The Admonition Heeded

At 6:30 the little girl and her brother were out the door and on the school bus. It was a long bus ride — an hour — winding through the small towns and farmlands of Sarpy County, Nebraska. Ed, the driver, turned from the kids’ S shaped street onto a major road and then headed west toward Papillion where he would pick up two more kids then across the cornfields to Ralston, one kid, then back east into Omaha where the bus would fill and arrive at school.

Fields stretched out to the horizon on all sides. Shallow streams flowed toward the Missouri River and disturbed the regimented rectangles of the corn fields, their brief valleys filled with trees. The little girl watched the mists rise in the hollows as morning warmed.

Everything was something to see.

Nebraska’s cold gray and white winter. The green-roofed white farmhouse on the low hill, standing determined and solitary, sheltered by tall cottonwoods, the icy road, the deep snow, the bus stuck, tromping together through winter, the kind farmer who let Ed use the phone. Four kids sitting around an unknown woman’s kitchen table while the tow truck pulled the bus off the ice and out of the snow. “Thank you kindly,” said Ed, shaking the farmer’s hand.

“Think nothing of it,” said the farmer. “You kids learn good today, OK?”

22 thoughts on “The Admonition Heeded

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