“Mama, it looks like a horse on fire,” little Jeffrey said, pulling at his mother’s shirt. “Can’t we help him? Please?”
“It’s only a cloud, sweetie pie,” she said. His little arms wrapped around her as far as they would go, his tears falling on her chest. She felt the rough-hewn wood of an unfinished pier under her thin-soled shoes and wished that her son had so little discomfort to complain about in his 5 short years of life. “Soon the sun will be down and the clouds will drop rain all over us.”
His lower lip trembled. “They cry ’cause their stomach hurts.”
She gently kissed his bald head. “Does your stomach hurt?”
Tears turned to sobs. She reached into the pocket containing peppermints infused with pain medication, slipping a small wafer into his mouth. In a minute, his pain would subside, and once she tucked him into bed next to her, he’d sleep for hours.
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