Monthly Archives: April 2015


The path is blocked by a long cardboard box. The man wrestles with a plastic boat while a boy watches. “Damn it, if the motor stops when it is out on the water we’re screwed,” the man said. The boy looks at the playground in the distance. He sees boys and girls on the swings.

“Just wait,” the man said. “This will be so cool.” Beads of sweat run down the man’s forehead. His face is starting to get red. “Goddamn it, I can’t get this part to fit,” he said. The boy moves out of the way so walkers can get by.

“Finally,” the man said. He puts the plastic boat in the water. “Watch this,” he said. The boy doesn’t say anything. He tries to pay attention but he keeps hearing the laughter and shouts from the playground.

The man revs the engine of the boat and it shoots through the water. He turns the boat and sends it roaring towards a swan. The swan comes up from its dive for seaweed and it encounters the strange object that races toward it. The swan lifts off just in time. It flies to where its mate is nesting and takes up guard in front of the female.

“Hah, did you see that?” the man said. At that moment a thin woman wearing a beret stops next to the man.

“Excuse me,” she said. “The swan is sitting on its nest. You should not disturb it with your boat.”

The boy looks up at his Dad. The man turns and stands in front of the woman.  He starts to speak. Out of the corner of his eye he sees his son looking down at the ground and shifting from foot to foot. “Well,” the woman said. She didn’t flinch. He looks at his son and takes a deep breath.

“You’re right,” the man said. He turns the boat and it returns to the shore in a wide arc. The boy smiles and his dad grins back. “I’ll pack this up in no time. Then we can try out the remote control car,” he said. The boy smiles and sighs. He looks once more at the playground and turns back to his dad.

“Sure Dad, that will be great,” the son said.

I smile as I watch the man take everything apart and then put all the plastic pieces back in the box. As he wheels the suitcase along the path his son reaches out and takes his Dad’s hand.

Got to get it

I paddle and paddle. I like the warmth of the water. Ah, there it is. I see green shoots and leaves at the edge of the water. I reach the shore and bite off a bunch of juicy stems.

“Hey,” a boy said. “A giant rat.” I grab more green stuff and shove it in my mouth. I see monsters moving on the land. Their shadows darken the plants. I better get the hell out of here.

I swim and swim until I reach home. I enter the dark hole between the rocks. My babies are hungry. I drop the leaves and shoots. Squeals of delight fill the air. I smile and watch them eat.