Fresh Eggs

Fresh Eggs by Rob Levandoski Read Free Book Online

Book: Fresh Eggs by Rob Levandoski Read Free Book Online
Authors: Rob Levandoski
1830
DIED SEPT. 1913
 DIED JULY 1909
AGED 83 YRS .
AGED 79 YRS .
Safe From the Storms of Life
    There is the gravestone of Henry’s son, Clyde Willis, and Clyde Willis’s first and only wife, the much-suffering Ina May:
    CASSOWARY
    CLYDE WILLIS
    1868 TO 1946
    INA MAY
    HIS WIFE
    1872 TO 1961
    There is the gravestone of Clyde’s ambitious son, Alfred, and the ambitious woman from Michigan he married, Dorothy Marie Beane:
CASSOWARY
ALFRED E .
DOROTHY M .
Beloved husband & father
Beloved wife & mother
1894 TO 1962
1896 TO 1971
    P RECIOUS IN THE SIGHT OF THE L ORD IS THE DEATH OF HIS S AINTS
    Psalms 116:15
    There is the gravestone of Alfred’s son, Donald. Donald’s wife, Betsy, who has remarried and moved to Columbus, may or may not be buried there, too, someday:
CASSOWARY
DONALD
BETSY
SGT. U.S. ARMY WW 2
DEVOTED WIFE
1920 • 1972
1923 • 19—
    Calvin brushes his dirty hands on his pants and sits back Indian style. He pulls Rhea into his lap and wraps his arms around her. They share a long conversation of silence. Only when Rhea says she has to pee do they leave, driving to the nearest gas station. Then they drive home.
    Death and winter are no match for life and business. Layer houses D and E are completed and the trucks arrive from Gallinipper’s with 120,000 ready-to-lay Leghorn pullets. Calvin and Jimmy Faldstool work nonstop stuffing the hens in their cages. Calvin now has 300,000 hens squirting two grade A eggs every three days.
    Those 300,000 hens also will squirt thirty-six tons of manure a day.
    â€œI don’t think I can keep up with the manure much longer,” Jimmy warns his boss one Friday afternoon in February as they sit across from each other in the breakfast nook. Calvin has his payroll book in front of him, figuring how much of Jimmy’s raise will go for Social Security, how much for state and federal income taxes. Jimmy is sitting in Jeanie’s chair. The drawing of Jeanie feeding the Orpingtons is on the wall behind him.
    â€œToo bad Gallinippers can’t engineer their hens to crap nickels,” Calvin says as his finger works the egg-yolk yellow pocket calculator Norman Marek sent him for Christmas.
    â€œThat’d be something,” Jimmy says.
    Calvin shakes his head at what’s left of Jimmy’s raise. “I was hoping to hire somebody full time in the spring. But these interest rates—I’ll help you with the shoveling until things turn around.”
    â€œGood gravy. No need for that.”
    Calvin looks up at his drawing of Jeanie with the Orpingtons. He bites his lip. He hands Jimmy his check. “Wish it could be more.”
    Without looking at it, Jimmy folds the check and sticks it in his shirt pocket. His good-natured acceptance of his low-paid life both saddens and embarrasses Calvin.
    Jimmy heads for the door, zipping his parka as he walks. “We’re almost out of fly strips,” he says.
    â€œI’ll order some,” Calvin says.
    Jimmy puts on his gloves, then takes the right one off again, so he can dig his car keys out of his jeans. “Too bad those flies don’t crap nickels, too.”
    No sooner has Jimmy Faldstool’s old Chevy slid out of the snow-filled driveway than Marilyn Dickcissel’s new Buick slides in. Calvin gets two cartons of brown eggs from the refrigerator and hurries to the porch.
    Marilyn has another woman with her today. A young woman. They walk up the slippery unshoveled sidewalk, like tightrope walkers high over the Niagara Gorge. “I brought you a new customer,” Marilyn says.
    The new customer is Donna Digamy, who Marilyn has just hired to handle the appointments and billing for her dog grooming business. “Your business isn’t the only one growing by leaps and bounds,” Marilyn says. Her cigarette smoke is mixing with the frozen air curling out of her nostrils. Donna, it seems, is single, attending the technical college in Wadesburg, working

Similar Books

Far Tortuga

Peter Matthiessen

The Wind From Hastings

Morgan Llywelyn

Dark Jenny

Alex Bledsoe

The Reunion

Adriana Kraft

Running Wild

J. G. Ballard

Tampa

Alissa Nutting