Of Mice Or Kin

Jody sat at his Pa’s kitchen table in a simple farm house. It was warmed by the sun peeking over the mountains to the east and coming through the window. Pa poured them coffee. Steam rose from the coffee as from a pond on a cold spring day.

“What’s on you mind this morning?” Pa said sipping his coffee.

Jody stirred in a spoonful of sugar. “I donno what I’m gonna do Pa,” Jody said. “The money’s all gone; what I had put back. The banks gonna come take my house next month.”

“Ain’tcha got somethin’ ta fall back on?” Pa said.

“I had somethin’ lined up with a buddy of mine,” Jody said. “But he went and gave the job ta his younger brother. He’s a doper and ain’t gonna pan out, but by the time he figures that out we’ll be livin’ out of my truck.”

“Yeah, son,” Pa said. “Blood’s thicker than water.”

“They say there’s work up in the Dakotas,” Jody said. “But Maggie’s due in three months I can’t leave her with two younguns and one on the way.”

“I’ve had some tight spots before,” Pa said. “Somethin’ will come along.”

“How’d you and Ma make it?” Jody said.

Pa chuckled. “We ate a lot of noodles.”

“We all ready been doin’ that,” Jody said.

“I got an idea,” Pay said. “Ya know that ole trailer on the back of our property.”

“The one you and Ma lived in before I came along?” Jody said.

“Yeah,” Pa said. “Uncle Billy lived in it before he passed. He kept it up real nice. It needs some cleanin’ up, but I think it would be a nice place for you and Maggie and the kids.”

“What’ll you charge me a month?” Jody said.

“What I charged Uncle Billy,” Pa said.

“Well things have gone up since then,” Jody said.

“How much ya figure?” Pa said.

“At least double,” Jody said.

“That sounds about right,” Pa said. “I’ll charge two times nothin’. And that‘s a bargin ‘cause it‘s worth twice that much.”

“Thanks a lot, Pa,” Jody said.

“Drink up and let’s go take a look at that ole trailer and see if we gotta chase the mice out,” Pa said. “It’s better to have kin in that trailer than mice.”

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