written by Debbie Williamson
Prairie Pete was just getting up out of bed. It was a cold November morning and he didn't feel very well. Prairie Pete had been running himself ragged lately because he had so much to do. He was behind on all his chores and winter was approaching fast. He had nobody else to help him out so he got dressed as warmly as he could and ventured out into the cold prairie morning.
About an hour later, Prairie Pete was shivering from head to toe. He knew he had to stop working but he did not want to. He went back into the ranch house and stoked up the woodstove. Soon, he had a nice warm heat in the stove and he was starting to feel the warmth come back into his body.
Prairie Pete just could not justify staying indoors for the rest of the day, especially when he knew there was so much work to be done. However, he did have to run into town to pick up some supplies so he decided that today would be a good day to do that. At least he would be able to stay somewhat warm in his truck on the way there.
Once in town, Prairie Pete ran into his neighbours Paul and Mark. He spoke to them in the hardware store while he was waiting for his supplies to be rung through the cash register.
"So you have all your chores done?" asked Prairie Pete.
"Yes," said Paul. "Mine are all done."
"Mine too," said Mark.
"Mine aren't," said Prairie Pete with a worried look on his face.
"They aren't," said Paul, in disbelief.
Both Paul and Mark knew something was wrong if Prairie Pete did not have his chores done by now. Winter was fast approaching and Prairie Pete was always right on top of having things done on time.
"What is going on?" asked Mark.
"I have been really sick," said Prairie Pete. "I have been getting chills and am just so weak. I just get started outside and then have to stop and go inside for an hour or so to warm up."
"Sounds like you have a bad flu bug," said Paul.
"Yes," said Prairie Pete. "I do."
The next morning Prairie Pete again had difficulty staying warm outdoors. He was running a fever but he knew that chores had to be done.
"Prairie Pete," said a voice from behind him. "You go indoors right now. The wife is there with some homemade chicken soup."
"I can't," said Prairie Pete to his neighbour Mark. "I have to get these chores done."
"No," said Mark. "We are going to take care of your chores for you. You get indoors and take care of yourself. You are really sick. I can tell just by looking at you."
Prairie Pete took Mark's advice and went inside where Mark's wife, Susan, had a big pot of homemade chicken soup on the stove. After eating a good sized bowl of soup, Prairie Pete crawled into bed. He slept for the rest of that day and that evening was surprised to see his neighbours in his kitchen. They had just finished dinner.
"Would you like another bowl of my homemade chicken soup?" asked Susan.
"As a matter of fact," said Prairie Pete, who was starting to feel better now. "Yes, I would."
"Coming right up," said Susan.
That evening Prairie Pete was able to recover from the flu and he learned that his neighbours managed to complete all of his chores for him. He was forever grateful to his neighbours for their help.
"Mark," said Prairie Pete, the next day in town. "You look terrible. What is going on?"
"I ended up catching the flu," said Mark.
"Oh no!" exclaimed Prairie Pete. "That is awful."
The next morning Prairie Pete showed up at Mark's house and found that both he and Susan were sick in bed. Prairie Pete made a large pot of chicken soup and then he made sure that there was firewood brought into the porch and that all the animals were fed.
Mark and Susan recovered from their flu rather quickly and they had Prairie Pete over for a big roast beef dinner the next night. The three were very grateful for the help that each other had been giving.