Friday evening, The Pony sent Farmer H a text asking if he would pick up Chinese for supper. Farmer H usually swings by through town on his way home, instead of coming in the back way. "Dad says he can go to town and get it after he's done with the roofer. What's that mean?"
"Oh. Well...I don't know how to tell you this, Pony, but your dad's up on the roof..."
"You don't know that old joke, do you? I heard it at a coach's banquet way back when I worked at another school. The sporting goods store in your brother's college town threw a big shindig at the end of the year. Free food and drinks and door prizes and a guest speaker. One year it was Charlie Spoonhour, back before he got really famous, when he coached at my old college. That man could tell a story...so he says there was this kid who went off to college, and asked his brother to take care of his cat. That cat died within a couple of weeks, but the family didn't want to tell the kid, what with him being all alone and on his own for the first time. He called every Sunday to talk to the family, and he ended the call asking about his cat. After it died, the brother came up with a plan.
"Kitty is up on the roof. She's trying to catch a bird, and we can't get her down. We're trying, though."
Next week: "How's Kitty? Did you get her down from the roof?"
"The bird flew away, and Kitty fell off the roof. We rushed her to the vet. She's there now."
Next week: "How's Kitty? Did the vet get her fixed up?"
"The vet operated on her, but he says it's not looking good for Kitty."
Next week: "How's Kitty? Did she recover from the surgery?"
"The vet said that Kitty was pretty old, and he did all that he could for her, but she died peacefully in her sleep."
"Aw. I loved that cat. I had her since I was a little boy. Well. How's grandma?"
"Um. Grandma is up on the roof..."
"Mom. That is not really a good story."
"It was just a joke, Pony. Don't worry. Your dad is probably not even up on the roof. I imagine he's holding the ladder for the roofer. He's getting an estimate for those loose shingles."
"Huh. I guess he will still go get Chinese."
"Yeah. I think he will."