The tribe of three marched through the woods, crunching leaves underfoot, hitting trees with sticks and reuniting acorns with their tops or “fingerhats.”
It would be hard to not hear the group, even though Little Legs periodically turned around with a finger held up to his lips.
“Shhhh….” He hushed his brother and mother who walked silently behind him, “deer might be sleeping.”
The trio emerged from the trees with bits of leaves in their hair and burrs on their pants, but otherwise unscathed from the potentially dangerous trip into Nature.
Of note, everything feels dangerous to the anxious/neurotic parent: grocery stores, backyards, stairs, uncut grapes and hotdogs, the list goes on and on.
“Let’s take a break here,” Mama said.
There was a flat rock wide enough for three behinds to rest on it, although, she knew that the chance of three behinds resting there for longer than a minute was slim to none.
Little Legs squatted down to draw on the rock with his hitting stick. Mama stretched out her legs and began the laborious process of picking burrs from her pants. Baby Brother dug into a pile of leaves, pushing the debris to the side as he went deeper towards the earth. He was a natural digger with strong hands and a need to make holes, he was in his element.
“Baa…baa…” he exclaimed in a higher pitch that made his mother take notice.
“What did you find?” Mama asked.
Baby Brother held his finger out and smiled at the buzzing yellow jacket that he had beefriended.
The social wasp buzzed comfortably on the end of the boy’s finger, exchanging curious looks and bee to boy, boy to bee noises.
Mama, who did not understand their language, screamed and reacted with a quick and well-placed flick, sending his friend backwards into the air and into oblivion, for all she cared.
“Bee,” Baby Brother exclaimed proudly, unaware of his brush with danger.
He stared at the empty end of his finger/bee-launch pad and then at his mother, in disbeelief, that his striped friend was suddenly missing.
“Easy come, easy go, Sweet Bee Boy,” Mama said with a twinge of regret at the interrupted friendship that was quickly replaced with a much greater sense of relief at not dealing with the pain and swelling of a sting.