FRED, THE THIRD HUSBAND, PART 5

Every Sunday evening Brother and I would excitedly gather in front of the TV in Mom and Fred's room to watch two of our favorite shows, Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom and the Wonderful World of Disney movie of the week.

I loved to watch the wild animals showcased each week by the host, Marlin Perkins, on Mutual of Omaha.  But my favorite was the Disney movie of the week. 

When Mutual of Omaha was over, the Disney movie of the week started.  My heart started to beat with excitement and anticipation when the fairy tale Disney castle appeared on the TV screen with colorful fireworks exploding behind it.  Soon Tinkerbell appeared on the screen flying in graceful circles, waving her little wand and sprinkling magic fairy dust on the castle. 

An hour and a half later, the movie was over, and Brother and I headed to bed.

- - -

 The school year flew by, and soon it was time for summer break.  On the last day of school, all of the children participated in field day.  Field day was a fun-filled day of games, races and good food to eat.  I happily participated in all of the activities and enjoyed eating the sweet treats. 

Before we left, Mrs. Gosney stood at the classroom door and gave each student a warm hug.

I couldn't wait to start my summer vacation!

 - - -

 Shortly after school let out, Mom told us that some of her friends and their kids were coming for a visit on the weekend, and they were going to stay at our house.  I was very excited to meet the kids and play with them.  And best of all, we were going to go to Knott's Berry Farm, an amusement park near our house, on Saturday!

Friday Mom and I spent the day cleaning the house.  A bed with blankets and pillows was arranged on the small dining room floor for the kids to sleep on.

When Mom's friends arrived at our house that evening, we went to eat at one of our favorite Mexican restaurants.  After we got home, Brother and I took our new friends outside and played while the adults sat in the living room and talked. 

At bedtime we crawled into our makeshift bed on the dining room floor while the adults sat in the living room a few feet away talking.  Being a light sleeper, I restlessly moved around trying to go to sleep over the sound of their voices.

"Morrene!  If you do not go to sleep, you will have to go to your room.  Now, stop moving around!" said Fred.

Soon the excitement of the day caught up with me, and I drifted off to sleep.  The next thing I knew, I was abruptly awakened when Fred roughly grabbed my arm, jerked me to my feet and dragged me down the hallway to my room and threw me in bed.  I cried myself to sleep.  I had no idea what I had done this time to make him mad.

The next morning we got up early and ate breakfast at a restaurant near our house.  Afterwards we went to Knott's Berry Farm and spent an enjoyable day riding the many rides, eating the delicious park food and walking through the western-themed exhibits.

Before we left, we ate a delicious dinner of fried chicken, corn and mashed potatoes and gravy followed by homemade pie and ice cream at their famous fried chicken restaurant. 

At the end of the day, happy and exhausted, we all went back to our house.  When it was time for us to go to bed, once again we crawled into our bed of pillows and blankets on the dining room floor.  Thankfully I fell fast asleep after the long and tiring day.

- - -

During the week, Mom dropped me and Brother off at Marion's house before she went to the stables, and we spent many happy hours playing with LuAnn, Cheryl, Brian and the neighbor kids. 

Marion had a metal swing set in her back yard that I loved to play on.  My favorite was the swings.  After I sat down on the swing, I would start pumping my legs as fast as I could, and in no time at all I would be flying high in the air.  Each time I swung forward, the back leg of the set lifted out of the ground, and when I leaned back, the back leg back crashed to the ground and the front leg lifted up.   

- - -

LuAnn and Cheryl were in the Girl Scouts, and Marion was the Scout leader.  She often held meetings at her house in the afternoons on the days the Scouts met.  If Brother and I were still at her house when she had a meeting, Marion would kindly include me, and I got to make arts and crafts with the other girls.    

In the evening Mom picked us up, and off we went to the stables.

- - -

At the stables one of Fred’s little ponies named Dolly was pregnant and was soon to give birth.  Day by day she got bigger and bigger.  Mom kept a close eye on her looking for any signs that she was close to going in to labor. 

One evening Mom picked me and Brother up from Marion’s house after school, and we hurried back to the stables.  Mom told us she thought Dolly was going to give birth that evening.  I was very excited to meet her baby and play with it!

When we got to the stables, Brother ran off to play, and Mom and I went into Dolly’s stall.  Dolly was laying down on her side and breathing heavily.  While Mom checked Dolly’s backside, I sat next to her and petted her head and told her what a good girl she was.

As the sun went down, I started to shiver in the cool air, and my belly growled in hunger.  It was well past dinnertime, and I hadn’t eaten since my afternoon snack at Marion’s house.

After a while, Brother's friends went home, and he came to Dolly's stall and started begging Mom for food.  Fred was working that evening, so we were at the stables alone. 

As usual Brother was quite vocal about his need for food. Finally he wore Mom down, and she took us to McDonald's.  As soon as Brother and I got our food, we hungrily opened our hamburgers and started to eat.  

When we got back to the stables, Dolly had given birth.  Lying next to Dolly was an unopened sac containing her little foal.  When Mom saw the unopened sac, she ran to Dolly’s pen and frantically tore it open.  Mom and I started to cry when we saw the little foal’s lifeless body. 

Although my stomach was full, I felt deep shame and guilt that Brother and I had asked Mom to go get us food.  If I had waited a little bit longer, Dolly’s baby would be alive.

I stood there silently while Mom cleaned Dolly up and removed the foal from her pen.  Afterwards I went into the pen and hugged Dolly's little face and told her how sorry I was that her baby had died.

To be continued…..