Virgin hummed as he walked back from the river, his fishing pole slung over his shoulder and three fish in his hand. He met Pa at the door of the shanty as he displayed his catch.
Virgin’s smile faded somewhat as he realized Pa looked stern. He hastily racked his brain, looking around the yard for what he might have left undone. He vaguely recalled exchanging a rake for his fishing pole.
Pa folded his arms as Virgin’s shoulders slumped.
“I am sorry I forgot to shovel out the barn,” the boy said meekly.
“I came home from a long day and had to do it. I am sorely disappointed. You are old enough to have a sense of responsibility.”
“I caught dinner,” Virgin said hopefully.
“So I see. But work comes before play. Have I not told you this many times?”
“I am sorry, Pa,” Virgin said, his voice quiet. “It will not happen again.”
“But it has, son, it has. Come inside with me. I will see to is this mistake is not repeated.”
Virgin dropped pole and fish and ran. He knew what was coming. And he did not want it.