Heaven (by Barbara)

Summary:  A Ponderosa dialogue.
Category:  Bonanza
Genre:  Western
Rated:  PG
Word Count:  535


 

Brothers Adam, aged 20, and Little Joe, aged 9, lay under a canopy of a billion brilliant stars. The moon hung over them large and white. It looked like a finely honed sickle – its sharpness defined by the deep indigo of the Nevada evening sky.

They had completed their first horse-selling trip and had just settled into their bedrolls. In the distance, a coyote bayed its eerie cry. An owl screeched. After a few moments of reflection on the day’s business, Joe, unfazed by the sounds of the night, broke the air with a query.

“Adam?”

“Yes, Joe?”

“Where do we come from?”

“Well, ah…it’s sort of complicated, little brother.”

“Pa says our name is English. Does that mean I’m English?”

“Oh, you mean, what is our ancestry?”

“I suppose. What did you think I meant?”

“Nothing, Joe. Nothing.”

“So? Where do we come from, Adam?”

“Well, it’s true Pa’s father was born in England. I think his grandfather too. Cartwright is an old English name. So, yes, in some ways we’re British. But you were born here, Joe, so that makes you American. And, Hoss and I were born here so we’re American too. Does that answer your question?”

“I guess.”

“You don’t sound very sure.”

“What about Ma?”

“Oh, I think Ma’s family is from France. She was born in Europe and came over here when she was about your age. A lot of the French settled down in Louisiana – in and around New Orleans. So, that would make you British, French AND American. That’s a lot for a little kid like you to hold all inside. Don’t you think?”

“Wow. It IS a lot.”

“Sure is, little brother.”

“Adam?”

“Aha?”

“Where do we go when we die?”

“You know where we go, Joe. We go to heaven.”

“I know. But, umm…I’m not sure what exactly heaven is.”

“I think it’s different things to different people.”

“What’s heaven to you, Adam?”

“Oh, I haven’t much thought about it. But I suppose it’s a peaceful place with lots of books and beautiful music playing. It’s always warm there and I think maybe… the scent of freshly baked bread is in the air. It’s a place where people I love are around me. They’re the people I want to be with forever.”

“That sounds nice.”

“What about you? What’s you’re heaven like Little Joe?”

“My heaven is where Ma is.”

“Well, she’s up there waiting for you. You know that, right?”

“Yes. I know.”

“Go to sleep now. I want to get home before breakfast.”

“You want to get home because it’s your birthday tomorrow.”

“No Joe. I want to get home because there’s work to do.”

“Good night, Adam.”

“Good night, Joe.”

“Adam?”

“Yes?”

“I think I can see Ma up there. I think she’s one of those stars. See the brightest one right next to the moon?”

“I see it. I think you’re right. I can see her too. She’s up there looking down on you.”

“And you too?”

“Yep. Me and Pa and Hoss.”

“I sure do miss her, Adam.”

“I do too, Little Joe. I do too.”

***The End***

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