The boy catches his breath as she appears in the upper window. She swaggers in, removing her shirt and closing the door behind her. He praises Lord she don't pull the curtains like she sometimes does; the farm is isolated but it's always a lucky toss. She stands there combing her long blonde hair - he assumes there's a mirror there somewhere - letting it fall over her shoulders and the cotton of her bra. A familiar feeling rises in the boy's pants.
Distracted, he doesn't note the rising noise level; the barking and shouting - not until the bottom half of the back door kicks outwards and the farmer comes out. He's clutching something to his chest. Behind, the farmer's wife is shouting at the dog to stop barking, holding it by the collar.
The farmer drops his bundle as the yard light comes on.
Heart thumping, the boy cowers, in more ways then one, convinced he can be seen. But he dare not move.
The farmer walks calmly over to the shed, leaving the wriggling brown bundles on the floor. The dog in the house barks on, and the girl is at the window, looking out.
From the shed, the farmer grabs a bucket and starts filling it with water from an outside tap.
The boy squashes himself closer to the ground. There's no way they wouldn't see him if they look in his direction. Over his heartbeart he can hear a low mewling and realises the wriggling bundle in the middle of the yard are puppies.
"You don't need to do this," yells the farmer's wife.
"Already too many goddamn mutts," is the reply she gets.
The farmer, in the middle of the yard again now, drops the bucket. Then, as cold as you like, he picks up the newborn puppies, one by one, five in total the boy counts as they are lopped into the bucket, but not before a twist to the neck that sends a crack through the night.
The boy coughs involuntarily, and he thinks he could die right there, right then. It might be preferable if he did.
"Who's there?" shouts the farmer, tossing the final dead puppy into the bucket. He takes a step further, wiping his filthy hands on his trousers. "Come out or I'll wring your neck too!"
The boy had expected damp pants that evening, but not the piss that now spreads down his thighs. He wants nothing more than to be gone from here. He has a momentary thought that even as he's thinking it, he knows is crazy: he is about to be caught peeping, and will surely be in for a hiding, if not from the farmer than his Pa, and yet he thinks, If I stand and run I'll be giving my game away. The game will be up. No more farmer's daughter for me. While the chance of riding it out exists, he cannot move.
"There, Pa," points the girl from her window.
Read part 2: Peeping Tammy