Cassie dragged her stick in the thick mud that abutted the ditch. She tried to write her name, but the water kept filling in the letters. She dragged another C through the cloud of flying bugs and the clumps of stubborn weeds, and the edges of it gave way, and the letter became a semi-circled pool.

Davis found her there in the acequia. “Mom says you come home now,” he said. His big boy voice was charming. Davis was five.

Cassie tossed her stick at him. He leapt aside and fumed and went red and looked about to squawl something horrid. Cassie stood up and wiped her hands on her knees, to stop it before it came, either tantrum or sob. With Davis it was often both. “Tell mom I’m coming home,” she said.

“That’s a trick,” said Davis. “That’s a trick, you’ll stay here.”

“Then you’ll have to come get me again.”

Davis’ ears went red, all by themselves this time. “Mom says you come home now.”

She held out her hand for him to take. He snatched it savagely, and led her back to the house, following the irrigation channel. He tugged her wrist even though it took her few strides to keep up and even overtake him.

Cassie smiled. “One day probably soon you’re not going to agree with everything mom says, and then I’ll be the one out here fetching you.”

“No you won’t,” said Davis. He believed it. “Mom is right. I know. I know she’s right.”

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