June 23, 1887
Riley had questions. He wanted to know why there was no supper. He also wanted to know why a swarm of bees was buzzing around a wet spot on the back porch.
I was too tired to answer. When most of the bees had had their fill, I'd brought in the pie pan and washed it up. I took a bucket of water and threw it onto the bees and what they hadn’t eaten of the pie. That explained the wet spot on the porch.
Riley had bread and milk that night, and I went to bed.
The next morning, Riley asked, “Is something wrong?”
“Wrong?” I smeared jam on my toast. “Why do you ask?”
“Let’s see…” Riley stirred sugar into his coffee and eyed me. “You’re looking more tired than I’ve ever seen you. Last night you went right to bed without any supper. You’ve also acted more…” He cleared his throat and looked away.
“Grumpy?” I finished for him. I sighed. “I reckon I have.”
I flushed and ducked my head. “Lots of reasons.”
Riley said nothing, but his patient look prompted me to finish explaining.
I took a breath and exploded, “For one, there’s this baby. He or she won’t let me sleep at night, and wears me out during the day. Then”—I swallowed—“there’s Jasper.”