Aunt Abby lay in the hammock on Grammie and Grandpa’s porch listening to the sound of the spring rain. It poured down on dry Texas dirt feeding the grass, trees, and bluebonnets. Bruce wrenched open the front door, hurried down the steps, stopped, hurried back up the steps, shut the front door, and hurried back down the steps.
“When will they get here?” he asked letting Aunt Abby help him up on the hammock.
“I don’t know. Soon I hope.”
“Why what? Why don’t I know?”
“Yes,” Bruce said with a mischievous smile.
“Cause I don’t know everything.”
“Cause I’m not God.”
“Cause I’m too little,” Aunt Abby said tickling Bruce. He howled with laughter, rolling on the hammock. “You have a bad case of the whys, don’t you?”
“No I don’t.”
The rain spilled off the roof of Grammie and Grandpa’s house and splashed on the steps. It made tempting puddles here and there perfect for little feet.
A car pulled in the driveway.
“Get your boots!”
“So you’re feet don’t get wet.”
“Because I said so.”
Bruce and Aunt Abby slipped on their waterproof boots and went to welcome the rest of the cousins. First, Jules came with her red ladybug umbrella. Bruce joined her in puddle jumping. Ellie followed right behind insisting she could jump in puddles too. Over dashed Constance with her green umbrella, but now the puddle was full of feet. Constance hurried over to another one. Joshua wouldn’t be left out of Texas puddle jumping. He raced over to one bigger than the others and plunged in feet first. A wave of water soaked him. Imogene chewed on her spoon and squinted up at the water falling from the sky. She wasn’t so sure about this rain stuff. Jude lifted one eyebrow and watched with serious blue eyes.
“Come on,” Aunt Abby said. “Let’s go in and have some raisins and a story.”
“Why?” Bruce asked soaking Jules with a big splash.
“Cause it’s raining,” Aunt Abby said.
“Why?” Bruce said.
“You have a bad case of the whys, don’t you,” Aunt Abby said.
“Is he sick?” Jules said.
“Aunt Abby, watch!” yelled Constance. She leapt in the air and splashed down in a small pond forming in the driveway.
Aunt Abby clapped. “Come on, everyone!” They all rushed to the big puddle, and splashed and splashed until they were soaked through and through. Grammie brought out a pile of towels. Once the puddle was thoroughly splashed, Aunt Abby herded cousins to Grammie and dried them all off.
“Grammie? Can I have some raisins?” Bruce asked.
“You’ll have to ask your Grandpa.”
“Because,” Jules said, wrinkling her nose. “They’re in his office.”
“Why?” Bruce said.
“Cause that’s where they belong.”
“Why?” Bruce said.
Grammie ruffled Bruce’s hair. “Someone has a bad case of the whys.”
“Is he sick?” Constance asked.
“No,” Grammie laughed. “He’s just extra curious about everything.”
“I’m curious,” Joshua said.
“Do you have a bad case of the whys?” Jules turned to him.
“Yes!” Constance said waving her green umbrella and getting everyone wet again.
“No I don’t!” Joshua said with a frown.
“Why?” said Ellie.
“Oh no!” Jules said. “Now Ellie’s got it.”
“What?” Ellie said.
Imogene, still holding a spoon, turned to Jude. Jude raised one eyebrow. Imogene coughed a laugh. Jude did it again. Imogene held out her spoon to him. The whys and whats were unimportant to her. Spoons and mommies were what mattered.
“A bad case of the whys,” Aunt Abby said kissing Ellie.
“Why does she have it now?” Bruce said.
“Cause y’all keep asking why!” Aunt Abby said. She took Jude in her arms and kissed Imogene, glad not everyone asked why all the time.
“Yes, but how do you fix it?” Jules said.
“I think we could fix it with a cup of hot chocolate and a story.”
“Why!?” said Bruce, Constance, Ellie, Joshua and Jules.
“Oh no! It looks like we all have it!” Jules said.
“Why?” Aunt Abby said.
“Even Aunt Abby has it!” Bruce said.
“Hot chocolate for everyone!” Grammie said.
Inside they went, the seven cousins, some with spoons and some with whys, to crowd the kitchen while the water warmed. Out of the rain, they soon dried off and asked more whys. Crowded together, they ate raisins, seven cousins all curious and curious-er.