Self-made Man

By: Nanuk


"Wait! Where are you going?" Ben grabbed Adam´s arm to prevent him
from bolting, something that had become far too frequent in the last
years for Ben´s liking.

Adam tried to free his arm. Impatiently he rolled his eyes.

"To the outhouse, Pa!"

Joe and Hoss drew shocked breaths.

Ben immediately grew concerned.

"You´re sure you´re up to it?" he asked, his anxious voice a pitch
higher than usual. Adam took a step backwards.

"Pa, I …"

"Son, you don´t know what you can do or not."


"No, I don´t want to hear about it." Ben took a deep breath. "I´m
coming with you!" He ignored the exasperated look on his oldest
son´s face. Instead, he put up a finger.

"We have been trough this hundreds of times…", unconsciously he
raised his voice, "…you´re not to leave my side alone, you´re not
old enough!"

Joe and Hoss nodded in unison. They had just learned to bind their
own laces and were quite proud of their achievement. That Adam
wanted to go to the outhouse alone was something they´d never dare
to think of.

"Pa, I want to marry tomorrow." Adam´s slightly impatient voice left
a dark silence in the living room, a silence that was interrupted
when Hoss crushed to the floor in a dead faint.

Ben decided to end a discussion that went more and more into a
direction he didn´t like.

"We´re talking about that later, young man. Go up to your room."

Adam squared his shoulders. "No."

A second crush indicated that Joe had joined his brother on the
floor, completely over-whelmed by his other brother disobeying their

Ben´s hands shook. That behaviour of a son to his father was unheard

"Adam, I insist you…"

"Pa, I want to know about the bees and the flowers."

Ben´s eyes rolled up, and his knees buckled. The edges of his vision
started to fade into a frazzled grey. He could just make out the
form of Adam in front of him.

"And about women, Pa!"

Ben fell to the floor and came to lie next to his sons. Adam
carefully stepped around three of them.

He sighed and grabbed his hat.

"Everything I have to do on my own. Now if someone could just tell
me where to find a white shirt, I´ll be out of here."

His gaze fell on his brother on the ground. He grinned. And bent

The end