I was staying with a family who lived in the country. The man of the house, a boy and I were standing in an open, freshly plowed field when the man said he wanted to show me something. The man said something about a groundhog, and he and the boy began running across the field and down an embankment. I ran behind them, thinking the matter had something to do with the groundhog seeing its shadow.
We reached a hole about a half meter in diameter, but I couldn't see anything in the hole. I saw another nearby hole, and became excited when I thought I saw an animal in it. I ran to the hole and hollered, "Here it is! Here it is!"
When I looked at the animal again, however, I said, "No, no, it's a badger."
Indeed, it did look like a badger. It was beside the hole at first, but then crawled back inside. Then it crawled back out again and I saw it wasn't a badger after all. It was a dog. It ambled up to us. Apparently it belonged to the man. I looked nearby, and saw another animal, which I thought was a raccoon. I said, "There's a coon."
As soon as I had said "coon," I thought about how people sometimes called black people "coons." I thought about the black stripe across the eyes of raccoons, and I wondered why people had started calling black people "coons."
The raccoon turned out to be a dog, too. It looked as if the dogs had been digging in the ground trying to find the groundhog.
Finally we returned to the house. Everyone left for the day, except one small boy (13-14 years old). I lay down on a bed in the bedroom, looking out the window through some small, round blinds which were hanging vertically on the window. I stuck my toes between some of the cylindrical blinds and began playing with them.
As I did so, I realized the boy was standing completely naked in the room. It occurred to me I hadn't been talking much with anyone here in the house, including the boy. For some reason, I wasn't even sure whether he could talk. I looked at him and asked, "Can you talk?"
He looked at me and said something, but he was difficult to understand. I thought perhaps I should tell him to put some clothes on, but I didn't know if I should say that to him. As I continued talking to him, I thought he seemed a bit retarded, but I thought it might just be that he had never been educated. I asked him if the man who lived here was his father. He said he was, but I was unconvinced. I said, "Well, he treats you awfully well."
He understood that. He knew the man treated him well. I had watched them together before, and I had noticed how well the man treated the boy. I asked the boy if the woman who lived here was his mother and he indicated she was. But I had the feeling that the woman wasn't really his mother, and that she didn't really want him here.
When the boy would speak, he would say quite a bit. I saw that he was intelligent, but that he simply couldn't talk well. Apparently he simply hadn't learned to talk well. He finally walked over and lay down on the floor.
Suddenly I realized that it was late in the morning and that I needed to go to the courthouse. I was supposed to go to a bankruptcy hearing at 10:30 a.m. I jumped up, ran out and got into my 1984 Volkswagen Rabbit. I drove down the street until I passed a courthouse. I thought I heard a hammer pounding inside. I thought that it was the judge's gavel and that I was too late. But I thought, "Well, if it just now started, I'll still have time."
I pulled into a diagonal parking place next to the curb, but before I could finish parking, I heard a thump, and I thought something had happened to my car. I backed up and looked, but I couldn't see that I had hit the curb anywhere with the car. So I pulled into the parking place again. I stopped and prepared to go into the courthouse.
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