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Old 12-10-2017, 12:13 AM   #1
tdr
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Default WE'LL CALL HIM "BEAVER"-- redux

I was recently reading this old fanfic, one of those I wrote years ago, and I decided to re-edit it and repost it. This is Part 1 of 4, and I'll get to the rest of it soon if anyone seems to have an interest.


WE'LL CALL HIM "BEAVER" (Part 1)

"Aww-w-w, how come, Dad?" moaned 5-year-old Wally Cleaver, slouching back on his bed as his father, Ward, tried to explain to him that his Aunt Martha would be arriving the next day to take over most of the household chores.

"Because, son," began Ward, "you know that your mother and I have been telling you for months now that you are going to have a little brother or sister, and it's almost time for your mother to go to the hospital in order for this big event to take place. You see, the doctor told us yesterday that it may be just any time now, so your mother needs to rest and not be burdened-- I mean, not to have to work so hard-- cooking and cleaning. And she'll stay in the hospital for probably 3 or 4 days, and then when she comes home, along with the new baby, she will have to have lots of rest for a while. And since I'm still having to work 50 to 60 or more hours a week in getting our new branch office going, there is just no way we can get everything done around here without a lot of help-- and that's where Aunt Martha comes into the picture."

"I di'n't know it was a pitcher, Dad," said Wally.

Ward smiled. "Wally, PICture is just a figure of speech." Wally looked confused. "You see-- well, never mind that for now. But your Aunt Martha will be arriving on the train tomorrow, and I want you to be as nice as you can be when she gets here."

"But I don't want Mom to go 'way for 3 days, or 4 days, or any days!" Wally sadly whined out.

"Son-- she has to. And-- well, even though we know your Aunt Martha is a bit old-fashioned, when it comes down to it, she really is a nice lady who does care about our family. So she will be very good in your mom's place for a little while."

"No!" cried Wally. "She always calls me 'Wallace!' and last Christmas she gave me a funny suit instead of a toy! and she tawks funny too!"

"Now Wally," said Ward, more sternly, "if you really love your mother, then you'll be nice to Aunt Martha, because you mother loves her and she doesn't want her to be disappointed in you. And furthermore, if you're not nice to Aunt Martha, I'm going to have to bring you up here and-- well, you know what, don't you?"

Wally sat up straighter as he replied, "Yes, sir."

"Alright," said Ward. "Now, I think it's time for you to go wash your hands for supper. And I think you should change your shirt, too. That one looks like you've been down in the dirt with it."

As Ward went down the stairs, he looked around the house at the new paint job by Andy Hadlock and the new crib June had gotten in a baby shower which was in the living room awaiting its occupant. He smiled as he entered the kitchen where June was busy with the final preparations for supper.

"Dear, could you make the coffee, please?" asked June.

"Oh, of course," Ward replied. "I suppose the smell of it is making you nauseous again today?"

"That's right," said June, in a playful sort of way. "And, you know," she continued, "we surely could use a downstairs bathroom, too."

Ward grinned. "Well, honey, I guess we didn't consider that when we bought this house 5 years ago. I know it's been hard on you to have to go up and down those stairs so many times in a day. But I promise you, we'll do something to make things easier if there's another baby after this one."

"Oh, Ward-- don't even say that right now! Maybe in another 3 years or so-- maybe! Anyway, let's get this one out of diapers before that subject's brought up again. But dear, I'll go up and down the stairs, and I'll gladly go through anything-- as long as you're here when one of our babies is born, and not building bases in Okinawa, like when Wally came."

"Dear, I am with you on that point!" said Ward, as he caressed June's upper back with his fingertips. "Of course, I am still in the 'inactive' reserve, and things are getting hotter in this 'Cold War,' with China falling to the Communists just last year, and…"

"Now Ward Cleaver- stop that! As far as I'm concerned, you've served your turn and Wally's, too-- and this next one's, also, if it's a boy… maybe even if it's a girl- who knows how the world is going to be by that time! But first things first, and I want you here for the birth and for those first few months this time."

"Well, you needn't worry about that, dear. Even if we do have a major campaign in eastern Europe, or Korea, or Indochina, it would take months before they would bump us 'standby's' up to 'ready.' And by then I'll be older than 34, and I don't think we'll be so hard up they'll pull me into action, since that's the normal maximum even in an emergency."

June turned her head as she opened the oven door, then asked her husband to take out the meatloaf. "Ward," she said as she began to get the plates to set the table, "did you talk to Wally about Aunt Martha coming tomorrow?"

"Yes, I did that just before I came in. He was whining about you having to go away for a little while, but I got through to him that he must be nice to Aunt Martha-- either because he loves you, or else because I'll take him upstairs to have one of our 'sessions.'"

"Oh, Ward, I know that your father was that kind of disciplinarian, but if you have to do that, please don't be too rough on him."

"Now, dear, I'm never rough on him- at 5 years of age, it still takes quite little to get him to behave for the rest of the day."

"Mom! I'm hungry! Where's the food!?" came Wally's cries from the dining room.

As June entered the dining room with the plates, she said, "Now Wally, when Aunt Martha gets here tomorrow, and especially when I'm away, I don't want you to shout like that. Do you understand?"

"Yes, Mom. But Aunt Martha ain't gonna be mean, is she?"

"Why Wally, of course not! But if you would do one more thing for me, please don't use that word, 'ain't' while she's here. She really hates to hear that, and it's not a good word, as your father and I have both told you before."

"But they all say 'ain't' in kindagarven school. Chesser- he says it. And Tooey- he says it."

"Wally- I know many kids say that, but many grownups don't like to hear it. And believe me, your Aunt Martha doesn't. I said it myself once when I was a little girl, and she-" June stopped, as she realized she might make Wally afraid of Aunt Martha. And Ward walked in at the same time with the meatloaf sliced on a platter.

"Dad," said Wally, "ya won't let Aunt Martha be mean to me, will ya?"

"Wally, I told you your Aunt Martha is a nice lady," said Ward. "I heard what your mother was telling you, and I'm sure Aunt Martha knows you're only 5 years old, so she can't expect you to speak as if you're 22."

Ward grinned, but June looked as if she was unsure. Wally turned quiet as he ate most of his small portions of meatloaf and peas, with a piece of bread, then he asked to be excused. After he left the table, June said, "Ward, maybe we should have asked your mother to come, instead of Aunt Martha. I hadn't really thought about it until now, but it is true that Aunt Martha may not realize how young Wally still is, so she'll be correcting his grammar and criticizing his manners so much that maybe he will resent her. And besides that, she has very little experience with babies, having never had one herself."

"June, you know my mother has been living with depression since my father had his fatal heart attack three years ago; and beyond church and her sewing circle, she just doesn't get out any more. And since your parents are overseas to stay, and my sister Helen lives too far away, you know that we both thought Aunt Martha was the one to--"

Ward stopped short on his line of thought as June had a very strange look on her face. "Honey?…" he said.

"Ward, I'm afraid it doesn't matter now who's coming to help," June said with a straining voice. "I just wish she was here already!"

"June- you mean?…."

"Yes! I just felt a contraction!-- this is a real one; I had a temporary pain in the middle of the afternoon, but it could been a lot of things. Not this!"

"Alright, dear, I'll call the doctor's answering service, then I'll go get your suitcase. It's a good thing you packed it this afternoon."

"But Ward, we also have to get someone to stay with Wally! Mrs. Johnson, maybe?"

"Okay, I'll call her after I call the doctor."

When Ward returned in about three minutes from the phone in the living room, he saw June was gone, so he looked in the kitchen, and there she was, putting the dishes into the sink. "June! Forget about the dishes! You've gotta get the hospital!"

"Now Ward, when Wally was born, it was about 7 hours after I first felt what I just felt a few minutes ago. Of course we have to get there tonight, but I don't think we have to leave things in a mess for Aunt Martha tomorrow."

"Dear, I'll take care of the dishes myself. I know I may be up all night, but I'll take care of them tomorrow, if not before."

"Ward, YOU are going to stay at that hospital until you and I are together with our baby-- you understand?"

"Uh-- yes, dear. Oh!-- but Mrs. Johnson doesn't answer. She's in demand a lot for babysitting; so, chances are, she has another job tonight."

"Oh my!" said June. "Well, try her one more time, dear. And if she still doesn't answer, then maybe ask the Andersons if Wally can stay with them tonight. At least he would have a playmate in Chester."

Mrs. Johnson did not answer upon Ward's second attempt, so he called the Andersons, who said they would gladly take Wally in for the entire night, because he may keep Chester occupied and that such a nice boy as Wally would be a good influence. So Ward went upstairs to tell Wally where he was to spend the night, and helped him pack his pajamas and clean clothes. Then he went to retrieve June's suitcase, and when he came back downstairs, she had washed all the dishes and left them in the drying rack.

"June!" he said. "I told you that I would take care of those dishes! Now come on; I think we need to be going, don't we?"

"Yes, we do, dear. But Aunt Martha was always insistent upon the dishes being washed right away, and you know how I hate to disappoint her in any way."

"Dear, I think that even Aunt Martha would understand a few dirty dishes under such circumstances. Come on-- I've got your suitcase, and I don't think you need a coat on a warm night like this. Fortunately the Andersons' house is just 3 blocks and right on our way. Wally-- come on, now!"
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Old 12-10-2017, 08:45 AM   #2
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Very interesting! Well-written, with attention to correct details (no Mrs. Bronsons babysitting here!). Too bad this couldn't be produced.

Looking forward to the rest.
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Old 12-13-2017, 01:25 PM   #3
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Yes I agree, just how Ward and June would talk. Ward trying to get June to hurry and June demanding that things are in order for Aunt Martha and no Mrs. Bronson. I'm glad Wally would stay with the Andersons as Mrs. Brown, Tooey's mother, was a witch thinking that communism would reign in Mayfield.

Ward seems to be in control of the situation and reminds me of when Ricky Ricardo wanted Fred and Ethel to practice going through the drill when Lucy announces, "The time has come." They each have a chore to do. When Lucy does tell them, "this is it," it is one of the funniest moments in TV history as they forget their duty and nothing goes right. They even leave Lucy in the apartment as they all get a cab.
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Old 12-14-2017, 04:00 AM   #4
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WE'LL CALL HIM "BEAVER" (Part 2)


Eager Chester Anderson came running out the front door, away from the grasp of his mother, calling, "Hey! Wally-y-y!"

Ward got out of the car with Wally's clothes in a little canvas bag, saying "Whoa there, Chester!--you better slow down. Wally's coming."

"Hello, Mr. Cleaver," said Mrs. Anderson, walking up to the car. "I hope all goes well! Just don't worry about Wally tonight. I'm sure he and Chester will have a lot of fun."

"Thank you, Mrs. Anderson," said Ward.

"Hi, Elaine," said June, rolling down her window.

"Oh hello, June! Well, its' been 5 years since I've been through it, but I well remember what it's like; so I just want to wish you the best! And we'll take good care of Wally."

"Thank you so much!" said June, turning her head around to Wally. "Now Wally, you be a good boy for Mr. and Mrs. Anderson, and for Aunt Martha when she gets here tomorrow."

"Okay," said Wally, who had so far made no move to get up. "But I wish you wasn't goin'."

"Come on, Wally, get out of the car, then go on with Chester," said Ward. Wally reluctantly obeyed, and Chester was getting a little upset that Wally did not look as glad to see him as he was to see Wally.

"Oh Ward-just think," began June as Ward pulled the car away from the curb. "Everything we've already gone through in raising Wally to this point, we're going to have to do all over again. It's a trial and a blessing at the same time."

"I'm sure it's always been that way, dear. But it will be different, of course, in that our new one will have a brother quite a bit older. Let's just hope Wally will recognize that he has a significant role, too, in bringing up a brother or sister."

June felt a strong contraction just before they arrived at the hospital. Ward parked the car near the large doors marked "Admissions," and as soon as June was checked in, they kissed in a long embrace while an orderly was waiting with a wheelchair. When they finally released, Ward looked embarrassed, while June just kept her eyes on him until she was around a corner and out of sight. Ward then retired to the waiting room, wondering if there shouldn't be some provision for the father to be with his wife for such an important event; at least to be with her as she goes through the long, difficult time in the labor room. But such was not the case, and he knew better than to even inquire.

After skimming a few magazines and having a couple of lighthearted conversations with the one other waiting father, some time before midnight Ward dozed off as he slouched sideways in an armchair. The other prospective dad seated near him also lost consciousness, and he started to snore. As Ward's nap was exceedingly light, while the expiration from his brain-wracking day at the office was in conflict with the excitement of the current setting, he began to dream as he let his muscles relax and he was mostly oblivious to his immediate surroundings. He dreamed of his life as a boy on the farm, with the chores, the countryside, and the animals. The sound of the other man's snoring became laced into his dream… next thing, in his imagination, he was sawing wood for fence posts, then he was riding the old iron-wheeled tractor (which actually did sputter like the man snoring) with his father. And as the snoring continued he then thought he was walking down by the creek and he saw a beaver gnawing on a tree. Just then the door to the waiting room opened with a man's heavy footfall, and Ward sprang up, wondering for a second where he was. "Oh, I'm sorry, sir," said the man who had entered, who appeared to be a custodian. Ward simply gave him an affirming nod, as if to say, "That's quite alright." But he sat back then with a keen interest in the dream he had had at such a time and place; especially the part about the other man's snoring supplying the sounds of a saw, a tractor, and a beaver. Ward felt so amused he laughed. The other man who had been snoring then sprang up, and Ward repeated the custodian's words, "Oh, I'm sorry, sir," and in return he got the same "That's quite alright" affirming nod.

Though Ward was very tired, he did not lose his awareness again, so he thought he might as well make some coffee in the percolator set up on a side table. He went through 2 cups, while skimming another magazine which really did not interest him. Finally, just after 2 a.m., a nurse came into the waiting room and said, "Mr. Cleaver?" Ward sprang to his feet. The nurse continued, "I'm pleased to tell you, sir, that you have a new son--he's fine and so is your wife."

Ward was all smiles as he stepped out into the hall, where his new son was to be brought into the glass window for his first look. The baby boy was carried out by another nurse in a surgical uniform, and his face was held up for his proud dad to see. He had dark hair; much more of it than the average baby, and he appeared to be trying to move his arms, which were in the warm bundle of a blue blanket. After only 20 seconds, the nurse began to carry him back with a look of sympathetic eyes to the new father. Ward just stood there with a thousand thoughts… "another son"… "another athlete"… "the Cleaver eyes"… "he'll be a better man than I ever was"… "maybe the first President of the next century"… and many more.

After another period of waitng, Ward was informed that June had been moved to a private room, and he could go see her. When he arrived, she had a rather glazed look in her eyes from some anesthetic, but she smiled and said, "Hi, honey! We've got another boy!"

"Yes-I know" replied Ward. "I've seen him. And he's very much a keeper."

"A keeper!" snapped June. "Why Ward, I've never seen such a cute little face in my life! Don't you dare talk about him as just a 'keeper'!"

Ward half-smiled. "Alright, dear, I know you're probably not in the mood for my understatement and wit right now. He's the most beautiful baby of all time!"

"Now that's better! He had his first feeding in the delivery room, but the nurse is going to bring him here in another 2 hours or so for another. Please stay here 'til then, honey. I won't care if you sleep, if you don't care if I do."

Ward replied, "Well, I already slept some in the waiting room-- at least slept enough to dream."

"Oh? What did you dreeeem about, dear?" asked June, as if in mild ecstasy.

"Oh, I dreamed about being a boy on the farm again. And there was one other waiting father in there who fell asleep, too, and his snoring rather enhanced my dream." June began to look disappointed. "His snores gave the sound effects for a saw and our old tractor, and a beaver cutting down a tree…"

"Ward!" he was stopped by June's interruption. "I thought you meant you dreamed of pleasant things--like our children becoming famous and taking care of us when we're old." June stopped, and Ward looked as if he wanted to apologize for dreaming about his boyhood. But suddenly June started laughing, then laughing more and louder. Ward asked what was so funny, and she said, "A beaver! hahaha!…You really dreamed about a beaver while waiting for your child to be born!? Hahahaha…!"

Ward started laughing too, then they both laughed even louder. When Ward was able, he finally said, "June, I don't know what they put into you in there, but there have been a lot of times that I wish I'd have had whatever it was!"

This started them laughing loudly again, but then another nurse knocked and quickly burst into the room and said, "Please!-- be quiet!-- this is a hospital and it's 3 in the morning!"

"I'm sorry, nurse," said June. "It's just that I had a baby tonight, and while my husband was waiting he dreamed about a beaver! Hahaha… And the sound of another man's snoring made the sound of that beaver gnawing down a tree! Hahahaha……"

The nurse looked stunned for a moment, then she quietly laughed herself. "Well, I've worked in the maternity ward before myself, and I've heard a few stories that compare to this one. And I know the medication you're under makes it even funnier to you, but please--laugh a little more quietly?"

June was finally settled down enough by the time the baby was brought for his next feeding that she was able to accomplish that without overstimulating him. Then the baby was taken back to his crib with the few others of sleeping or crying infants. June fell asleep shortly afterward; then Ward, watching her with still a hint of a smile on her face, finally was out like a lamp being turned off.
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Old 12-14-2017, 06:58 PM   #5
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Again, very interesting, especially Ward's dream. Looking forward to the last 2 parts.
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Old 12-23-2017, 12:44 AM   #6
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WE'LL CALL HIM BEAVER (Part 3)

Early in the morning, Wally lay awake in the Andersons’ house on the rollaway bed moved into Chester’s room. Wally had been awake for almost an hour, while Chester was still sleeping and breathing through his nose. To Wally, the evening before had been boring, as he played a couple of losing games of checkers with Chester, then with detachment he watched The Lone Ranger with him on their little round-screen television. Chester had gotten out his cowboy hat and his capguns, pretending to be the Lone Ranger, but he couldn’t get Wally to pretend he was Tonto. By the time the boys went to bed, Chester was bored, too. Wally had stayed the night at Chester’s once before, and that was a lot more fun. But this time he wasn’t doing it because the boys themselves thought it would be fun, but because his mom was going to be away while she got back to her skinny self, in Wally’s view, after his new baby brother or baby sister was born. So he lay awake, watching the room begin to grow a little lighter.

Chester opened his eyes, looked at Wally, and mumbled, “Hey, Wally.” He didn’t look especially pleased that Wally was there, considering his ideas for their fun together the previous night seemed to have fallen flat. While Wally still just lay there with his clasped hands under his head, Chester asked him, “How come you came over if you don’t want to have no fun, Wally?”

Wally replied, “Well, my mom and my dad made me come because they went to the hospal where my new brother or sister’s supposed to come out of my mom’s tummy-- or right by her tummy, they said. But my Aunt Martha’s comin’ today, so I guess I’ll get to go home after she gets here.”

“Well, I’m glad you’re goin’ if you don’t want to have no fun!” snarled Chester.

“Yeah? Well, I’m glad I’m goin, too, then!” shot back Wally.

Then they raised their voices in a little argument about who was the better boy in kindergarten, in running a race, in climbing a tree, and more such activities, until Mrs. Anderson came into the room and said, “Boys, please be quiet! Chester, your father’s going to the office early and he's just getting out of the shower, and you know how he doesn’t like it when you’re noisy like this.”

“It’s Wally’s fault for comin’ over!” snapped Chester.

“Now Chester!” said his mom. “You know that I told you Wally was going to spend the night here because his parents had to go to the hospital, and that you were supposed to make him feel welcome. It appears you haven’t done that.”

“It’s okay, Miz Anderson,” said Wally. “Chesser made me feel real welcome!”

“Well, alright,” concluded Mrs. Anderson. “Maybe we have to expect 2 five-year-old boys to not get along just perfectly. You boys go on and wash your hands and faces and get dressed. Take your time and breakfast will be ready in about twenty minutes.”

“Gee, thanks a lot, Wally!” said Chester after his mother left. “I might ha’ got in trouble if you didn’t say that.”

“That’s okay, Chester. It ain’t your fault, nohow. I just didn’t want Mom to leave me for 4 days.”

When the boys came down to the kitchen, Mr. Anderson had already eaten and was taking the last few sips of his coffee as if he were anxious to leave. “Good morning, boys,” he said. “I’ve got to get to the office early, so both of you just have a nice day while I’m gone.” As he was going out the door, he turned to his wife and asked, “There’s no word from the Cleavers yet?”

“No,” she told him as she was getting the sausage and pancakes for the boys. Just then the telephone rang and she stopped to answer it. Wally whispered to Chester, “Should we try to get the pancakes ourselves while she’s on the phone? She might take a long time.”

But before Chester could answer, his mother said, with a big smile, “Wally, your father would like to talk to you.”

Wally wasn’t really sure what to think as he took the phone. He looked at Mrs. Anderson, then at Chester, with agitation. “Hi Dad,” he said, barely audibly. After a moment, he said, “Yeah.” Then another moment and another ‘yeah.” Then he said “Okay” and handed the receiver back to Mrs. Anderson.

“What is it?” asked Chester, as Wally sat back down.

“Oh,” replied Wally, “I’ve just got a little baby brother, and my dad’s gonna pick me up after lunch today and we’re gonna meet my Aunt Martha at the train station. Now can we get our own pancakes?”

At the hospital, in June’s private room, Ward put the phone down and June immediately wanted to know Wally’s response to the news about his new brother. “Well, he didn’t seem to have a lot to say,” Ward told her. “But I’m sure he’s really delighted about it.”

“Well, dear, I certainly hope so!” said June. “Wally’s going to be a big part of his life.”

“Now, June, believe me, Wally’s reaction is perfectly normal. He’s been the only child in the family for well over 5 years, so naturally he’s a little confused in his young mind as to whether he’s still going to get the love and attention he’s always been used to. In other words, he knows he’s no longer our baby; or your baby, in particular.”

“Oh Ward, any baby of mine is always gonna be my baby!”

“Well, that’s fine, dear, but I hope you gradually stop saying that over the next 5 years or so. But it’s true that we’re going to have to be very careful to let Wally know that he’ll always be special and he’s not being ‘replaced.’”

“That may be very hard, dear. After all, that baby is so beautiful that I’m sure there’s no way to keep people from making a big fuss over him.” June smiled away thinking of her new baby, and then she started laughing. Ward asked her what was so funny this time, and she replied, “I was just thinking about that beaver that you dreamed about in the waiting room again! Hahahaha…”

Ward laughed along with June, but this time his laugh was more faked than real. He thought she must be still under the influence of the anesthetics. Then, after June had some readings and procedures done, followed by another feeding, Ward called his office and shared the good news with his manager and coworkers. All of them was very congratulatory-- except the newest account representative, Fred Rutherford, who could only talk about his “princess,” Violet, ‘born 14 weeks and 2 days before,’ and his “big fellow,” Clarence, who was ‘so good in school they were having him give the first grade the benefit of his charm for an extra year.’

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“Dad, what’s my little brother’s name?” asked Wally, after Ward picked him up at the Andersons and they were on their way to the train depot.

“Well, Wally,” replied his dad, “that will probably be decided either today or tomorrow. You see, before you were born, your mother and I agreed that if you were a boy, you would be named for someone on my side of the family; and if you had been a girl, you would be named for someone on your mother’s side. So, since you were a boy, we named you for 2 of my relatives—my grandfather, whose name was Wallace, and my uncle, whose middle name was the same. But we had also agreed that if there were another baby, that one would be named for someone from the other family, regardless of whether it’s a boy or a girl. So your brother is going to be named for someone from your mother’s family. If it had been a sister, we would already know her name is ‘Martha,’ because Aunt Martha always took care of your mother and your mother wanted to honor her in that way. But since it’s a boy, then we’re going to get Aunt Martha’s opinion before we officially give him a name. To be honest, I think I know already what name she’s going to want, but I’ll wait until she says so before I say anything else.”

Wally had just barely heard his dad's explanation of why his brother would be named for someone from his mom's family. “How come I never saw my grandfather Wallace or my uncle Wallace?” he asked, with disappoint.

“Because they’re both—uh, deceased, son” Ward told him.

“Does that mean they’re dead, Dad?”

“Yes, Wally, that’s what it means. ‘Deceased’ is a word meant to give more dignity than to just say 'they're dead.' But son, they were both fine men, and I was glad to honor their memory by naming my first son for them.”

Soon after they arrived at the train station, and as they stood on the platform the huge steam engine came chugging to a stop, and this quickly captivated Wally’s attention. Ward told him that ‘diesel-electric’ train engines are replacing many steam engines, so Wally should be glad to get a closeup view of what is becoming a rarer sight. Wally was still observing the big iron wheels and the heavy vapor being released when he heard his dad say his name, and he turned around and there was Aunt Martha standing beside him. She was dressed in a heavy dark blue suit, with a black hat and a large handbag. She told Ward where her luggage should be found, and he left temporarily to retrieve it.

“Well, Wallace, you certainly are beginning to look like a Bronson, young man,” said Aunt Martha, as she hugged Wally, who didn’t want her to do that, but for some reason he knew he should not back away.

Wally knew he should say something here, but he was confused as to why Aunt Martha didn’t get her own things and as to what a “Bronson” is. So he just said, “Hi, Aunt Martha. Dad just said they ain’t gonna have many train engines like this one no more.”

“Oh, Wallace!-- dear young man!-- please don’t use such a word as you said! I’m sure your father told you ‘there aren’t going to be many engines like this one’—and it’s any more, not ‘no more.’ You do understand, I hope.”

Wally timidly said, “Yes, Aunt Martha.” He was relieved that Ward was quickly back, but something about the sight of 2 suitcases so large didn’t set well with his eyes or with his stomach.
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Old 12-24-2017, 01:50 PM   #7
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Good third part. Only thing I wonder is why Wally wouldn't be staying with the Haskells rather than the Andersons.
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Old 12-24-2017, 02:06 PM   #8
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Really well written! Sounds just like a little Wally. In one episode it seemed Wally didn’t meet Eddie until they were 10 or 12 and in Nobody Loves Me we find Eddie was at Wally’s 5th birthday party. I do have to watch the episode to be sure. I think I like Tooey the best among Eddie, Chester and Tooey.
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Old 12-24-2017, 02:22 PM   #9
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I went with a line in one ep-- not sure which-- where Ward says "But Wally, I don't see how you put up with Eddie Haskell." Wally replies, "Well gee, Dad, I've known him since the second grade, and a guy's got to have a best friend." It might be "Beaver and Chuey," after Ward finds out what Eddie did.
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Old 12-25-2017, 09:30 AM   #10
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Yes, I stand corrected--that line was in Beaver and Chuey, just on MeTV today. If the 5th birthday party line was in Nobody Loves Me, it's just another of the many inconsistencies.
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Old 12-25-2017, 09:32 AM   #11
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Of course, Eddie could have been brought to Wally's 5th birthday party by someone else, but Wally didn't know him at the time.
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Old 01-08-2018, 12:33 AM   #12
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WE'LL CALL HIM BEAVER (conclusion)


“Well, Aunt Martha,” said Ward, as they began walking away from the depot to his car, “I suppose there’s no way you could know this before now-- but June had another boy last night.”

Aunt Martha stopped. “Why Ward, of course I didn’t know!” she replied. “All during my journey I was thinking June would still be at home. So—last night, and another boy?”

“Yeah, Aunt Martha,” said Wally. “I got to stay with my friend, Chesser, all night while Mom went to the hospal to get that baby out of her.”

Aunt Martha looked at Ward, who resumed walking down the sidewalk and said, “Oh yes, we dropped Wally off about 7:30 last night, and she had the baby at 1:42 a.m. I assume you’re aware of our intention to name the child after someone in June’s family this time; and I was just telling Wally on our way to the station that I thought you might have an idea. I think June really wanted your input on this.” They reached Ward's car, and after the suitcases were loaded and everyone was inside, Ward began pulling away.

“Well, I can think of 2 or 3 masculine names which we Bronsons would be honored to bestow on the child. But I think my first choice would be that of my brother, Theodore. He was a bank officer and a veteran of the World War—the first World War, that is—and, of course, he was considerably older than I. He served as an officer in the Chemical Service, and he accidentally inhaled some gasses while in training in France. Then after he returned from Europe, he developed tuberculosis, which I was told is common among those exposed to such harmful chemicals. And he passed away from this illness in 1922.”

“Yes, I understand about that,” said Ward. “The same thing happened to Christy Mathewson.” Both Aunt Martha and Wally looked unfamiliar with the name. Ward repeated, “Christy Mathewson—the most famous baseball pitcher of that era who served in the war, and was no longer able to play, and then he also died from the same illness.”

“Well, I don’t know any names from baseball,” said Aunt Martha. “Except one--” she added, “Joseph—'Delmonico,' is it?-- who plays for a New York team?” Ward wanted to correct her with the name DiMaggio, but he resisted. “But anyway," Aunt Martha continued, "Theodore and I were very close, in spite of my being 7 years his junior, and I have sorely missed him for these 28 years. Being a bachelor, he willed most of his property to me, and, in honesty, I don’t know how I would have gotten along at times had that not been the case. So you can see why I am so fond of the name.”

“I certainly can,” Ward responded. “June has mentioned Theodore before, but you’ve told me more about him in one minute than I ever knew. I certainly approve of naming our son ‘Theodore,’ and I’m sure she will, too.”

After they reached the house and Aunt Martha was settled into the guest room, Ward returned to the hospital and told June that Aunt Martha’s first choice of a name from the Bronson family was Theodore. June said that was the name she favored all along for a boy, so they made it official that afternoon. That evening, Mrs. Johnson, the babysitter, did answer her phone and was available to stay with Wally. So Ward took Aunt Martha to the hospital to see the namesake of her beloved brother. She was very taken by the child’s cute face and his rather lively disposition for one less than a day old. And she was very proud of June, whom she had practically raised. “Oh, June,” Aunt Martha said, close to shedding a tear, “this is a very sentimental moment for me. I’ll never think of young Theodore without the memory of my brother. In due time, I’ll see to it that he receives Theodore’s heirlooms. I still have his ring, his dog tags and medals, his Fallbrook cap; oh, and many others, I’m certain.”

“Oh, Aunt Martha, that’s not really necessary,” said June. “He’ll learn about his great uncle Theodore, and I’m sure the name itself will be a goal to live up to, which he’ll understand as he grows up.”

Wally’s first 3 days with Aunt Martha were not as bad as he had feared, although he wondered why her cooking was so different from his Mom’s. She prepared souffle, milk toast, clam chowder, and a few other dishes or flavors he wasn’t used to. He preferred simple meat, potatoes, and plain toast or bread. But he knew he wasn’t supposed to criticize Aunt Martha or the food, so he just ate what he could. And Aunt Martha was not as critical of Wally as June had feared, either, as she was in such a pleasant state of mind in her thought that finally there is another Theodore of the Bronson family. Although there were a few times she corrected Wally’s speech and told him to sit up straight and not to grip his fork with a fist, Wally could tell she was happier than he had ever seen her before. She told him at mealtime, especially at lunch while Ward was away, that he must “set a good example for young Theodore.” Wally replied once, “But I don’t know how to set a good ‘zample for Tw-T--TWEE-vore.” Aunt Martha tried to get him to pronounce the name correctly, but it was very hard for him, so Wally avoided trying to pronounce it, afraid that Aunt Martha wouldn’t like the way he said it.

Finally, on day 4 of her visit, June and Theodore were to come home late in the afternoon. Ward arranged to get off early to pick them up at the hospital. They got their first taste of people raving over such a cute baby as they went down the halls and through the lobby of the hospital. June had been through this before with Wally, and Ward realized what he had missed by being in the South Pacific at that time. He knew people would make a fuss at later times also, but there is nothing to compare with the first time that strangers see your baby and pour on the compliments.

At the house, Aunt Martha had ‘Wallace’ dressed up in the suit she had given him the previous Christmas, even though it was already a little tight. Ward helped June out of the car, with the baby in her arms, and they entered the house anxious to see Wally’s reaction to his first look at his brother. Wally smiled, but he looked as if he was afraid to come too close. Theodore was laid in the new cradle in the living room , and as June was getting impatient, she said, “Wally, come on over and get a close look at your brother, Theodore!”

Wally slowly came forward, looked into the cradle, got still closer as he became fascinated, and then Theodore spit up some milk from his last feeding on Wally’s coat. Wally jumped back and said, “Is he gonna do that every time?”

Ward and June laughed. “No, of course not,” said Ward. “But you do have to expect things like that sometimes.”

Aunt Martha, who did not appear to see the humor, said, “Come Wallace, we’ll get your suit off and clean it before the stain sets in.”

After Wally had been sound asleep in his room for quite some time, he was awakened by the sound of the baby crying in his parents’ room across the hall. He got up and met his dad in the hall by the closet where he was getting a clean blanket. “Oh hi, Wally,” said Ward. “I know the crying must have awakened you, but that’s just another thing that’s going to be happening around here for awhile. We’ll have him quiet in just a few minutes, so go on back to bed. And be sure not to wake up Aunt Martha in the room down the hall.”

“Couldn’t I see him again, Dad?” asked Wally.

“Well Wally, your mother is—well, just a minute and we’ll see.”

Ward went back into their bedroom with the blanket and said, “Dear, Wally woke up and said he wants to see Theodore again. Is it alright, do you think, now that you’re nursing?”

“Oh, I suppose that’s alright, dear,” replied June. “We’ll be making the transition to bottle-feeding in the coming months, and I don’t think it would hurt for an older child to see this, especially if you hand me that blanket and it’s done discreetly. Anyway, it’s only been about a year since we ordered him to stop coming into the bathroom when he knows I’m in the tub.” They both smiled as Ward opened the door and told Wally he could come in.

As Wally came in and saw his brother nursing, he felt a little surprised, yet strangely calm and secure. He looked back at his smiling father. “Don’t worry, Wally,” Ward said, “he can’t spit anything on you right now, believe me.”

“Go ahead and touch him” said June. “He’s so warm and soft, you’ll be amazed.”

For the next few minutes Wally just stood there in his new-found feeling of security in having a new brother who was being cared for as he knows that he must have been 5 years ago. As Theodore was finally asleep again, and Ward took him and put him back in his crib, Wally was interested in everything he saw; the stack of clean diapers, the colorful blankets, the booties, the plastic toys... and a silver dollar with a hole bored in the middle. He asked, and Ward told him it was a gift from Andy Hadlock, the painter and handyman, who drilled the hole the day his brother was born. “T—uh, he’s sure got a lot of stuff, ain’t he, Dad?”

“Yes, doesn’t he?” said Ward. “You know Wally, I haven’t heard you say his name yet. You know what is, I know.” Wally nodded his head. “Well, just to be sure, say ‘Goodnight, Theodore.'”

Wally said, “Goo’night, TWEE-vore.”

“Well, I suppose that’s close,” said Ward. “It’s THEE-adore.”

Now Wally hesitated to say his brother’s name at all, since he knew he would be corrected. For the next 2 weeks he adjusted to the crying, to the midnight-to-2 a.m. feedings, to the diapers being changed and washed, and to neighbors and friends coming by and making a big fuss over “cute little Theodore.” Aunt Martha had mentioned 2 important club meetings in Riverside, and June had picked up her hint and insisted she was strong enough to begin taking care of the house and Wally again, as well as baby Theodore. The evening before she was to leave, the whole family was sitting in the living room, with the baby in the cradle there, and she was telling more stories of her brother Theodore and her hopes for the future of his namesake-- that young Theodore should be taught well about money-handling, for example, so that he could become a successful banker. Wallace, she said, had been well-behaved and was developing manners “worthy of a Bronson.” She reminded him that he must be careful about his speech or little Theodore may pick up some of his “improper utterances.”

“Yes, Aunt Martha,” said Wally, making a deliberate effort. “I’ll try to be a good ‘zample to TWEE-a-vore.”

Aunt Martha looked disappointed that Wally had not improved much on his pronunciation of her brother’s and her great nephew’s name. June said, “Aunt Martha, don’t worry about Wallace. He’ll be starting first grade in just a couple of months-- a year early, actually, since they have to make room for all the babies born a year later than he. I’m sure he’ll become the good example for Theodore that you expect.”

Wally was awakened again that night by the crying around 1 a.m. and knocked on the door to his parents’ room. They invited him in, and he told them that the reason he hardly ever said Theodore’s name was because Aunt Martha would get mad at him for not saying it right. They told him it was alright; that before too long he could pronounce the name perfectly well. But in the meantime, his father added, “maybe you could call him ‘Ted’ or another nickname that’s a little easier for you.”

“Oh no, dear!” inserted June. “Aunt Martha wouldn’t like that at all. It was never in the Bronson tradition to shorten anyone’s name. Wally, that’s why she always calls you ‘Wallace.’”

“Well, in that case dear,” said Ward, “I suppose for quite a while around here we’ll just have to get used to the name ‘TWEE-vore Cleaver’… or should it be ‘TWEE-vore CLEE-vore?’… or ‘Tweever Cleaver?’”

June laughed softly, wary of disturbing Aunt Martha down the hall or ‘Tweever’ at her breast. “Tweever,” said Wally. “I like ‘Tweever Cleaver!’ Hi Tweever!”

“Wally, I didn’t start this to have you really begin calling him ‘Tweever,’” said Ward. “That would make Aunt Martha faint, and I don’t really like it myself, either.”

“Gee, Dad—If it ain’t Tweever, then," he concentrated as tried to think of other rhyming names—"Weaver...Deever—not ‘Fever!” Wally laughed. “Beaver!” he exclaimed out loud.

“Shhh!--Beaver?” said June, as if astonished.

“Beaver?” said Ward. “Hmm. June, do you remember--” He looked at June, holding back a grin. She looked at him, holding it back for a few seconds, then she laughed aloud. The baby, fortunately, did not wake up, as June moved very little in spite of her guffaw. Then Ward laughed also. Wally was astounded.

“I think we’ve got our nickname,” said Ward, as he and June laughed softly again.

“Yes, honey,” replied June, still giggling, “but just don’t let Aunt Martha know that. She’ll think we’re not taking the honor of her brother’s name seriously. As time goes by, we’ll probably stop calling him ‘Beaver’ anyway.”

“But can I still call him ‘Beaver’ for now?” asked Wally.

“Yes,--” said Ward, “just remember, that’s another thing you’re not supposed to say when Aunt Martha can hear you. But she’s leaving tomorrow. So then-- at least until your speech and your permanent teeth develop-- you can call him Beaver. And just maybe,” he added, “we'll call him Beaver, too.”

After Aunt Martha had gone, Wally was glad to have his mom in her accustomed role again, preparing the foods he liked, and taking care of the house. And he was really glad the name Beaver for his baby brother had caught on, and his parents were even calling him that in front of their adult friends.

“Oh Ward,” said June, one night as they sat alone in the living room, “should we ever tell Wally the reason the name ‘Beaver’ tickled us so much when he suggested that as the nickname?”

“I’m not sure, dear. He’ll remember having the idea himself, so maybe we should save it for when he—or Beaver—is going to have a child of his own. That is, of course, if it’s not long forgotten by then.”

“I’m never going to forget it, dear,” insisted June. “To me, it seems like hardly a year since Wally was born. They grow up so fast—we really need these private sentiments to help us eternally cherish the moments.”

Ward said, holding up his coffee cup as he held his champagne glass on their wedding night, “There will be many more moments to cherish, dear. With two boys as we go into the second half of the twentieth century, it’s almost impossible to think otherwise.”

They lightly clinked their coffee cups and enjoyed the cozy silent moment, while awaiting the next ‘"page" from Beaver.

THE END

Last edited by tdr; 01-08-2018 at 12:16 PM.
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Old 01-08-2018, 10:02 AM   #13
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Very interesting. I wish somebody would produce and film this.

I really like the way you fleshed out how the nickname Beaver came to be.
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Old 01-08-2018, 10:09 AM   #14
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Very well written. Sounds just like Aunt Martha.
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