(c) Alex Hogan, 2006
“Where is that boy? He should be mucking out the stables. He’s probably asleep behind the hay, like little boy blue. Beth, go find him and send him here.”
What? How could mother ask me to do that? The boy was one of our farm boys, and he could well be asleep by now, since he arrived here every morning at dawn.
‘The boy’ was Jack. He had been working here for three years. When he first started I did not take much notice of him – he was just a boy. But now, I thought he looked very nice. Trouble was, I had spent two years ignoring him, while he and my brother played stupid boy games, throwing cats down wells and such things. So now he took no notice of me.
I left mother by the clothes tub in the laundry and went out toward the stables. Behind the stables was the hay-shed, and behind that the pile of newly cut hay, that could not fit into the hay-shed. Between the pile and the hay-shed was a nice space where one could easily hide. I had done so myself many-a time, when I wanted to escape from mother’s rules and chores. I had not realised she knew about it.
I did not think Jack would be there, as he had never come there on the occasions when I was there. I wish he had. I would have gladly given a maidenly blush and then allowed him to sneak a kiss. But those sojourns I spent between the hay and the shed were always alone.
I trudged on, vainly holding my skirts above the mud and duck shit that lay along the way. As I came closer to the haystack behind the shed I heard a human sound, a whimpering perhaps, or a groan. I could not recognise the type of sound. The voice at times did sound like Jack. Was he injured? I quickened my pace. Maybe I could help him, save him, tend to his wounds. Surely then he would love me.
As I reached the back of the shed I heard the voice of Teddy, my brother. Had he already found Jack? But he was a mere boy; he could not help someone who was injured the way a girl could. He gave a groan just as Jack had. What had happened to these two boys? Mother would be so pleased that I had saved my dear brother.
I turned the corner, about to race over and offer my assistance. In front of me I saw the two boys; they were lying down against the hay, next to each other. They both had one arm around the others waist, and their heads lying against the others shoulder. Each had a hand slipped down the front of the others pants and seemed to be moving their hands around inside. Both moaned and whimpered. I couldn’t help but wonder what it was they were doing in each others pants. I knew what things were in there, as I had seen my brother open his pants to relieve himself out in the paddocks.
Jack lifted his head off Teddy’s shoulder, then leant in and kissed him upon the lips.
I slipped away from the haystack and made my way back toward the house. I felt like I was walking along in some sort of balloon, looking at the world in a new and strange way.
“Well, was the lazy sod of a boy there?” Mother called out when I re-entered the house.
“No mother. Nothing there.” I had not understood what I had seen, but did not think the boys would want me to tell, since they had hidden in the secret spot to do it. “Maybe he’s out in a paddock somewhere.” I slipped off to do my chores, alone.
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