Natural Methods

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Our father an' mother were odd sorts. And in sayin' this, you'd be likely to assume as much for me an' my older brother, Billy. But nope. We weren't like 'em.

Sometimes Billy questioned whether we got adopted. "Tom..." he'd say. "I'm pretty sure if we never got adopted, then a stork dropped us on their patio step."

"But we ain't, an' you know it. They got pictures to prove it. An', I may be small, but I know we don't come from some noodle-necked bird."

"They got us mixed up then. Took random babies from the hospital." With a faraway twinkle in his eye he carried on, "And our real folks are out there making peanut butter and jelly toast for the wrong boys. They're tying up their shoelaces during the day and kissing their noses while they sleep."

I hated when he said stuff like that. The idea hurt 'cause there was no solution. Even if it were true, how could we ever hope to find the real Mom an' Dad?

Anyway...we were as overripe as windfall fruit fermentin' on a hot summer's day; darn near mouldy an' no stranger to flies. Mom an' Dad never ever washed us. Heck, they never washed themselves. An' so me an' Billy resorted to some natural methods.

On the rare occasion when it was full, we liked to wash using the water from the rain barrel. During the drier times—an' there were lots of those—we'd find a puddle, probably filled with animal piss or God knows what, but it was watery and that's all that mattered. Better yet, we'd nab some clean clothes off the neighbour's clothesline. We brought 'em back...eventually. But they were never crisp lookin' or smellin' like a meadow no more once we wore 'em.

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