"Ma, when I got a bucket of water at the spring this morning, I saw the jonquils coming up," said Rondy. "Can I go barefooted?"
"No, son. It's too early to pull off your shoes. You young'uns would get the flu. Wait until the flowers bloom." She smiled and patted his curly black hair.
A joint groan came from Rondy, Reba, Ralph, Robert, Reuben, Robenia, and Rena. Even baby Ray whined.
"Hush your moaning," said Ma. "You boys go to the front porch. Robert just got his barber's kit from Sears and Roebuck catalog." She shooed them out the door with her apron.
"Ain't no way old Doe's going to cut my hair," yelled Reuben. "He would scalp me."
Reuben took off to the outhouse with Rover howling at his heels. Ralph and Rondy caught Reuben and dragged him to the "barber's chair." He kicked and squealed as they held him.
Doe's razor hummed as he mowed off red hair. It piled up on the porch like hay. "Let me go, Doe!" pleaded Reuben. At last he finished the hair cut.
Reuben looked at his reflection in the living room window. "Oh, my Lord!" he hollered. "I'll have to wear a toboggan the rest of my life. I'm ruint!"
The other boys jumped back like rabbits from the "barber's chair." But Pa gave them a stern look, and they reluctantly let ole Doe lower their ears.
That afternoon it got so warm the boys broke out sweating as they planted taters in the field. They begged Pa to let them go barefooted.
"Don't tell Minnie," said Pa. "You can go barefooted just this afternoon. Careful and don't stump your toes. You'll have to let Ma Minnie put some rags and Red Rose salve on them if you get hurt."
The boys peeled off their brogans and headed to Hyatt-Mill Creek. Ralph climbed a sourwood tree and swung on a fox grape vine and splashed into the cold water. The other boys grabbed vines and sailed like flying squirrels through the trees.
As the sun set like beet juice over Shewbird Mountain, the boys put on their brogans and trotted to the log cabin. They never told Ma about their going barefooted that afternoon.
by: Brenda Kay Ledford