Next morning, December 27, 1958, dawned clear, but cold and windy. I crawled from my toasty warm bed and ran to the bathroom. Someone was in there, so I stood outside the door, hopping from one foot to the other on the floor. The house was uncharacteristically warm, I thought. Then I remembered there were several people there keeping my Grandda company in his vigil.
Soon the door opened, and Ma came out. Upon seeing me, she hugged me and wanted to know how I was doing.
"Fine, Ma. I just gotta use the bathroom."
While she was hugging me, Les slipped by us and sneaked into the bathroom, shutting the door, and I could hear his giggle.
"Ma! Look what just happened!"
"Oh, Zebbie, I'm sorry."
But her smile gave her away, and I knew she found it to be funny, too.
"Oh, well," I told myself, " it's not funny to someone who needs to be in there." I smiled anyway, because it was a normal shenanigan for Les. That was part of what made him Les.
He soon came out and said, "It's all yours, big brother," and giggled again.
In a couple of minutes I was out and after I got dressed, I was surprised when I went into the kitchen to see Rosie standing at the kitchen counter with her new friend, Arlissa, breaking eggs into a bowl, and just chattering away like old friends.
Mrs. Hinton, Arlissa's Grandma, was standing at the stove frying bacon, and Ma had her hands in flour, rolling out dough for hot biscuits. My mouth watered as I smelled the aromas of breakfast in the making.
"Ma, can I have a cup of coffee, to tide me over til breakfast is ready?"
"I guess so, but nothing else."
Grabbing the pot of coffee, I gingerly poured a cup half full of coffee and sat down at the table to watch as breakfast was prepared.
In a few minutes, the biscuits were in the oven, and Ma ran me out of there to wake up Marie and to let those who were there overnight know that the meal would soon be ready.
When I went into the living room, I saw the Sheriff and nodded politely to him. I figured it was a good idea to stay in his good graces. A few of the other neighbors had stayed over, all men of around Grandda's age.
I let them all know about breakfast and went in to wake up six-year-old Marie. She was snuggled down in bed, holding her hand curled around something. I thought for a minute, wondering what it was. Then, I realized it must be the mouse Grandda had carved.