Friday, June 17, 2011

On Being Neighborly

Good Morning FFFs,
Happy Anniversary to my grandparents and a happy BIRTH-day to my newest
nephew!!!!! I can't wait to see him! He was born this morning about
4:00. I'm an aunt for the fourth time! :) The two other nephews are
outside right now with Papa. They don't know about the Baby. My niece
was going to spend the night but she got sick and went home. My
grandparents are coming tomorrow for the day. Busy. And I'm tired.

been trying to write as many evenings as I can. I didn't get to it last
night since the kids were here. Don't know if the boys will be here
tonight as well or not. I'd like to at least get the Western I'm
working on finished before we leave town on Mon. I know I'll see some
of you Favorite Friday Fiction Fans next week.:) I'm looking forward to

was trying to decide what to post this morning and since everything has
been a little crazy and somewhat stressful, I decided to post a
light-hearted story. Sorry, Abigail, you've already read it, but surely
you won't mind reading it again.:)

On Being Neighborly

The day was bright and sunny, the perfect kind of day to clean house.
Or at least that is what Mrs. Lewis thought. Trotting about her small
home she gaily hummed a merry tune while her dust cloth flew hither and
thither. Before long she was ready to shake her small rugs.
“Oh, dear,” she sighed. “These larger ones are just too big for an old
lady like me to shake. But they do need shaking.” She paused, head
tipped to one side in contemplation. “Now if I just had a place to hang
them, I could beat them as I used to do when a girl. Let me see--” As
she gazed about, her eyes fell upon the fence around the Dalta’s yard.
“That would be just the thing.”
Before she could carry the first rug out, her telephone rang. It was
her grand-daughter.
“Nana, can I come over? Mom has to take Miles to the dentist.”
Mrs. Lewis was excited, “Of course you can come over, Kitten. I’m
cleaning house today and you can help me.”
“That sounds fun! See you soon!” and Kitty, known to most as Kitten,
hung up the phone.
Mrs. Lewis managed to hang one rug over the gate before Kitty arrived,
eager to help.
“We have to hang all these large rugs on the fence, and then I’ll let
you beat them while I scrub the floors,” Mrs. Lewis beamed at her
Kitty gave a little skip. “Okay. What do I beat them with?”
Mrs. Lewis, with Kitty tripping along behind, climbed the attic stairs
and after a little searching, found the old wire rug-beater. Kitty was
delighted and dashed down the stairs to begin.
Soon the dust was flying off the rugs in wild fashion as Kitty,
pretending she was a famous tennis player, smacked them vigorously,
glad the wind was blowing the dust away. What she didn’t notice was
where it was blowing.
“Hey, You!”
The voice, gruff and harsh, startled Kitty from her imaginary world of
tennis. She paused in the middle of a swing and looked up. A violent
fit of coughing was all she heard, and she could see no one. Shrugging,
she was raising her ‘racket’ again when the voice called once more
still sounding rather choked up.
“You, girl. What do you think you’re doing?”
This time Kitty saw a face looking out at her from a window on the
other side of the fence.
“I’m beating rugs for Nana.”
“Didn’t you know all the dust was blowing right into my house?”
Kitty’s eyes opened in surprise. “Is it? I’m sorry. If it was blowing
the other way, Nana couldn’t clean the house.”
“Well, it’s making my house filthy.”
“You could shut your window until I’m done,” Kitty suggested politely.
“Humph,” Mr. Dalta snorted and began to do just that when suddenly he
stopped. “Those rugs are on my fence!” he shouted.
Kitty smiled. This was certainly a funny man. “Of course they are, Nana
doesn’t have any fence.”
“But,” protested Mr. Dalta, “you can’t use it!”
“I can too,” Kitty corrected, “see?” And she gave a rug two solid
whacks with her rug-beater.
Mr. Dalta tried to speak but only got a face full of dust and began to
cough. He slammed down the window and disappeared.
Kitty shook her head, shrugged her shoulders and gave a little laugh.
People could be rather strange at times.
Mrs. Lewis, hearing the raised voice of her neighbor, set her pail of
soapy water in the corner of the room, and hurried outside.
“Kitten Dear,” she began, “what is going on?”
“He said the dust was getting into his house.”
Mrs. Lewis shook her head. “Oh, dear! Oh, dear!” she moaned. “I should
have remembered the wind would blow the dust. Now what can we do?” As
she thought, her eyes caught sight of the long green hose in Mr.
Dalta’s yard. “Oh, Kitten, wait just a moment. I’ll fix the rugs so the
dust won’t blow.”
So saying, she trotted to the gate, and opening it, scurried to the
hose. It took some time for her to get it over to the fence, but at
last it reached. “Now Kitten, come in here and turn on the water. I’ll
just wet these rugs. That’ll keep the dust down.”
Kitty, wondering a bit, followed Nana’s directions and turned on the
“Hey, you!”
Kitty turned. There at the back door stood Mr. Dalta leaning on his
“What are you doing now?”
“Turning on the hose. Nana is making it so the dust won’t blow into
your house.”
“But what are you doing in my yard?” Mr. Dalta came out of the house.
What a silly man, Kitty thought. I just told him what I was doing. But
because her mom had taught her to be polite, she replied, “I’m turning
the water on. Nana had to use your hose.”
“Turn it off now, Kitten,” Mrs. Lewis called having soaked the rugs
“What are you doing in my yard and using my things?” Mr. Dalta
“Oh, Mr. Dalta,” Mrs. Lewis began, “I’m so sorry my dust got into your
house. I’ll try to get it out if you want. I’m an excellent
Mr. Dalta shook his head. “You’re in my yard. Didn’t you see the No
Trespassing sign?”
Kitty and Mrs. Lewis looked at each other in bewilderment. What sign?
They hadn’t seen any sign.
“Where is the sign?” Kitty asked.
“Why it’s on the fence.” Rather indignantly, Mr. Dalta shuffled towards
his fence peering at it sharply. Mrs. Lewis followed, puzzled by her
not seeing the sign. After Kitty had neatly put the hose back in place,
she too, followed and looked at the fence.
“Perhaps,” Kitty began when none of them had seen any sign anywhere,
“we could see it from in Nana’s yard.”
“That’s a good idea,” Mr. Dalta said, nodding approvingly.
“It sure is,” Mrs. Lewis put in, adding, “I always knew Kitten was a
bright child.”
Once they were through and Kitty had carefully shut the gate behind
them so as not to let any dog out, for she had just noticed an old dog
house in the yard, the three began searching again. Nothing could be
found that resembled a sign, and Mr. Dalta sighed.
“Oh, dear,” Mrs. Lewis fluttered, “you are probably worn out now. Why
don’t you have a seat here in the shade, and I’ll bring some lemonade.
Kitten Dear, why don’t you finish those rugs.” With that she hurried
into her kitchen.
Kitty hurried back to the rugs and gave one a good smack. A spray of
dirty, dusty water drops spattered all over her. “Ugh,” she spat out a
bit of dirt. “I think I’ll have grey freckles now,” she giggled.
Closing her eyes and mouth tightly, she hit the rug again. By the time
Nana had reappeared, she was quite bespattered with grime.
“Come, Kitten, have a glass of lemonade with us,” Mrs. Lewis called to
her faithful worker.
As Mr. Dalta drank his lemonade, he kept looking towards the fence
surrounding his yard. Something looked different, yet he couldn’t
figure out what it was. He knew the rugs hanging there didn’t belong,
but what was causing the strange look? Perhaps it was just that he was
on the other side of it.
“Hello!” a voice called.
Mrs. Lewis stood up quickly. “Oh, Miles, please don’t tell me you must
take Kitten home now,” she begged as her grandson jumped off his bike
and leaned it against the porch.
“Only if you want to get rid of her,” he grinned.
“Oh, no indeed! But here, you must be hot after riding over, do have
some lemonade.”
“Thanks.” Miles accepted the glass and rapidly drained it. After
drawing a deep sigh, he said, “Got anything for me to do, Nana?”
Before Nana could reply, Kitty spoke up, “You can turn the rugs for me
so I can beat the other side.”
Together the two moved over to the fence.
“But these things are soaked!” Miles protested grabbing the edge of
one. “Gross, what happened to them?”
“The dust was going into Mr. Dalta’s house, and Nana got them wet so
the dust wouldn’t blow,” Kitty explained.
“I’ll bet the dust won’t blow. It won’t come off very well either.”
“Oh, yes it does,” his sister argued. “Just look at me.”
Miles couldn’t help laughing. Kitty was quite a sight with grey
speckles and splotches all over. Her face, usually showing a sprinkling
of freckles, now showed only dirt.
Taking a step back from the fence, Miles surveyed the rugs. Then he
sauntered back to Nana and Mr. Dalta.
“Uh, I hate to say this, but those rugs are pulling the fence down.”
“What!” exclaimed Mr. Dalta, struggling to his feet. “Well, do
something before they ruin my fence! How am I going to keep anyone out
if my fence comes down?”
“Oh, dear, this is just dreadful. Miles, why are the rugs pulling the
fences down?” Mrs. Lewis was nervously grasping Miles’ arm.
Matter-of-factly, Miles explained that the weight of the water had made
the rugs very heavy, thus they were bending the wires of the fence.
“Oh, my!” Mrs. Lewis was quite impressed. “I always knew you were a
wonder in school. Now isn’t that something, Mr. Dalta?”
“Yes, yes, of course,” that gentleman sputtered. “But my fence! Boy,”
he began turning to Miles, “did they teach you anything about fixing a
pulling down fence?”
Only saying he thought he could fix it, Miles went back to the rugs.
With Kitty’s help, he soon had the rugs airing in the grass and began
to straighten the fence.
Only then did Kitty notice. “Look, Nana, Mr. Dalta, there is the No
Trespassing sign. A rug must have hidden it.”
Mr. Dalta sighed in relief. “I knew I had one up. Then you were
trespassing, and I should call the police.”
“Oh, Mr. Dalta,” Mrs. Lewis began, “we weren’t trespassing.”
“You weren’t?”
“No, we were only being neighborly and helping you out. Now, would you
like to stay while I make some chocolate cake?”
Did you like it?:)


Grace said...

I loved your story. It was very touching. Talk to you soon.

Abigail in WI said...

us girl cousins are getting to be soo :)