Tar

    Daddy’s voice echoed through the yard. “What-did-you-do!”
    Mama heard it in the kitchen. She opened the window and stuck her head out. “What’d they do?”
    My little brother and I stared at each other. What did we do? I thought. I knew Georgie was thinking it too cause his eyes were big and round so you could see the white all around the bright green part. 
    “They must’a knocked over that bucket of tar I got near the barn and then they tromped it all over. That crap is all over my tailgate.” Crap isn’t a nice thing to say but that’s what Daddy says when he’s really angry.
    “Oh, God,” said my Mother. God isn’t a good thing to say either but she did.  “I’ll get the Goo Gone and the paper towels.” She turned from the window and fixed us in her you’re-helpless-and-a-whole-handful stare. “You’ve got a lot of explaining to do, gentlemen.”
    “But we didn’t…” I started. I knew she hated this answer but it felt true. Mama says honesty is the most important thing.
    “That’s the wrong answer at this juncture, gentlemen.” She was talking as if it was both of us but looking at just me. Seems like, according to my parents, if there’s trouble, it must be me, cause I’m older.  She bent down under the sink and grabbed the Goo Gone and paper towels. “Be honest, take responsibility for your actions, clean up and say your sorry.” I rolled my eyes at Georgie and he giggled. Mama stood up quick “Does someone think this is funny, because it is most certainly not.”
    “No, Mama,” I said. But it did seem a little funny the way that grown-ups are always telling kids to calm down then they go and blow up like a goose pillow their anger raining down feathers everywhere.

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