Proud (by Storm)

Summary:   This is my story for the May challenge. I’m still trying to decide if I like it or not.

Rated: K+  WC 700



Ben watched his youngest son approach him slowly. “Pa Adam said I should ask you.”

Ben was afraid to ask because if Adam didn’t want to answer then it must be some question. “Ask me what Joseph?”

“Well I heard Adam and Mr. Cooksey talking and they was sayin’ somethin’ ‘bout animal husbandry and I was wondering what that was.”

Ben hesitated a minute wondering if his Little Joe was ready for this but he figured at almost thirteen he was at least in minor detail. “You see Joe that’s when you decide what two animals to breed so the offspring will be better.”

“Better pa?”

“Yes. Better in ways you want. Like if you want a horse to be fast you would breed your two fastest horses. Do you understand son?’

“I guess so. Is it the same with people? I mean how do you get the animals to like each other?”

Give me patience Ben thought. “No Joe it’s not the same with people and while I do believe animals can have feelings in this instance it’s mostly their need for survival that will drive them to breed.”

“Oh. I thought maybe if it was the same with people that you chose Adam’s ma because she was smart and Hoss’ ma cause she was strong and my ma cause she was real good looking.”

“No Joseph each of your mothers was each of those things to me.”

“But then wouldn’t you not know how your kids would be?”

“Joseph you try to raise you kids in the right way. You try to teach them right from wrong and hope they learn those lessons. The possibilities are endless when two people who love each other have children and as parent you can only hope that they will grow into men and women you are proud to call your own.”

“Are you proud of us pa?”

“Yes son very proud.” Ben smiled thinking the questions were finally over but there were still a few more thngs on his son’s mind.


Ben sat and waited for his eldest son to arrive home. He had a nagging feeling that their avoidance of each other was planned on his son’s part. “Good evening Adam.”

Adam managed a smile he knew only too well the most likely reason for his father’s waiting up for him. “Good evening pa.”

“So tell me son did you and Clara have a good time? I am certain that she must have liked the posies your brother said he saw you pick for her.”


“I certainly hope you didn’t get her caught in those showers earlier.”

“No I had her home long before they hit. Now what’s going on pa.”

Long before they hit Ben thought. That would mean the date had been over for some time. “Your youngest brother and I had a very interesting discussion this afternoon. Am I correct in my assumption it’s the reason I haven’t seen you since this morning?”

“Pa I didn’t have the time to explain it to him the way you would want me to because I had to get ready to pick Carla up for our date. That is also the reason I didn’t see you. Pa you know I would never purposefully avoid you.”

“I know no such thing but I think you should know that your brother feels that you and Carla would make a very good breeding match.”

“I’m glad he does.”

At the hurt sound in his son’s voice Ben was once again the father ready to defend his sons against the world. “What happened?”

“Nothing really pa. Carla’s father just thinks she can do better then some rancher. He thinks she’d be better with a man who can move her into a city like San Francisco or even better New York or Boston.”

“You could do that son.“ And as much as Ben hated the thought of it he knew it to be true.

“Yeah I know I could pa but if I do it will be because I want to not because some girl expects me to.”

“Good night son.”

“Night pa.”

Ben smiled after his son as he ascended the stairs. “Like I told your brother, very proud.”





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