From the shed he took two shovels. He didn’t tell me what to do, but almost as soon as he stepped on his shovel into the earth, I was right behind him. We dug and dug, and I only stopped once, and that was just to run over and get the gardening gloves for my sore hands. When it was big enough, Sergeant Defenbargh pulled the hose across the yard and we filled the hole with water.
“Can I swim in it?”
“Put the shovels in the truck,” was all he said.
We drove out past Georgetown and turned off the main highway, and we winded around until we were on dirt roads. He drove the truck off the road and through a field. It was fun but I didn’t say anything, in case it wasn’t supposed to be. He stopped by a hill that was mostly dirt. We got out. He didn’t say a word, but handed me one of the two shovels. I watched him dig into the earth and toss the dirt over his shoulder into the bed of the truck. But my shovel was too heavy and I couldn’t do it right, so he told me to make a pile next to me and he’d do the rest. We worked for hours. Sometimes I would stop and sit down, because my hands hurt so bad. They started to bleed and the blood looked funny, because of my blue hands.
On the way home we stopped at the Home Depot and Sergeant Defenbargh bought lumber and nails and these big rolls of plastic sheets and some bags of sand. We spread out plastic across the blue grass. My job was to use the wheelbarrow to move the dirt from the truck to the backyard, while Sergeant Defenbargh hammered and sawed. It looked like he was making ladders.