Thursday, October 29, 2009

A Coyote, A Nut, and a Tire Iron Walked Into a Bar...

The colors in the creek are the colors of my son's eyes. Green and gold and rust that in low light look brown and in sunshine look like Donegal moss tweed. We went exploring, one of our favorite autumnal activities, and the three of us each found something exciting to share. My son, our protector, outfitted with a holstered yellow squirt gun in case we disturbed any copperheads, found a millipede the size of his forearm. My daughter, our captain, steered us in the right direction, discovering a new piece of playground equipment deemed suitable for vigorous play after a thorough inspection. And I, the navigator, wandered off to daydream by the gritty bank, leaving the other two up to their own devices. Hey, I'm never voted the captain for a reason. I found something too.

On the eastern exposure of the mossy tree in this photo is a hollow, carved out by water under a gnarled canopy of roots. I slid a few feet down the bank to check it out and to my surprise there was a woman tucked halfway in there, pale and shivering. Her wet hair braided with the roots. I couldn't tell where she began and the tree ended. I instantly recognized her.

"Catherine?" Her pained eyes fluttered in acknowledgement. "Why are you under these roots and not back home in the tidy short story I just finished writing about you?"

"You tell me," she croaked, her voice as sandy as the creek side,"I just woke up here and I think I'm dying, but I don't know why."

"Oh," I offered impotently. She rolled her washed out eyes at me. I pondered the situation for a moment and added, "Well, I guess I'll have to write you into and out of this."

"Thanks, Heather," she whispered, "and don't forget the coyotes, Uncle Nut, or the tire iron, okay?" She hacked for a moment then scrunched her gaunt face and spat blood and half an opalescent shell by my foot. I grimaced and nodded, climbing back up the slippery slope.

Following my Captain and Guard to the falls, I gave the scene some thought and as other families trickled into the park after church, I snapped this pic of the kids. Why don't we focus on the cuteness of these two and not the hapless navigator whose imagination at times is crazy-making.


Christie said...

Hmmm...I would be interested to know how she got there and how you're going to get her out of it. ;)

Mom said...

Can't wait to hear the rest of the story. What a great picture of my babies. Little Man looks so tall and lean...has he grown in the last month? And our princess looks beautiful.