Spring has finally arrived which means tugging on our rubber boots and heading out for walks in the local “forest” after the morning drop-off at school.
“I’m just going to get that big stick.”
“Actually, it’s still in the ground, so it’s a tree, not a stick, we’ll find another one.”
“Ok. Hey! Look at the bird’s nest – another one! Another one! ANOTHER ONE!”
And so it went. We tromped around in the newly thawed earth, enjoying the sound of our boots sticking in the mud.
“There’s that green stuff! And there, and THERE!” Today we learned that “green stuff” is moss and likes damp, dark places. Followed by a timely reminder of why we empty our lunch bags every day.
“I can see that tree used to have three parts. Why is it on the ground now?”
As we discussed the possible reasons a tree might fall, I basked in the glow of the intermittent sunshine, the smell of the world finally waking up to spring, and the sounds of birds chirping. I might have even been feeling some pride at my laissez-faire approach to the day. I have no agenda, I’m just going to relax and savour this time with my little guy, look at me being so “in the moment I’m not even taking any pictures.”
My reverie came to a screeching halt.
On the path, less than one metre away was…
And it was HORRIFYING.
We both gawked in silence for a moment and then ran away. I mean RAN.
I don’t know why I was running, I’m an adult, but Little told me “I thought he was going to eat me.”
At this point, I tried to get back to our previously fun adventure mode. I suggested we take the long way home, maybe check out the creek. Little wanted nothing to do with that. Offers to go to the park were declined. “Let’s just go home,” he told me.
I could not get the dead duck image out of my mind and wondered how much it scarred my youngest until he chirped up, “I HAVE to tell the boys what we saw.” And moments later we spied a worm on the sidewalk that he concluded was “napping.”
Childhood innocence remains intact.
As for the duck? I took care of it. I left a long, detailed voicemail for the people who take care of those things. I’m sure they’ll have no trouble finding the duck corpse “in the forest behind the school right near the fence that lines the soccer field, not the field by the road, the one at the back of the school yard. On the mud path, by a tree.”