Morning Walk

Brisk walk this morning as there was bright sun giving the lie to all the predictions of rain, but that may come later. The cormorants were drying their wings as usual. The egret and heron took to the air from opposite sides of the road and changed places. The fishing looked poor this morning as the water was murky from the influx of water with the recent rain.

No signs on our ‘bridge to nowhere’ today so it now appears to be open. There were red holiday lights illuminating the outline last night and the stores are starting to set up Holiday Displays hurrying the end of the year to us, at a rush. On returning home, I was greeted with a puff of scented air set off by the motion sensor on the air freshener; not as great a welcome as one would get with a dog, but a welcome nevertheless.

Larry and the Bear cont'd


Seventy miles down the highway, Kevin turned off along a narrow side road and then onto a track. With a scrunching of tires on the gravel track, the Corolla pulled up in front of a small shack settled back a little way in the trees and just a short walk to the river. Kevin and Suzie got out and went into the house while the boy turned over and drifted back into a deep sleep. 

Kevin and Suzie had moved to Green Ore six months ago from the town of Bruston after Kevin’s grandfather left him a small annuity and a little cash to help his career as a fiber artist. His wall hangings, made on a two foot folding hand loom, only provide a small income and the annuity enabled them to move into the country and allowed Kevin to concentrate on his art. At twenty-four, he looks the part of an emerging artist; a willowy five feet ten with long dark brown hair, a straggly beard and wearing a loose dark blue jumper knitted by Suzie on 10 gauge needles. Suzie is a full six inches shorter, slim with long fair hair and a love of colorful long dresses made out of coarse weave cloth. Unlike Kevin who was an only child, she has four younger brothers whom she hasn’t seen for the past two years and, at nineteen, is happy keeping house, looking after the four chickens penned in the yard and Kevin, mostly in that order.

By any standards, Green Ore was small, consisting of a store, a gas station and a bar located on the highway and half a dozen properties scattered around. There had been the start of a mine there once but the deposit ran out not long after the mine was built, and now it’s only reason for existence is the highway and the travelers that stop for gas or some food. There was not a great deal of excitement in Green Ore these days.

Slowly the sun forced back the night shadows, but the car was well shaded by the trees and the boy still slept. Suzie climbed into the driver’s seat, starting the engine and winding down the window,
“Be back in a minute with the milk, is there anything else you need, love?”
“No, just milk. See you in a minute,” and Kevin went back in as Suzie pulled out of the track.

The boy was awake now and keeping silent with panic building as he had no idea where he was or who was driving. He stayed as low and in as tight a ball as he could, hugging Snuggie and wishing for it to stop. The car turned left and stopped. The driver’s door opened and then shut with a whumpf that sounded final. He lay there for a few minutes until he thought it was safe and then slowly got up and peered out of the window. Yes, it looked safe, no one was about and he tried the door – still locked. He tried the door on the other side, that too was locked. The only way out seemed to be over the seats and try the front door. He put on his monkey pack and tried to climb over the seat but his pack kept getting hung up on the broken light fixture and then Suzie came back carrying a gallon of milk.

She saw him on the back seat, and opening the passenger door said
“Well, who are you and what are you doing in there?”
He said nothing as he stood still on the back seat staring at this complete stranger. He was too frightened to speak and just stared back at Suzie with eyes wide and tears just starting to run down his cheeks. The patch of dark blue spreading from the middle of his pale blue pants and down the left leg caught Suzie’s attention and she couldn’t help but feel sorry for the poor little guy.
“Well I haven’t seen you around here before. Let’s get you home and into some dry clothes and we’ll make everything alright.”  He still hadn’t moved so she tried “Do you have a name?” and this time he just shook his head.
“That’s a nice bear, what’s his name? Can I shake his paw?” and this got a response as he held the bear a few inches in her direction and said quietly
“His name’s Snuggie and he’s my bear.”


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