Here’s another funny story that involves Simon.
One day this summer Becky and Finn were off somewhere, leaving just Simon and me at the house to our goings on.
Well, he and I both had things going on outside. I was going my yard work, and he was busying himself around the picnic tables the way six year old boys do on beautiful summer days when they’re left to their own devices.
At one point we were both heading into the house at the same time, and I asked him what he was doing, and he told me he was looking for something to put his worms in.
Living in the country as a father of a ten year old boy who is all boy and who has always been all boy and a six year old who is the same and who idolizes his older brother, if I had a nickel for every time I had to get them something to put some kind of creature is I’d be in a different tax bracket.
Also living in the country, I have no small piece of land to keep up, and once I’m into it, like all people so disposed, I want to get it behind me as soon as possible. So, I was really hoping he would be able to locate what he needed without needing me. I told him to let me know if he needed help, and then each of us went back to his business.
I was pleased a little later when I looked up and saw he had indeed found what he needed and I wouldn’t have to break what I was doing to help him do so.
A while after that, we caught back up, and I confirmed that he had indeed found a suitable receptacle for his worms. He told me that he had. “Wanna see ’em?”
Well, of course. Anybody who knows a kid who will get a pail to put his or her worms–insert other critter–in knows also that that kid doesn’t just want to have the worms for themselves, but he or she will take infinite pleasure in showing you his or her find.
So, Simon took me over to the picnic table and pointed to an old ice cream container, which contained some grass…and some maggots. Not only were they maggots, but they were big ones, the biggest I’d ever seen.
Yep, and you know how horrified I was. I was aghast. I had to have scared the kid. It was one of those situations where you try to tell your child so many things all at once, and they’re all so very important, but in your rush to get them out of you and into the ears of the child, they just get lodged at the opening of your mouth, trying desperately to plop themselves out.
And there were hand motions, I guess toward where I thought he should take that horrible bucket and throw it and toward to the bathroom where he needed to get to right now to wash his hands. His hands? His whole body! This kid needs to be dipped in lye.
And the sweet little thing was just scared to death; Lord knows what he was thinking but that he had touched something poisonous, which was going to do him in in a manner of minutes.
I saw his panic and assured him that everything was going to be all right, and I marched him into the bathroom and got the water warm enough for him to wash his hands good without being so hot that he wouldn’t want to do it. (I’m not sure if I touched him while this was going on, but I kinda think I didn’t.)
Throughout, I was trying to reassure him that everything was going to be OK, and my mind was just whirring over wherever he could have found maggots. I knew they didn’t come from inside the house or from the trash cans, but couldn’t think for the life of me where they might have come from.
Once the emergency had been averted and the offending cargo–the carrier too of course (concourse)–I explained to him as well as I could what they were, what they represented, and why they were so nasty. Then, naturally, I asked him where he had gotten them.
“On my walnut collection,” he said innocently enough; and why would it be anything but innocent, a six year old boy and his walnut collection?
I could recall him collecting walnuts some days earlier, and I asked him to show me his walnut collection, and there they were. His walnut collection indeed. Well, we disposed of all of that, and I’d imagine Simon will forever be entirely too scarred to attempt another such collection.
Blessedly, this is not the end of the story. The story’s end comes a few days later when i’m recounting the events to someone, and he or she simply said. “Oh yeah, those aren’t maggots.”
What?! They aren’t maggots?! my hopeful mind screamed, and I asked them to explain.
“No, they’re not maggots. They are a larva, but they’re a larva of some kind of walnut bug, not flies.” What sweet music that was to my ears.
So…I got that goin’ for me, which is nice.
Be well, you courageous beasts.