Copyright © 2010 -
All rights reserved. No part of this story may be used or reproduced by any means, graphic, electronic, or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, taping or by any information storage retrieval system without the written permission of the author except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical articles or reviews.
This is a work of fiction. All of the characters, names, incidents, organizations, and dialogue in this novel are either the products of the author's imagination or are used fictitiously.
My mother soon called out to me, and I ran back to the house, taking the now warm bottle of milk from her then returning to Powder. I'm sure that she was able to smell the milk in the bottle as she came up to me looking hungrily at the bottle I carried.
"She's really beautiful," Emily said, sitting down beside me as I handed her the bottle. Emily held the bottle out for her and she immediately began to suckle at the rubber nipple, drinking as fast as she could.
"Yes she is, Emily, and hopefully soon we'll find a home for her where she can grow up and be safe," I told her.
"Don't worry, Babe, I'm sure we'll find one," Terry said, putting his arm around my shoulders.
The three of us sat there on the steps, watching Powder eat, knowing that this time we shared together was one that we will always cherish for the rest of our lives.
"Simon, your Uncle Tim is on the phone for you," My father called out to me.
"Thanks, Dad," I said, getting up off the porch steps and rushing with Terry inside the house. My Uncle Tim is a veterinarian, but unlike most other vets who treat people's dogs and cats, he specializes in taking care of farm animals. Most of the time he's driving around to other people's farms treating their animals illnesses or injuries. He once told me that his favorite part of the job was assisting an animal bring a new life into the world. I was really proud of my uncle, and I hoped one day that I'd be able to become a veterinarian like him, though I wasn't too crazy about farms.
Terry and I entered the house, leaving Emily to play with Powder out in the backyard. Even though Powder still wanted to follow me around wherever I went, she was increasingly becoming comfortable being alone with Emily.
My mother was in the kitchen talking to my uncle when she saw Terry and me come in. "Hold on, Tim, here's Simon now," she said, handing the phone to me.
"Hi, Uncle Tim," I said into the phone.
"Hey, Simon. How's my favorite nephew?"
"I'm your only nephew, Uncle Tim," I said snickering.
"That's good. I don't like competition," he replied.
"Not a chance of that any time soon, though things have changed around here slightly."
"Slightly?" Tim questioned. "I'd say things have changed rather dramatically over there."
"Yeah, I guess you could say that," I said, now laughing.
"I hear you have a boyfriend."
"I do, Uncle Tim, and I can't wait for you to meet him. He's so awesome. I love him so much."
"Well, I'm not too surprised to find out that you are gay. I did have a feeling you were. But for you to find a boyfriend already, that is something I didn't expect at all. Congratulations," he said.
"Thanks, Uncle Tim. He's the most beautiful guy in the world to me, and I love him a lot," I said, looking at Terry who was smiling at me.
"Well put him on the phone for a minute, I want to talk to him," Tim requested.
"He wants to talk to you, Babe," I told Terry, holding out the phone.
"Hello?" Terry spoke, timidly accepting the phone from me.
"Hello, Terry, I'm Simon's uncle, Tim."
"Please, if you're my nephews boyfriend, I'd love it if you called me Uncle. We are family after all."
"Thank you, I'd love to. I've never had an uncle before," Terry said, turning to look at me. A tear was forming in his eyes and I put my arm around him, holding him close to me.
"Well you do now, Terry. I just wanted you to know that I'm very happy for the both of you. From what Simon's mother has been telling me, the two of you belong together."
"Yeah, I love him a lot. I didn't think I'd ever find someone like Simon," Terry said, leaning into me.
"Well you take care of him, and I'll be seeing you two very shortly. Now, can I talk to Simon again?" Tim asked.
"Okay, Uncle Tim, thank you. Bye," Terry said emotionally.
"Bye for now, Terry."
"Hello, Uncle Tim?" I said into the phone, taking it back from Terry who was now hugging me close.
"Hey, Simon, I just told Terry that as your boyfriend, he's family. So it looks like there's some competition after all."
"Oh? You changing your mind about me being your favorite after all?" I asked.
"Nah, I think the two of you are equally wonderful. You know I couldn't choose between you. I love you both."
"I love you too, Uncle Tim. When are you coming down? We have something here that we'd like you to take a look at."
"Yes, so I've heard. It looks like you guys have yourself a situation down there," Tim said.
"Just a little bit," I admitted.
"Well don't worry. Your Uncle Darryl and I will be down there in a couple hours. I just have to finish up with an appointment and we'll be right there."
"Okay, Uncle Tim, we'll be here. I can't wait for you to meet Powder."
"So that's the name you gave her. Well, I can't wait to meet her too. Bye for now, Simon."
"Bye, Uncle Tim," I said, hanging up the phone.
Terry was still holding onto me, his head resting on my shoulder. While I was talking to Uncle Tim, I hadn't noticed that my shoulder was getting a little wet, but now that all my attention was focused on him, I noticed it and realized that he was crying.
"Babe, what's wrong? Why are you crying?" I asked him holding him even closer to me, if that was possible.
"Nothing is wrong. I'm just so happy right now," Terry said, lifting his head up off my shoulder. His eyes were moist from the tears he had shed, but I could see that he was smiling. "I've never had an uncle before, or ever been accepted into someone's family so readily. Not even my friends' parents treated me like your family does."
"Oh, Babe, I'm sorry that your friends' parents didn't make you feel wanted. But, Babe, you have a family. Our family. You have your mom and dad and sister, but you also have me, and my parents."
"Yes, and that's why I'm so happy," Terry said.
"Terry, you do have an uncle," David spoke up.
"What? But you never told me I did," Terry said, looking at his father. "Why didn't you tell me about him?"
"I think your mother and I will tell you when your sister gets inside. Simon, why don't you go get her, and bring Powder in the house," David suggested.
"Okay," I said, and walked out the back door onto the porch and called out to Emily. Her and Powder came running to the porch, and Emily ran up the stairs. Powder looked at the stairs with some hesitation, and for a minute I thought I was going to have to pick her up and carry her up the porch. She surprised both of us though when she began to carefully climb up the steps.
"Oh wow!" Emily exclaimed.
"You can say that again," I said to Emily. "Come on Powder, you can do it," I told her, giving her as much encouragement as I could, motioning with my arms to try to get her to come to me. And come to me she did. She was still a little unsteady, and a few times almost slipped, but pretty soon she made it to the last step and onto the porch. When all four feet were on the porch, she made her way to me, nuzzling my hand with her head. I knelt down in front of her and rubbed the top of her pearl white head.
"Good girl, Powder!" I said proudly to her. "Lets get inside. Your dad has something he needs to say and he wanted you to be there when he said it," I told Emily.
"Can Powder lay on my lap again?" she asked.
"It's okay with me, but only if she wants to," I replied.
Together the three of us walked into the house after I opened the back door. Once Powder had stepped inside, I closed the back door, and headed for the living room where we saw everyone sitting. Emily ran over to her mother, who was sitting on the couch.
Walking Powder over to the couch, I gently picker her up and lay her down on top of Emily's lap. Powder looked up at me for a minute, then up at Emily. She didn't try to get up from where I had placed her, instead resting her head on Emily's thigh. Satisfied everything was okay with Emily and Powder, I walked over to the love seat where Terry was sitting and sat down beside him.
Terry's father was standing behind my father's favorite chair which was a rather old recliner, though I did admit he took excellent care of it, and it actually matched the rest of the living room's decor very nicely. My father was, of course, sitting in it as he always does when he's in the living room.
"Okay, Dad," Terry spoke up once everyone had gotten settled. "What's this about us having an uncle."
"We have an uncle?" Emily said, taking her eyes off of Powder and looking back and forth between her mother and father.
"Yes, Emily, you and Terry do have an uncle," David said. "Do you remember me telling you about a guy by the name of Dale?" David asked Terry.
"I think so, but that was a long time ago. I think you even showed me pictures of him when the two of you used to go hunting," Terry said finally after giving his father's question some thought.
"Yes, that's him. I told you then that he was an old buddy of mine, that we used to hang out together when we were growing up. Well, that same person was in fact my brother."
"So you mean the man in those pictures was your brother, and my uncle?" Terry asked.
"Yes, he was."
"Hey, why didn't I get to see those pictures? I want to see him too," Emily protested.
"You will, Honey, I promise," David said.
"So why haven't I met him before, Dad? And why didn't you tell me he was my uncle?"
"You will, I promise. It began a long time ago. I was actually eighteen in the pictures I showed you. Dale, your uncle, was twenty-one at the time. We were both still living with our parents, and he had just completed college. Dale and I were actually very close to each other. We still are. I talk to him every now and then on the phone and we've actually been able to meet on several occasions."
"Does mom know about him?" Terry asked.
"Oh yes, Son, she knows everything about him."
"Then why aren't you telling me about him until now?" Terry asked.
"Because I made a promise to him, Son, Only when I was sure about something was I to tell you about him."
"But why, Dad?"
"Because, Son, your uncle is gay, and his being gay was what our parents couldn't handle. The day he came out to us, they kicked him out. My father was livid, and threatened to beat him up. Just because he was gay. I was confused because while I knew what the word meant, I had always associated gay people as being child molesters, and drag queens, and always acting so girly. I was confused because here was my brother admitting that he was gay, and yet, he was none of those things I had been brought up to believe.
"He was my brother and I loved him very much. It hurt a lot when my parents kicked him out. He was the only one in my family who truly understood me and gave me the time of day. My dad was always busy at work, and my mom was too busy getting drunk. The moment they kicked him out, I got another job and started saving my money. Once I had enough, I moved out of there, and I've never been back there since."
"Is that why we rarely ever see Grandma and Grandpa?" Terry asked.
"Yes. I didn't want their prejudice to rub off on you. And even when you were younger, I had a feeling that you were going to be just like my big brother. There was nothing I wouldn't do to protect you from that kind of bigotry."
"If your mom and dad kicked your brother out, where did he go? And why is it that you didn't tell us about him?"
"As I said, I promised him I wouldn't. See, on the day you were born, he came to me, and asked me not to tell you about him. He didn't want his being gay to affect how you would grow up, and he knew that if he had been around you, you could have been subjected to a lot of teasing by the kids at school."
"Oh, so he was trying to protect me?" Terry asked.
"That's right, Son," David answered.
"But why not tell me? I'm not gay!" Emily said.
"Of course you're not dear," Kathy said. "But if we told you, you would have told your brother. You know you aren't very good at keeping secrets."
"Yes I am! I kept the secret about his surprise birthday party last year didn't I?" She reminded her mother.
"Yes you did, Dear. But this was a promise your father made, and he couldn't break a promise. Just like you shouldn't."
"Oh I won't mom. I never have," Emily said proudly.
"Good for you, Dear. I'm proud of you for that," Kathy said.
"So why didn't you tell us about our uncle now, Dad?" Terry asked.
"Because, Son, until now, you hadn't accepted that you were gay, and you didn't have a boyfriend that you love. Now you do, and I can see that you won't let what anyone thinks of you get in the way of that love."
"You're right, Dad. Nothing is going to stop me from loving Simon. I love him so very much," Terry said, looking at me. The love in his eyes was so strong that I could feel tears forming in my eyes. That he could love me that much made me so very happy. It was as if every passing minute I fell further and further in love with him.
"I love you too, Babe," I said, leaning towards him. Our lips touched in a brief kiss in front of everyone in the living room. When we separated we looked at our parents and his sister. All of them were smiling at us, except Emily.
"Ew! They kissed again, Mom!" Emily screamed, trying to cover her eyes with her hands. This made everyone laugh, and eventually she lowered her arms, and looked at all of us laughing at her comment. This caused her to blush badly, and to me it looked as if she was trying to sink lower into the couch than she already was.
"Don't worry, Emily," I told her. "One day you'll have a boyfriend and it'll be you kissing him."
"No way!" Emily said, folding her arms across her chest. "Boys are yucky. I'm never going to let one kiss me," she said.
"We'll see," Terry snickered. Then he turned back to look at his father. "Dad, when are we going to be able to see our uncle?"
"Actually, you'll be seeing him tomorrow, Son. I called him up last night before we went to bed, and told him everything that had happened. So he's going to come over here tomorrow," David said to Terry. "I hope that's okay with you, I should have checked with you first, I'm sorry," David said, looking at my father.
"No that's perfectly okay. It's actually good that you asked him to come down. That way we all could spend some time together as a family. When Tim and Darryl come over, I was going to ask them if they'd be willing to stay a few nights."
"But where would everyone sleep?" Kathy asked. "All the bedrooms are already taken."
"Actually, that's not entirely true," my mother said. "At the end of the hall is a door that actually opens up to a set of stairs which goes up to the attic. It isn't huge, but there was enough room up there for us to build another two bedrooms. When they come over, they can use those. All we need to do is make sure everything is cleaned up there, and set the beds up."
"Oh really? I didn't know that. I'd like to see that, and I'll help you out with it if I may," Kathy told my mother.
"Of course. I have a feeling I'll need as much help as I can get."
"Can I help too?" Emily asked.
"Of course you can sweetie," Kathy said.
"In the mean time," my mother said. "It's time I get something on the stove for breakfast."
"I want pancakes!" Emily said excitedly.
"How about we make waffles instead?" my mother suggested.
"Waffles?" Emily said, thinking about it for a second. "Okay, yeah!"
"I'll help you out, Anna," Kathy said, getting up off the couch.
"Thanks. With Tim and Darryl coming over pretty soon, I could use the help. I'd hate to have the kitchen a mess when they get here."
"No problem, Anna," Kathy laughed. "But they're just guys. You know they don't care about the kitchen that much."
"Don't be so sure about that! When Tim and Darryl were dating, Tim wouldn't let Darryl anywhere near 'his' kitchen. Tim is actually a pretty good cook. There was a time he didn't know whether he wanted to be a chef or a veterinarian. I'm glad he became a veterinarian though, he's really good with animals," my mother said as she and Kathy walked into the kitchen.
Breakfast was made and eaten in fairly quickly. My mother always had a knack for making the best waffles I've ever had. She prefers not to use the store bought pre-mix that most people use, but rather make her own. She has made so many waffles when I was a kid, that to her, making them was second nature to her. She could have a batch of waffles mixed in almost no time.
I guess this was especially necessary for her as she used to be very busy with her job. The fact that her and my father were taking as much time off from work as they were meant a lot to me. I hadn't realized how much I missed them, and how much I needed them with me. Mostly during my childhood, I grew up being raised by my school and babysitters more than by my parents.
This didn't mean I was resentful of them, but it did make me wish that I could spend more time with them. Now I had my parents and I had Terry, and I was the happiest I had ever been in a long time.
We had just finished breakfast, and my mother and Kathy were finishing cleaning up the kitchen, with my father and David helping, when the door bell rang. I knew that it could only be Tim at the door and rushed to open it. I was right. Standing in the door smiling, with Darryl right beside him was Tim.
"Uncle Tim!" I said, jumping into his arms.
"How are you doing, Sport?" he asked, hugging me tightly.
"Pretty good, but I'd be better if you'd let me breath!" I gasped.
"Oops, sorry!" He said, and relaxed his hold on me.
"That's okay, Uncle Tim. I'm really glad to see you."
"It's good to see you too."
"Hey what am I? Mince meat?" Darryl questioned.
"Of course not, Uncle Darryl. I missed you too," I said, letting go of Tim and giving Darryl just as big a hug as I gave Tim. "Wow, Uncle Darryl, have you been working out?" I asked him.
Darryl let me go. "You could say that. I'm the phys-ed teacher at Lord Elgin now."
"Oh so that's why our football team kicked your school's butt!" I laughed.
"Hah! We just felt sorry for your team that we let them win."
"Sure!" I said sarcastically.
"Simon, are you going to let them in or are you planning on keeping them waiting at the door all day long?" my father asked from behind me.
"Oh, sorry, Uncle Tim, Uncle Darryl," I said apologetically.
"Not a problem, Simon," Tim said. "And who's this fine young man standing beside you?" he asked, as they stepped into the house and closed the door.
"Uncle Tim, Uncle Darryl, this is Terry. My boyfriend."
"Damn, Simon, you know how to pick them don't you?" Tim said, looking Terry over.
"Down boy!" Darryl said, grabbing a hold of his husband's shoulders, smiling. "Sometimes I just don't know what I'm going to do with this guy," he laughed. "But Tim's right, Terry, you are a very good looking young man, and Simon's very lucky to have found you," he said, shaking Terry's hand.
"Thank you, Sir," Terry replied, blushing a little from embarrassment.
"Oh pooh, don't call me sir. I get enough of that at school. Since you're Simon's boyfriend, you can go ahead and consider us as your Uncles. Makes things much more simple that way I think. Don't you?"
"I'd like that very much, Uncle Darryl," Terry said, a huge smile appearing on his face.
"Same goes for me too, Terry," Tim said, shaking Terry's hand. "Sorry about that earlier, but I meant what I said. You are a very good looking young man." Then Tim looked over at me. "You do what you can to keep him, Simon. I get the feeling that the two of you will be spending a long time together. Like maybe for the rest of your lives."
"Nothing would make me happier than to spend the rest of my life with him, Uncle Tim," I told him.
"Hello, Tim," my father said, stepping up to give his brother a hug. "How have things been?" he asked.
"Oh same old stuff. When I called, I was just waiting for a calf to be born. I was thinking that it'd take a while, but surprisingly she was born with very little effort on the mother's part. They're doing very well. It always makes me happy to see a new life come into the world. Makes up for everything bad that's going on."
"You're right about that," my father said. He then stepped over to Darryl and gave him a hug. "And what about you, Darryl? Have those kids run you into the ground yet?" he asked after they had separated.
"Ha! They don't have the energy to do that. I'm in charge of their physical education, and by the time I'm done with them, they're so pooped it's all they can do to crawl into the showers," Darryl laughed.
"Well, don't you go working them too hard. From the looks of it, you've been doing some working out yourself."
"Oh you have that right. And it's come in handy on several occasions too."
"I'd like to hear about that, but right now I think Tim wants to see Powder. Simon, why don't you show your uncles where Powder is. Emily is still glued to her," My father said.
"Okay, Dad," I said, leading everyone into the living room where Powder was once again laying on Emily's lap. How she got there I didn't know, but I was sure either my mother or her mother put Powder there.
"Emily, can you let Powder down? Simon's uncle wants to take a look at her," my father asked.
"Okay," she said, carefully getting up after pushing Powder onto the cushion beside her. Then she looked up at my Uncle Tim. "Are you Simon's uncle?" she asked.
"Yes I am. And who might you be?" Tim asked.
"I'm Emily. I'm Terry's sister."
"Well, Emily, I can see that good looks run in your family. You're a really pretty young woman." This of course had the effect of making her blush.
"I like you. Can you be my uncle too?" she asked.
"Of course I will. We're all family after all right?" Tim replied.
"Yep!" Emily said excitedly, and jumped into Tim's arms. When they had separated, she looked over at Darryl. "Who's that big guy over there?"
"Well, Emily, that there is my husband, Darryl," Tim said.
"You mean you and he are married?" she asked.
"That's right, Emily," Darryl said.
"That's so cool! Does that mean you're my uncle too?" she asked.
"If you want me to be," Darryl said.
"I do!" Emily said, and rushed into his arms getting another hug.
"Hello, Tim, my name's David and I'm Terry's and Emily's father," David said, shaking Tim's hand.
"Very nice to meet you, David, this here is Darryl, my husband," Tim said introducing Darryl.
"Darryl," David said, shaking his hand.
"David. I'd like to tell you how wonderful a son you've raised. You must be very proud of him," Darryl said.
"Thank you yes, both my wife and I are," David said. "This is my wife, Kathy," he said, introducing her. Tim and Darryl both shook her hand.
"And this here is Powder," I said, sitting down beside Powder.
"My God, Simon, she's beautiful," Tim said, walking over to Powder and looking down at her.
"I know. She's so white and she looks so cute," I told him. Tim knelt down on one knee before Powder, and she regarded him cautiously. Tim stretched out his hand slowly and presented it to her palm up. I guess she accepted him, because she was soon nudging his hand with her nose.
"She's so perfect. But I want to take her someplace where I can look her over. Craig, does the shed outside still have my things in it?" Tim asked my father.
"Yes Tim, I never touched it. It's still the way you left it," my father answered.
"Thanks. I need to take her there. I brought some things with me just in case I needed them."
"Okay, lets go then. I'll just take Powder off the couch and set her on the ground and she can walk there on her own."
"You mean she'll follow us?" Tim asked incredulously.
"Yep. She seems to be attached to all of us, but to Simon especially," my father said.
"Incredible," Tim said watching as I carefully lifted Powder off the couch and placed her on the floor only letting her go once she had settled all four feet on the ground and was standing on her own.
"Come on, Powder. Lets go get you checked out," I told her and headed towards the back door, with Powder following me. Opening up the back door, I stepped outside, and waited until everyone including Powder was outside, then I closed the door. Scooping Powder up into my arms, I carefully carried her down the porch steps, then set her back down again once we reached the bottom. On the side of the house my father had built a rather large shed.
Actually that's what we used to call it, but it was in fact an addition to the house, only it didn't have access from inside. The only way to get into the addition was from the back yard. When Tim was first starting his practice, he used this addition as his office and treatment area. Inside was an examination table, all his various instruments, and medicines. When he moved to a larger building after business began to pick up, he took most everything with him, but left a few items behind just in case he needed to use it again.
Tim let us all to the addition, and took out his keys. Finding the one he wanted, he unlocked the door, and opened it up. On the side of the door was a light switch, and he flicked it on, lighting up fluorescent lights. The addition itself was kept clean by my father. My mother mostly cleaned the rest of the house, but this addition was something that my father took care of. Everything was just the way I had remembered it the last time Tim used it.
When he first started out, I used to help him whenever I could, and I learned a lot from him. It was from him that I first became interested in learning first aid, and treating the sick and injured. We went into the examination room, and Tim turned on the lights in there.
"Okay, I only want Simon, Terry, and Powder in here with me. The rest of you can wait outside the room," Tim said. Terry and I followed him inside with Powder right behind us, and closed the door.
"Alright, Simon, why don't you get Powder up on the table and I'll take a look at her." I did as he suggested and watched as he opened up the bag he carried with him. Inside were several items which I recognized as they were similar to things my own doctor used when I went to a check up. He took out his stethoscope, some wooden tongue depressors, and some other items which I only vaguely recognized.
For the next half hour Tim looked Powder over. Occasionally marking some things down on the clipboard that was in the room. After putting the clipboard down for the last time he looked at me.
"Well? How is she?" I asked him.
"Considering her age, and the circumstances she was found in, I'd say she's in remarkable shape. The only thing I'm concerned with is that she's undernourished. What has she been eating?" he asked me.
"Well, we have been feeding her goat's milk, as that's what my Dad said was best for her."
"Very good Simon, you're right. It is. But she needs more than that, which is why I'm glad to hear that you are looking for a place that can properly take care of her. As it happens, I know of just such a place."
"Oh yeah? Where's that?" I asked him.
"There is a client of mine who lives in Flamborough. He owns a type of preserve actually. Most of the animals he keeps there are ones that have been injured or abandoned in the wild. He has a special permit that lets him care for these animals until they are well enough to be released into the wild. I think it would be the perfect place for her," Tim said.
"But wouldn't that mean that he'd eventually have to release her?" I asked, worried about what would happen to Powder after she was released.
"Normally that's true. But seeing as how she is a rare albino, and the chances of someone seeing her as a way to make some quick money, I'm certain that he would be able to apply to keep her there permanently. And if he can't, there is always the African Lion Safari, or the Toronto Zoo. Now, what do you think? Should I give him a call and see if he'd be willing to take her?"
"I guess so, but would we be able to come see her whenever we want?" I asked him.
"I'm sure that could be arranged. He works on the preserve, and actually lives in a house there with his wife, so I'm quite sure it wouldn't be a problem. You'd still have to call him to arrange for a visit of course, but I don't see it as being a problem."
"What do you think, Babe?" I asked Terry.
"I think we should do it. We can still see her and she won't be too far away," Terry answered.
"Okay, Uncle Tim, lets do it," I told him.
"Alright then, lets get out of here, and I'll give him a call," Tim said.
That was such a great chapter. It looks like the boys and Emily have Uncles coming out of their ears now. That is so cool. A couple of the Uncles seem familiar some how. I can't help but think I remember them from somewhere. Well I guess we will just have to wait and see if I am right. Everyone, keep reading and be sure to let Jason know how much you like his stories. I know it means a lot to him when people write to him.
Darryl AKA The Radio Rancher