We have not been camping close to a well for nearly three days now—but I happen to know where water can be found, because in her tent, under her bed, my mother keeps a full jug, for no one else but me. And so, I bring it to him, catching myself in an unexpectedly generous mood. He takes a long gulp. Then he has to catch his breath.
“Yankle?” he says.
“What is this smell? So good...”
“It’s my new recipe! I call it a stew.”
“Give me. Give me now!”
“Well, no,” I say. “There are limits to my generosity.”
“You be sorry,” says he.
“Well, what’s in it for me?”
“Do I really have to explain? What will you give me in return?”
“Give you?” he flares up. “A big smack.”
“Oh well,” I laugh in his face. “Forget it, then.”
He falls to some deep thoughts, by the end of which he throws his hands up in the air. “I give you something,” he offers. “Anything.”
I smile. “You know what I want.”
Then he hesitates. “No. Not that.”
Well, by now you know me: I can find a way, some way to convince him. So I go over to my big pot and, as theatrically as I can, raise the iron lid.
Out comes a puff of steam, escaping high into the air and carrying with it the most tempting, most delectable scent. Then, using my brother’s arrow as a skewer, I pierce through the juiciest, most succulent piece of meat, and bring it right under his nose.
Yankle in A Favorite Son
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