Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Prosperity (05/11/06)
TITLE: Manure Sale
By dub W
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“I could use a little hep.” Billy pressed his body against the steel arm. “Lord, if’n yer listen’n, send me an angel to hep, cause uncle Harold ain’t gonna.”
About the time he finished his pseudo prayer the last of the load slid off the trailer and onto the street. The balance again shifted and the steel bar slammed down upon the hitch ball. Billy locked it into place.
“Lota good it do ya now,” Harold laughed, shook his head and muttered, “a brick short.”
Billy stood and looked to the back of the trailer. A pile of smelly green fertilizer was resting in the street next to the curb.
“Get a shovel and I’ll be back an hour or so.” Harold started walking toward a corner tavern.
Billy slowly picked up a shovel from in back of the pickup. His uncle was known for practical jokes, and telling Billy to unhitch the trailer was one. Harold often took similar advantage of Billy’s slow demeanor; then Harold would slip into the nearest pub.
Billy scooped the first shovel full of manure and tossed it into the trailer. A dark Buick suddenly pulled up along side of the Billy. “Whatcha doin with that manure? You sell’n it?”
“Well we’us gonna,” Billy did not finish his sentence.
“I need a some for my wife’s roses, I gotta cardboard box in the trunk, do you think I could get a couple of shovel’s full? I’ll give you $20. Fair enough, save me drive’n clear across town to the home improvement store.” The man got out of his car and produced the box which Billy quickly filled then carefully placed the box back in the trunk of the man’s car.
A lady from a house across the street walked over to the old pickup. “You got fertilizer for sale? Let me get the wheelbarrow, fresh manure is hard to come by.” Minutes later she came back pushing a plastic wheelbarrow. Billy filled it then pushed the wheelbarrow back to the lady’s house. “Here you are young man.” She stuffed a twenty dollar bill into Billy’s shirt while they were walking.
When Billy got back to the truck there were three more men with wagons and wheelbarrows waiting. As he filled one, another would arrive. In about fifteen minutes Billy had filled everyone’s request, and not a scrap of manure was left on the street.
“Listen, if you could bring another load by here on Saturday morning, I’m sure lots of folks would appreciate it,” said one of the men as he rolled his wagon away. “I’ll tell the neighbors you’ll be by.”
Billy’s pocket bulged with twenty dollar bills.
Billy walked across the street to the corner bar and saw his uncle sitting on a bar stool.
“Hey Uncle Harold,” Billy chimed.
“Boy, don’t you know they don’t allow people like you in bars. Take that truck on over to hardware store, and make sure they give you $15, then take yer truck on home, and give all thet money to yer mother. I’ll find a ride. Kin ya find the store?
“But, Uncle Harold,” Billy protested.
“Go on now scat, not another word.”
Billy ducked his head and turned toward the entrance. As he neared the door he overheard his uncle say to the bartender, “the kid ain’t right, he’s slow ya know.”
Instead of going directly to the hardware store Billy took the truck and trailer back to the farm and had another load of manure put on the bed. Then he drove to the hardware store and watched as a crew unloaded the fresh fertilizer into waiting gunny sacks.
“Here’s the $15 I told yer uncle I would pay for a load,” said the store manager. “Bring another one on Saturday.”
“Okay, I’ll be late comin’, I got something to do.”
“That’s fine. Try to get here be noon. You kin find yer way home cain’t ya boy?”
Billy got in the pickup and drove out of the parking lot. “Lord I didn’t see no angel and I didn’t mean to ask fer so much, and wow, ah certainly didn’t count on prosperity.”
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