Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Down the Rabbit Hole With Children That are Grand

The young folks in my college have lofty goals and plans—get a job, move out of mom’s, travel and see some stuff.

I listen and smile and want to invite them over to my house for Sunday dinner and say to them, “Just keep watching. You’ll see some stuff.”

There are nine children wandering around our house on any given Sunday, ranging in age from one month to eight years of age. If you stay very still and quiet, the underage natives around here will show you things you won’t believe, and you won’t have to travel farther than Saint Cloud, Florida or get yellow fever shots, although bug spray might come in handy, particularly at dusk.

A recent wild grand boy sighting is typical of the “stuff” you can see without having to leave my back porch or risk being taken prisoner by Somali pirates.

Confused, I watched Kip (a three year old in the middle of the pack) circle the live oak in my backyard several times. He looked like a wolf cub hunting for squirrels, and he seemed to be scouting out a likely spot for something. He was. He stopped circling, shucked his drawers, and proceeded to squat.

Wildlife at the Water Hole
“What does that crazy kid think he’s doing?” I asked his mother.

She squinted, her brow furrowing in confusion. Sudden understanding registered on her face. “Oh good grief, that nutty kid is taking a dump in the yard!”

About that time, Zac (two years old and a monkey barbarian) appeared to confer with Kip the Squatter. Kip pointed at the ground. They conferred some more. Zac slowly raised his foot, preparing to stomp on the dump-age of his older brother.

His mother and I screamed, “No, Zac! No! Don’t do it.”

It was a jungle safari moment—raw, real, and rank, and we didn’t have to have a passport to see it.

Heather hurried to confront the outdoor defecator. “Kippy, you’re not supposed to go potty outside.”

“Why?” Kippy asked.

“Because it’s yucky.”


“Because it’s not nice.”


“Because trees don’t like it when little boys poop on their roots.”


And that’s when you feel yourself leaving this world to slip down the rabbit hole into another world of fantastical creatures—all looking to mark their territory and play croquet.

So join us for the wild life river-cruise every Sunday. See grandchildren in their natural habitat. See game wardens in action, tracking down rogue boys and girls. Dessert included.

Linda (Pith Helmet) Zern



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