Vol. 13


Importance of Rainwater

c. 1951; Humnoke, Arkansas, USA

"Importance of Rainwater" illustration, by Cecelia Vannoy: a fluffy, friendly chick is surrounded by a maze of chick footprints

Have you ever wondered how guilt changes life? Here’s an example.

My grandpa — “Pap,” as we call him — was about five years old when this story took place. Pap was with his seven-year-old cousin, Tommy. They were making a road in the dirt driveway, using rocks to line the roadway and empty bottles for their cars.

Then some hens came with their chicks and scratched up their newly built road. The boys were furious! So they put the chicks in a five-gallon bucket and moved them to the shady backyard.

The boys worked hard and rebuilt the road. Just as they started playing with their bottle-cars, the chicks returned and scratched up the road, obliterating the boys’ roadway yet again. The boys were explosively angry!

They gathered the chicks and once again took them to the backyard. This time the boys decided to not take any more risk of having their roadway destroyed, and chose to once and for all fix their problem. They smashed the heads of the chicks with bricks and got rid of them for good by dumping the little chick bodies into the barrel for rainwater. The boys returned to their play and rebuilt their roadway just the way they liked it.

Tommy’s mom, Florency, came home from picking blackberries and found the dead chicks in her rainwater. The boys wisely sensed Florency’s anger and hid under the house. Florency called for them, but they did not respond. So she baked a blackberry cobbler in order to lure them out of hiding.

The boys smelled the cobbler and decided Florency must not really care about the chicks, and they came out to eat. Once they went into the kitchen, they quickly realized this was a bad decision. Between them and the door stood Aunt Florency with a leather belt.

After their punishment, Florency fed the boys some cobbler and listened to their side of the story. She then explained that she was more upset about the rainwater being ruined than about the death of all the chicks. Rainwater was important for many things around the house.

The guilt the boys carried from this event changed their lives. Tommy became a preacher and baptized people instead of chickens. My pap chose to raise chickens as pets and watered them with rainwater that he collected in a five-gallon bucket.

Brock Bowman; Missouri, USA

Illustrator: Cecelia Vannoy; Missouri, USA



This copyrighted story may be copied and/or printed for limited classroom or personal use. To reprint this story in an article about The Grannie Annie, please contact The Grannie Annie Family Story Celebration for permission.


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