On a hot sunny July afternoon deep in Georgia an old man and his six year old grandson were rocking on matching chairs on the front porch of a small white washed house at the end of a red dirt road. The old man's four medium sized hound dogs were sleeping in front of, on the side of and behind the old man and his grandson.
Neither the old man or his grandson say anything for a spell, only the sounds of a mocking bird, a bee and the snores of the hound dogs can be heard. Finally the old man clears his throat and says, "Ya know boy, I done a lot of things in my life." The little boy nods his head. The old man continues, "There were so many roads I coulda walked down but decided to walk down others instead."
The little boy nodded his head again. The old man and the young boy rocked in silence for a bit and the old man spoke again and said, "When I was your age there was a little girl a year or so younger than me who was sweet on me, wanted me to go to a party at her house but I didn't like girls or parties so went fishin instead." The little boy said, "I would have too."
The old man rocked some more and said, "When I was eighteen there was a war on. Boys that were eighteen were bein forced to go in to the military like it or not. I coulda waited until I was forced to go but figured I was going any way might as well join the army so I wouldn't have to be stuck goin in the marines. Them marines gotta know how to swim. I cain't swim so I woudn't a been no good to anybody ifin I had become a marine. I could shoot though so wound up goin to Fort Benning not far from here." The little boy nodded again. The army sent me to a place called Vietnam. Before I left my Mamma told me not to be hero. She said ifin I was in a battle to run if I got a chance. When I got in a battle I was in a battle with a bunch of my buddies. I could a run but I didn't I saved three of my buddies. Then after a year I was sent home." The little boy asked his grandfather, "You was a soldier?" "Yep" his grandfather said. The little boy said, "Oh".
The old man rocked a little bit more and said, "When I was on vacation from the army, what they called leave there were two good ol girls who were sweet on me chasin me around. By then I liked girls. Do you remember that little girl who wanted me to go to her party?" The little boy nodded his head. "I chose her and married her. She is your grandma," the old man said. "Oh," the little boy said.
The old man and little boy were silent for a little while and listened to the mocking bird and then the old man said, "I like listening to mockin birds." The little boy said, "Me too." The old man said, Right after I got out of the Service I was offered a job in Atlanta. Wasn't sure if there were mockin birds in Atlanta so I stayed here and farmed." The little boy said, "OK".
I farmed a long time but a few years ago I decided I was done farmin that's why I am sittin in a rocking chair talkin to you this early in the day, thought you oughta know,the old man said. "OK," the little boy said and they stopped talking. All that could be heard was a mocking bird singing, a bee buzzing and four hound dogs snoring.