“I wantcha ta rid up the barn taday,” Uncle Joe said.
“Why taday?” Peter said. “It coulduv been done yesterday. Taday I got plans in Rooshe (Russia).”
“Werk on the farm comes first,” Uncle Joe said.
“That’s the point,” Peter said. “It coulduv been done yesterday. So I kin do it tamorrow.”
“Ya got ta pick up a wagon of corn tamorrow in Montree (Montra),” Uncle Joe said.
“I kin do all that tamorrow,” Peter said.
“When ya gonna hep yer Mom fer the git-tagether?” Uncle Joe said.
“All she’s fixin’ is a covered dish,” Peter said.
“You’d do anything’ not ta do any werk on the farm,” Uncle Joe said.
Peter clenched his jaw. “That’s not true, just anything’ not ta hep you.”
“Ya ain’t never gonna mount ta anythin’ with a mind like that,” Uncle Joe said.
“Yeah, Uncle Joe,” Peter said. “I wannabe jus like you.”
“I gotta mind ta backhand ya,” Uncle Joe said.
“Ya ain’t gotta mind,” Peter said.
Uncle Joe pulled back his hand and moved toward Peter. Peter smiled and stood his ground. It was a moment Peter waited for. He wanted so badly for Uncle Joe to strike him. It gave him options; either to knock him senseless with the crowbar in his hand or leave home for good, or both.
“Peter!” Momma yelled from the back porch door. “Kin ya bring me the mop from the garage?”
The moment was spoiled.
“Sure, Mom,” Peter said. “Wherebouts?”
“Cattycorner from the light switch,” Momma said.
Peter smiled at Uncle Joe. Joe lowered his hand.
“Yera a lucky guy taday, Uncle Joe,” Peter said and glanced at the crowbar held tightly in his hand.
“Ya better never try anything like whatcher thinkin’ ‘bout’,” Uncle Joe said.
“I can’t wait ta leave here,” Peter said.
“I hope ya leave Ohia and never come back,” Uncle Joe said.
“I will go till I hear people pronounce it Ohi-O,” Peter said.
“That’ll be the day,” Uncle Joe said. “You’d hafta go all the way Indianee, Illeenoise, or Ioway.”
“You forgot Nebraskee,” Peter said.
“I didn’t say the states ta the east,” Uncle Joe said.
“Don’t worry ‘bout me hittin’ ya with a crowbar, Uncle Joe,” Peter said. “I like ya just the way you are.”
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