Thanksgiving started with a sunny morning with everything quiet. Turkeys everywhere keeping the morning activities focused and households off the streets. All working hard preparing ‘the trimmings’ to go with their bird. Let us hope that those trying to deep-fry their bird will make it through without calling out the fire engines. Our local station has sent its engine out for a warm up run early today.

At noon the mystical dog walking hour has arrived. A myriad of energetic, purposeful dogs being walked by partners, spouses or relatives, that is anyone but the people seen pounding the sidewalks the rest of the year. I meet one plump Jack Russell being constantly dragged away from fascinating smelly spots by his walker who is plodding along, looking resigned to doing his duty whilst his charge is getting no chance to do his. The plump little dog is well wrapped up in a thick knitted coat, which has inch wide red and black bands encircling him and emphasizing his pampered life style. I’m thankful that it’s not raining; otherwise the coat might shrink and become a foundation garment that would turn him into a svelte little impostor.

Larry and the Bear cont’d.
Green Ore, August 21

       'John’ was settling into the rhythm of Kevin and Suzie’s routine. He loved playing in and out of the trees and bushes with Snuggie and taking him down to the river. He would often just sit on the bank and toss sticks into the water and then pretend they were boats as they got tossed about in the wavelets and eddies of the fast flowing water. Although Suzie had bought some other toys, Snuggie was his anchor, who was treated to long stories when no one else was around.

        Kevin stacked the washed dishes in the rack and turned to Suzie, who was sitting on the floor and pulling old books out of a box
       “I’d better go and harvest our crop this evening. It’s only a hundred plants; I can manage on my own. That way you can stay here with John.”
        “Are sure you can manage?”
       “Yeah, no problem. If I leave at six, I’ll be up there when it’s still light and I’ll only need to hike in and out once. I should be back before midnight.”
That’ll be great,” Suzie smiled at Kevin. She was pleased to get the weed growing over with and get it distributed to their medical-use customers. Until it was in, there was always a chance that their small plantation would be found and destroyed. The money was nice but she felt good about helping people feel better.

          Kevin called ‘John’ over as he went to his loom
       “Hey John, com’n let’s get started, you’ve got a few more rows to finish.” He sat at the loom and waited as ‘John’ came running. With ‘John’ settled on his knees, he said
      “What’s it going to be next? The green or the brown wool? Don’t forget we’ve got that twig that you collected to start weaving in.”
          “L’orange, please.” ‘John’ knew exactly what he wanted.
        “Oh yeah, you’ve got a great eye for color,” Kevin said as he reached for the shuttle with the coarse orange wool.

Half an hour later and Kevin’s foot had gone to sleep. He needed to stand up and stretch to get the circulation back. ‘John’ went over to sit with Suzie who was still sorting through books.
         “All my brothers read these when they were your age,” she said pointing to the small pile of worn thin books with broke spines and dog-eared pages. She picked the pile up and took ‘John’ over to the couch and they started to go through them together. When they had got through the first two, Suzie saw that ‘John’ was only at the very earliest stage of learning to read. Their next two hours were spent on starting to teach him just as she had taught her youngest two brothers several years ago.

They broke off for an early evening meal. Kevin and ‘John’ left Suzie to the washing up while they went outside; Kevin to check that he had everything he needed for this evening’s harvest and ‘John’ to feed the left over scraps to the hens. He loved feeding the hens. It took less than a minute for the scraps to vanish and he trotted back to Suzie with the dish. Drying her hands, she asked
          “Would you like to try some more reading?”
          “Yes please, can we try the one with the monster things in please?”
        “Okay, monsters it is,” and they went back to the couch. Kevin stuck his head through the door and called
           “See you soon, ‘Bye Suzie, ‘bye ‘John’” and he was gone.
           “Where’ Kevin going?” ‘John’ asked,
         “He’s gone to get some herbal medicine for some of our friends who can’t grow it for themselves.”
          “Wish I could see my friends.” ‘John’ looked up from the book and straight into Suzie’s eyes. She saw him blink a couple of times and his eyes looked watery, and then he looked down at the floor and mumbled
            “I miss my Mom.”
Suzie gave him a big hug and kissed his cheek, which now tasted salty as his tears wet her lips.
         “We’ll try and find her for you,” said Suzie, “but you’ll have to help us. Tell us where you lived.”
         “Blue Falls.”
Suzie went quiet as the thoughts raced around her mind. He must have got in the car when we checked the weed patch. God he must’ve been in the car all that night. How’re we going to get him back? How’re we going to keep the police out of it? She lifted him onto her lap and held him close, rocking backwards and forwards.

       ‘John’s’ attention switched to a large book on the floor with a dinosaur picture on the cover. He wriggled free and picked it up. Bringing it back to Suzie, he asked
         “Can we read this one?”
       “Of course, jump up and I’ll read it to you. After that it’ll be bedtime and I’ll read you a story when you’re in bed.” Suzie concentrated on the task in hand and pushed the looming disaster away until Kevin got back.

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