In which we meet Uncle Adam, learn about Grandpa's hidden power and tiptoe around the situation.
Our Millie used to say there is no such thing as too many naps, and when the world starts getting you down there's nothing better than closing your eyes and shutting it all out, but sometimes a powerful presence brings you back to reality.
Uncle Adam was loungin' in Grandpa's favorite old chair on the porch when Billy Bug and Our Millie came home from school that day. He was leanin' way back with his cowboy boot clad feet up on the railin'. Our Millie looked real close at the boots 'cause Uncle Adam had got them out West when he decided he was goin' to be a cowboy. She smiled when she saw they didn't have spurs. He had tried spurs like a real cowboy, but he kept gettin' them tangled up together and fallin' down and hurtin' himself. Nobody could figure out how he managed to do that, but it got so funny that even the horses seemed to be laughin' when they saw him comin' near. Even the old mare rolled her eyes and bolted away with a mighty whinny.
So, when he got back home he gave his spurs to Billy Bug and kept the fancy boots and his extra large ten-gallon hat that once was white but now was gettin' gray from all the wear. Right now it covered his entire face restin' easily from hairline to chin.
Billy Bug and Our Millie looked at each other and then each went around one side and the other of Uncle Adam. They couldn't figure out if he was just sleepin' or maybe he was dead. He was gettin' kind of old and you never could tell. He was always talkin' about just driftin' away sometime, so maybe this was the time.
They were tryin' to figure out which it was without touchin' him 'cause if he was sleepin' he'd be real mad if he woke up, and if he was dead they didn't want to risk his ghost chasin' after them.
Billy Bug was goin' to get a stick and see if he could lift a little of the hat brim and Our Millie kept lookin' at his checkered shirt to see if it was movin'. She whispered to Billy Bug that maybe they could feel his wrist and see if there was a heartbeat, and they almost got into a fight about which one would do it. Still Uncle Adam didn't stir. They didn't know what to do next when they saw Grandpa trudgin' down the lane. He looked real tired and ready to get home. They decided to hide behind the wood box and see what would happen. Grandpa loved that chair and always headed right to it.
Tri-Pawed barked and wagged and ran to meet Grandpa. Uncle Adam didn't move. Big Mil dropped some pans in the kitchen and yelled real loud when one of them hit her in the shin. Still nothin' from Uncle Adam.
Grandpa stomped up the porch steps with his work boots bangin' and hittin' the step that was loose and always sounded like a cat gettin' his tail caught in a door. Then all was quiet. Grandpa stood over Uncle Adam, hands on hips and stared at the hat on the face. He didn't move or yell or touch Uncle Adam or nothin'.
Our Millie and Billy Bug couldn't believe their eyes when they saw a slow lazy movement from the chair. Uncle Adam's feet came off the railin' and his body straightened up, a hand went up and began pushin' the hat up from his face and pretty soon his blinkin' blue eyes were lookin' at Grandpa. Nobody said nothin' and with a slight nod Uncle Adam rose from the chair, grabbed his walkin' stick from the floor and took off down the road.
Grandpa knocked the dust off his hat and settled down in his chair with his feet on the railin', covered his face with his old straw hat and moved his body into the worn seat of the chair with a sigh. "You can't have too many naps," he mumbled before he started snorin'.
Billy Bug and Our Millie didn't know how Grandpa woke Uncle Adam. They were relieved he wasn't dead, but kind of disappointed there was no big fight. They looked at Grandpa and went on into the house to see what was for supper.