There’s a Hole in my Bucket – A Contemporary Version

Liz and Henry were as childless as a couple could be, meaning they’d been trying for years, but according to the doctors, Henry’s ‘swimmers’ just weren’t up to the task. They’d been living on the farm for a few years, raising goats and chickens, but as the years passed, so did the chances that they’d be raising young ‘uns.

One day, as Henry limped over to the trough that held the goat’s water (Henry had twisted his ankle the day before when he slipped in goat shit) he noticed that his bucket was getting lighter as he walked.

“Shit,” he said out loud.

“What is it?” Liz asked, making Henry jump. He hadn’t heard her sneak up behind him.

“Would you please announce yourself instead of scaring the bejeesus outta me?”

The tension between the couple had been rising like an snail on a year long sabbatical meaning to get up a mountain, but Henry was almost at the peak. He was this far away from dashing back down the hill.

“Sorry,” Liz mumbled. “So why’d you say ‘shit’?

“There’s a hole in my bucket,” Henry grumbled.

“So fix it.”

“With what?”

“I don’t know. A straw.”

Henry stood, water dripping from the leaky bucket onto the sock which encased his sore ankle, and glared at his wife.

“What the fuck does that even mean?”

“I don’t know, I heard somewhere that you can fix a bucket with a straw,” she shrugged.

“But it doesn’t make any sense!” Henry took note that his voice was reaching a soprano pitch and made the effort to bring it down. “How in the hell can I fix a bucket with a goddam straw?”

“I dunno. Here,” at that point she pulled a paper wrapped McDonald’s straw from her back pocket and handed it to him. “It’s all I’ve got on me anyway.

“Fold it over or something and stick it in the hole.”

“Whatever,” Henry grumbled, plucking the straw from her fingertips and heading back to the barn with it.

“What if it’s too long?” he called over his shoulder.

“Cut it!”

He could almost hear her eyes rolling around in her head.

Bitch, he thought.

Five minutes later Liz came into the barn. She stopped by him to see what he was doing.

“How’s that cutting coming along?”

“It’s obvious, isn’t it?”

It was a McDonald’s straw. It shouldn’t be taking five minutes to get through with a hammer.

“Um… no. Why don’t you use a knife?”

“Oh for fuck sakes. The knife is dull!”

“It can’t be any duller than a hammer.”

She was staring at him. He hated it when she stared at him that way. It made him feel stupid.

Liz sighed as if she was tired. Of him. Yeah, well he was getting tired of the whole, ‘Make me a baby or I’m leaving you,’ too. She whined it in his head at least fifteen times a night while he was trying to get to sleep.

“Why don’t you sharpen the knife?”

Henry felt the blood pressuring up in his veins like someone had pumped a shitload of heat through his pores and inflated him like a balloon.

“Because,” he growled, turning on her with his eyes bulging from their sockets, “the sharpening stone I have here,” he held the object an inch from her nose, “is too fucking dry!”

She looked him right in the eye. Without blinking, hell, without batting a friggin’ eyelash, she said, “Wet it.” Just like that.

Henry lost it.


Nine months later their son was born.

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