- Vol. 03
- Chapter 04
"Now Priscilla, you go on now and plow the fields, y'hear? I'll be moving the hay."
"If you want, I'll be chopping some firewood too, Pa."
"You don't go doing that... that's men's work." A sigh. "And since we don't got no other men around, I guess that just leaves me."
It's always like this. Every day we tend to the earth surrounding our small home. Pa does chores he considers 'men's work', and gives me what he deems the lighter task. Was hard enough trying to convince him I could plow the fields, move the hay, rustle up the cattle. Anything to get out of fixin up the house all damn day.
He was getting old, Pa. But he was so stubborn to realize all these activities were straining him, before he finally relented.
"If only you was a boy..." I know he never said it, at least to me personally, but I could feel it sure as anything. Havin no sons or no man willing to be my husband, I assume Pa was at a loss of what to do with me, except be a farmhand.
Must've been embarrassing for him. Being seen by our neighbors as "Tom, the man who couldn't marry his daughter off and find a decent man to inherit this plot" or "Tom, whose life was so unfortunate as to give him a girl and nothin else."
He was cursed with a me, and thus no legacy in his mind.
Or maybe I was the one who was cursed, having to live my life as a constant reminder that I only survive to keep my father unhappy.
Who knows? Perhaps it's both. One and the same.
"Pa, I can harrow the soil too, if y'want."
"Now, I'll handle that. That's a job for a man."
"Pa, you need to rest. I can do it." Another sigh. A shake of the head. "Fine, be sure to finish in time to make dinner."
'If only...' It's here, unspoken, but I know it's there.
I bring out the horses with the harrow and continue my duty. It's the most I can do for the lot cast me, right?
It's like this. It's always like this. And I'm afraid it will be till the day I'm returned to this very soil.