The Barn Brats

“How is my little boy doing today?” Willie asked his son.

“I’m all right,” said Dakota. “I guess.”

“What do you mean, you guess?” Willie asked.

“Gee Dad,” said Dakota, his long ears flopping. “I’m bored.”

“Bored!” exclaimed Willie. “Dakota, how can you be bored? There is so much to do here on the farm!”

“That’s just it, Dad,” said Dakota, sadly. “Everything that we ever do is done here on the farm. I’d like to get away from the farm for a little while.

“Son!” exclaimed Nevada, coming outside from the barn. “What do you mean that you want to get away from here?”

“Mom, it’s not what you think,” said Dakota. “I only meant that I’d like to see something different.”

“Tell you what, if you promise to be a good boy,” said Willie. “Mommy and I will take you to the zoo.”

“To the zoo!” exclaimed Dakota. “That would be so much fun!”

Dakota went down to the pond to play.

“Willie, why did you tell Dakota that we would take him to the zoo?” asked Nevada. “We are donkey’s. We can’t go to the zoo!”

“Why can’t we?” asked Willie. “I’ve never been to a zoo before. I’d like to see what different animals look like.”

“Why, so that you can laugh at them and make fun of them?” asked Nevada.

“No, Nevada,” said Willie. “It’s nothing like that.”

“Aren’t you afraid that other animals may laugh at Dakota?” asked Nevada.

“Now Nevada,” said Willie. “You have got to get over this idea of yours that everyone laughs at us donkey’s. More and more, people are respecting us.”

“That may be so,” said Nevada. “However, when I was walking Dakota to school today, I heard some of the other animal children laughing at our little Dakota.”

“Children can be very cruel, Nevada,” said Willie. “I’m sure they didn’t mean what they were saying.”

“Maybe not,” said Nevada. “That still doesn’t mean that Dakota wasn’t hurt by it, though.”

“I know, dear,” said Willie. “However, Dakota is a very strong little boy. Besides, he knows what’s right from wrong. I’m sure that Dakota hasn’t even given the incident a second thought.”

“You may be right,” said Nevada. “I’m sure it isn’t bothering Dakota.”

“That’s my girl,” said Willie, giving Nevada a little kiss on the neck.

“Let’s go in now and have our dinner,” said Nevada, feeling much better.

“Good idea,” said Willie, relieved to have been able to change the subject.

That night before going to bed, Dakota came over to his father’s stall and stood beside it.

“What is it, son?” asked Willie, who was reading the newspaper.

“Actually, Dad, I wanted to talk to you about something,” said Dakota, quite seriously.

“Go ahead, son,” said Willie. “You know you can talk to me about anything.”

“Today at school, there were some kids that were making fun of me,” said Dakota. “They were calling me Big Ears!”

“Now son,” Willie started to explain.

“It’s okay, Dad,” interrupted Dakota. “I know what you are going to say, and I agree with you. Those kids were just being kids. That’s not what’s bothering me, though.”

“What is son?” Willie asked.

“It’s Mom,” said Dakota. “She was really upset about the whole thing.”

“Yes, she was,” said Willie. “However, I reassured her that you know right from wrong, and she seemed to be alright after that.”

“Oh good,” said Dakota. “Good night, Dad.”

“Goodnight, son,” said Willie.

“What was that all about?” asked Nevada, coming into the barn after her evening stroll.

“Our son is just growing up, honey,” said Willie.

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