Jonathan’s Return (An Adventure Novel)
(Copyright 1984, Mark D. Jones, All Rights Reserved)
Book Two, Chapter One, Part Six
For the third time in ten minutes, Jonathan’s mother asked him yet again to please retrieve eight potatoes and three onions from the root cellar, so she could have lunch ready on time for Jonathan’s father after he finished working on the horse pasture. Exasperation didn’t even begin to describe her world, as far as Jonathan’s not doing what he was asked to do, at least not right away. She dearly loved her absentminded dreamer of a son, but it didn’t make life any easier for her having to deal with the day-to-day reality of living with Jonathan.
Jonathan shook off his thoughts, realizing that he’d better head down to the root cellar before his mother really got after him. The irony was that he was grounded for the day anyway, but even he realized that it could get much worse if he didn’t do what she asked him to do. After all, he had a dragon to slay, and didn’t want being grounded to be the reason he couldn’t help everyone back in Myllanthar – assuming he’d ever get there, of course.
He took one lingering look in the direction he’d last seen Sammy, and was surprised to see him running back towards the house from an entirely different direction with yet another stick in his mouth to play catch with. At this point, Jonathan decided to wait for his adventure companion to reach him, before heading over to the storm door and down into the root cellar.
Sammy was an eager pup still growing into this paws, and stopping in time was not one of his acquired skills at this point in his young life. He was still trying to put the brakes on as he collided with Jonathan at the base of the porch stairs in a cloud of dust and fur, knocking Jonathan off balance in a thump onto the steps. “Next time, Sammy, try to stop a little earlier and you won’t end up crashing into me,” said Jonathan as he got up and scratched Sammy behind the ears before brushing himself off. Sammy and Jonathan were a perfect match for each other, always eager for action and never really thinking about the consequences.
The storm door leading into the root cellar was around the corner of the house from the back porch, and at last Jonathan felt a little sense of freedom in being able to leave the porch while being grounded. It was a small gift his mother had given him after seeing her son sitting forlorn while holding his head in his hands, wishing he was off playing in the fields. She understood her son only too well, knowing that her husband had other thoughts about Jonathan.
Jonathan’s father was a hard working, no-nonsense farmer, who knew the value of a day’s work, and could stretch a penny as far as he could throw it. He also knew the danger of living one’s dreams, after seeing firsthand how often his father shirked his responsibilities at home while chasing his harebrained schemes – and didn’t look kindly on Jonathan following down the same path in life. It must have bridged generations, because Jonathan’s father was determined to always be there for his own family.
Of course, Jonathan didn’t have the same perspective as his father, and the pendulum did seem to swing wildly from one generation and extreme to the next. It didn’t matter to Jonathan, for his mind had long been made up to be just like Gramps – and there was little his own father could do about it, but lecture him until the cows came home. Jonathan knew his father meant well, but that wasn’t the point – he was going to live a life of adventure, one way or another…