Rainy days are often the basis for funny stories.
It happened to be one of those rainy days at the Circle C. It was just after supper and needless to say, everyone was bored.
At least, Andi was bored. Even watching Mitch and Chad attack each other on the the checker board didn't sound appealing. Suddenly, the twelve-year-old whirled around from the window. "Tell me a story," She demanded.
Her whole family looked up in bewilderment. "Who?" Mitch asked her, leaning back in his chair, hands thrown comfortably behind his head.
Andi shrugged. "Anyone I guess. I just wanted to hear a story."
Everyone was quiet for a moment, pondering the many events that had taken place that Andi hadn't been a part of. Suddenly, Justin, who had been reading the newspaper, grinned slyly at Chad. "Should I tell her the one about when Aunt Rebecca came..."
Chad looked up from the checker board sharply. "It's not that funny, Justin. Just because Aunt Rebecca came over right then and there, and..."
"Don't ruin it," Mitch said with a grin, "I'd like to hear it again myself."
Seeing the look on Chad's face, Andi pounced. "Tell that one, Justin!"
Chad rubbed his forehead and groaned and Justin chuckled. "It was when Chad was about twelve or so..."
Chad Carter leaned against the wall of the stable and kicked half heartedly at the floor. Not satisfied with this release of emotions, he rammed a fist into the wall. It probably hurt him more than it did the wall, but he was too mad to care. "Aunt Rebecca. Why in tarnation did it have to be Aunt Rebecca?"
But sure enough, there she was. He could see her if he stuck his head just around the corner and kept his legs behind the door frame. She was just climbing out of a hired cab, one from that young fella named Blake's place. Three whole satchels were resting on the floor of the cab if he wasn't mistaken.
Chad groaned. In a few minutes, Justin would come out here to find him and he'd have to go inside and listen to Aunt Rebecca prattle on about this or that and remind him every five minutes to pay attention or how in heaven's name was he to learn to pay attention later in life?
How indeed? He had plenty of practice paying attention to things that didn't interest him during school.
Sure enough, as soon as Aunt Rebecca went in, Justin came out.
Right then and there, Chad Aaron Carter made a decision.
He was not going inside.
But what to do instead? Justin could talk a mule into moving a barn single-handedly and Chad just knew that he'd end up inside if he stayed to talk to Justin. Even though he was only fourteen, Chad's older brother had a knack for making people do what he wanted them to do. Father always said he was sure that Justin would be a lawyer someday.
Quick as a wink and a second before Justin stuck his head in, Chad scrambled up into the haymow. "Chad? Are you in here? Aunt Rebecca's here, and Mother wants you to come in. Chad? Come on, Chad, I know you're in here."
Chad held his breath, refusing to give in. He wasn't coming out if his brother dragged him. After what felt like an eternity, Justin left and Chad scurried down the ladder, heaving a sigh of relief. He crept quietly out the door, and out to a tall tree whose leaves were in full bloom. Chad was up the tree in seconds, and completely hidden from view. "Perfect," he said happily. Now he wouldn't have to listen to Chad this or Chad that or-
"Chad Aaron Carter!"
Chad gulped and looked in the direction of the voice.
Father sure didn't look too happy. Neither did Justin.
And neither did Aunt Rebecca.
Chad looked at them, all yelling for him. "Maybe I should head in," he muttered to the tree.
In response, the tree cracked.
Chad jumped in surprise and looked behind him. The branch was breaking! Chad looked frantically at the rest of the branches. There was no way any of them would hold his weight.
"Chad! Chad, really, come inside. I don't know what's gotten into you since the last time I saw you, but we'd all appreciate it if you'd come out." Aunt Rebecca! She was standing right under him, going on loudly.
"Please GOD," Chad whispered, "don't let the branch-"
Down went the branch and down went Chad, right on top of his Aunt, who stumbled backwards....
And landed them both in the watering trough.
Chad came up sputtering, followed by a very ruffled Aunt Rebecca. He shook the water out of his eyes, only to find three things: Aunt Rebecca was glaring at him, Justin was trying not to laugh, and Father looked ready to give him the worst switching of his life. Father cleared his throat and Chad looked sheepish. "Great day for a swim, don't you think?"
"Needless, to say, Chad got his hide tanned. He had to muck out all the stalls, and he couldn't even sit on a horse for a week," Mitch finished for Justin.
Andi wiped tears of laughter from her eyes and grinned at Chad, who looked like a boiled tomato.
"Good story, Justin. You've got a real knack for it," Chad muttered, sullenly triple jumping Mitch's checkers.
Justin grinned. "Thank you, little brother."
Chad glared at him.
Andi looked at Chad in mock concern. "Gee, Chad, you look like you need to cool down. How about a dip in the horse trough?"
It's in circumstances like these that all younger siblings know they have finally triumphed.