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freed's mill.
Tribble, Terry and I walked up the road to Freed's Mill with two wheelbarrows, me with the little red one that Momma uses and him with the big green one that Dad or I use when we're helping Momma in the yard. Terry wanted to drive the big one 'cause he said he's not a sissy and I told him that he'd pray to be a sissy in about fifteen minutes.

At Freed's they know me 'cause Dad and Gill hang out there on Saturday morning smoking with other older guys while us kids play in the sawdust piles out back of the show room. I walked up to the counter with Tribble and said, "Momma needs us to get some black dirt."

Mr. Freed looked Terry up and down and told us to take what we needed, he'd keep up with it, he said, and then he handed me and Terry a coke. While we sat drinking our cokes Mr. Freed pulled a dog biscuit from under the counter and tossed it to Tribble where he stood lapping a bowl they keep in the store room for farm dogs that follow their masters in when they trade grains. The biscuit broke in a hundred pieces but my dog found everyone of them, even using his nose to push a bucket of paint to the side to get the last crumb. Tribble was happy. I was happy, and Terry was happy, too.

We finished our cokes and filled up the wheelbarrows. Terry drove the little red one back to our house and I drove the bigger one; both of them were full to overflowing with stinky black dirt that Momma would coo over even though it's just dirt. When we got to our porch there was a trail of black little clods all the way up the street, leading to our front yard.

"Sissy." Terry threw a handful of dirt at me when I said it.

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