The Boy Is Ordained

The Boy Is Ordained charcoal drawing
The Boy Is Ordained short story illustration. Charcoal drawing by author.

See the turtle of enormous girth.
On it’s back it holds the earth.
– Boy, Eld, Thankee.

The Boy Is Ordained

The boy cussed all the time and was sorry that he did, but cursing was his only emotional outlet.  Mostly he was a good boy and helped his mother do the housework, but then he would go out shooting bee-bee guns with his cousin John Thomas, and they would cuss and talk the way their fathers and the other men cussed and talked in the shop.

The boy was always sorry he cursed, and he didn’t drink cokes or tea or steal or cheat or anything like that.  He was sincere in his desire to be the person his mother and the people at church needed him to be.  He prayed every night for the Lord to forgive his cussing, and at age twelve he was ordained into the priesthood like all good Mormon boys.

Of course, the boy wouldn’t be a priest until he turned 16, but even now as a twelve-year-old deacon, the level of involvement at church would increase.  He would pass the sacrament to the congregation and start attending priesthood meetings to prepare for his mission.

After his ordination at church that Sunday, the boy’s mother and his aunts lingered outside the chapel for the longest time.  They were all so proud of him, and they all told him how nice he looked in his tie.  His mother teared up a bit, and then they all prayed together that his daddy might stop drinking one day and come to church with them.

Then his mother saw the time, and said she better go and get dinner started.  His aunt Wanda wanted to swing by and visit more, but her engine light had been flicking on and off, so everyone said goodbye and left.

The morning had all seemed so special, but when they got home from church, the day became like any other Sunday.  His mother started dinner, and his father came in from the shop and told the boy to get his work clothes on.

“What are we doing?  Does it have to be long pants?”

“Yea, better wear em.  You might have to lay on the ground, and there’s fire ants all around that damn trailer from what your Uncle Billy tells me.”

“What are we doing?”

“I just need you to see if you can find some wires.  Billy done got em kinked up, and now he can’t feed em through the holes. Probly cross-threaded all to hell.  If he could listen to a damn thing you try to tell him, he wouldn’t need no–”

“Bub, go help your daddy, it’ll take me longer than that to get dinner on the table.”

“Ok momma, but I’m starving.”

“I’ll hurry.  The water’s already boiling.  Hang them pants up right like I showed you.”

“I will momma.”

short story by Joe Riverson Smith