the front yard playing with Donald.” He sounded so sincere and Mom believed him.
“Penny, I want you to come into the house now, you know I don’t like you hitting the house with a ball and you have lied to me.”
“Mom, I did not lie to you! I was not throwing the ball!” I cried. I could not believe he just said that! Now I was going to have to stay in the house for what he had done. Boy, was I mad at him!
Derek went back outside and I went to my room. I had been in there for a little while when Mom called me. I wondered what trouble I was in now.
“Penny, come here please,” Mom called. “I need you and Derek to go to the well and get some water. Take the number 3 washtub and fill it almost full. You will have to be careful bringing it home.”
“Why do I have to go with Derek? Why can’t Brittney help me?”
“Because she is taking care of Donald, and besides I told you and Derek to go.”
I went to find Derek and I was not in a very good mood. I looked all over for him and finally found him in the very back of the garden.
“Mom says to help me get water from the well.”
“Because she said so, so come on and help me.”
He got up and came with me, but he wasn’t happy, that made two of us! We got the washtub from the back porch and headed up the hill to the well. It was not very far and it was not a big hill, but with a tub full of water it wasn’t going to be easy. We got to the well and sat the tub down beside the opening.
“Okay, let’s put the tub down here, so I can draw the water up.”
“You don’t have to be so bossy. I know where to put the tub!”
“Well, then do it!”
I pulled the rope that the long, skinny bucket was attached to and moved it over the top of the well. It was a small opening, just big enough for the bucket to fit. I pulled up the first bucket of water and was pouring it into the tub.
“Derek, why did you tell Mom that I was bouncing the ball on the house?”
“I don’t know, I just didn’t want to get into trouble. I’ve been in a lot of trouble this week and I didn’t want to get into anymore.”
“So, you lied and told her that I did it?” I was so mad I almost spilled the water that I had just pulled up. I poured the water into the tub and went to get another. We only needed one more to fill the tub.
“This is the last one, then we can go.” I poured the last bucket into the tub and put the bucket back on the hook where it stayed when not being used.
“Get ready to pick up the tub when I do.”
“I know what to do, Penny.”
“Then do it!” I was still upset with him, but I didn’t want to fight anymore.
We picked up the tub together and started to walk down the hill. It was heavy and we were both struggling to hold the tub and not spill the water. I was holding the tub and not looking at my feet. I stumbled and tripped on a large rock, and lost my balance. I dropped the tub as I fell backward landing on my behind. I heard Derek cry out and I looked up and saw that the tub had hit him in the leg in between the knee and ankle.
“Ouch, why did you drop the tub? My leg hurts, it’s probably broken!”
“Oh, Derek, I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to drop it, I stumbled and fell and didn’t see the tub hit you! Let me see your leg.”
I looked at his leg and it was red and beginning to swell, I was worried that it might be broken. Mom and Dad were going to be even more upset with me.
“Look, let’s see if you can stand up. I will help you, lean on me.”
“Penny, I’m sorry I lied, I’ll tell Mom the truth. I can walk with your help but I don’t think I can carry that tub now.”
“I know, thanks for being honest. Let’s get you home.”
We hobbled slowly back to the house, Derek’s leg was really hurting and swelling and I really hoped that it was not broken. He could put a little weight on it but not too much.
When we got to the house, Dad was home and saw us first, he called Mom and they both came running to see what had happened.
I told them that I had stumbled on a big rock and fell down and when I did the tub hit his leg.
“Let’s put some ice on it.” Mom said, making Derek sit in a chair in the kitchen.
“Mom, I bounced the ball on the wall, not Penny.” Derek was looking at his leg and almost crying.
“What? You told me that Penny did it.”
“I know, Mom, and I am sorry. I did not want to get into any more trouble.”
“Well, I think you have paid the price for that lie, don’t you?”
While Mom and Derek were talking, Dad and I went to get the tub of water.
“Dad, I’m sorry, I did not mean for Derek to get hurt. It was an accident.”
“I think it will be okay, Penny, let’s get this water back to the house.”
We took the tub of water back to the house and Mom had us put it in the corner of the kitchen.
“Derek, how’s your leg?” I asked him.
“It’s better, but it still hurts.”
“Mom, I did not mean to drop the tub on Derek’s leg.”
“I know you would not hurt him on purpose, Penny. He told me that he was the one bouncing the ball on the house and not you. I am sorry that I did not believe you.”
“I think we need to find another house, one that has the things we need,” Dad said.
“We’re okay for now, Dad.” We all said together.
Derek’s leg healed, although it was sore for some time. Derek learned a lesson and I did too. Dad did find us another house, closer to town and we moved, and The Pickle Kid’s moved on to new adventures.