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A Boy at the Pub

The boy was but 13 years of age: all of 13 and nothing else. At least, that was his age when he first went to a pub.

He recalled the day fondly, now closer to 50 years of age (or "13 years thrice and then some," as he often put it). His father had taken him, now that he was a "man." He thought now, though, that was an odd age to be a man; yet that's what his father had told him.

The pub had loud music with a lute and drums. It had maidens running around with pitchers held high. It had drunkards at wooden tables, screaming for more ale, and the maidens would scurry around to bring them more drink.

It had pipes being smoked and a fire stoked.

It also had a pubkeeper; and like many pubkeepers, he handled well, in retrospect, the drunkards and the noise and the hot fire stoked on a summer night by those too drunk to know the difference between hot and cold.

That night on the beginning of his 13th year, a bunch of such merry-makers, pints of ale in hand, having the time of their lives (much longer than his at the time), spoke in slurred speech that only the pubkeeper seemed to understand.

And he always remembered the pubkeeper's reply: "Well, when somebody has their head up their derriere, only they can pull it back out. You can't do none of that for 'em!"

The ale-drinkers heard it nought: something the pubkeeper was likely used to, drunkards not even paying attention.

Yet the boy did. He was all of 13 years of age and nothing else…and he was the only one who listened.

Submitted: September 09, 2022

© Copyright 2022 B.J. Vancheyson. All rights reserved.


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