nothing happened


click to embiggen "She wasn't about to let anything get in her way." Sentence provided by speakeasy #104 winner Natalie 
The family had been gone on vacation for 16 days. They left after George got home from work on Friday and drove straight to the Atlanta airport. What was a cruise had expanded into driving as far as they could around Alaska.

George, Alice and the two kids trudged into the house at 10 PM the Sunday night of their return. Alice ordered George into the bed. He was going to work the next day and that man would keep working late into the night.  

It was July and the kids still had two more weeks before school began. Listening to their complaints about not being able to sleep late, Alice noticed a family of Purple Thrushes homesteading in the drying Boston Fern through the kitchen window. To think she thought of watering the plants last night.

The birds could hear her and would stop as if keeping their activity a secret.

“Sara, get the video camera. Walter help your sister.”

Walter sissed at his sister, “Thanks for saying I’m bored, now we got a family project”.

Sara brought the camera.

“Walter, we need the tripod.”

“You didn’t say we needed the tripod.”

“I told you mom wanted the tripod.”

Attaching the camera to the tripod on the counter, Alice focused the video camera on the nest as the children slipped into the other room.

“We pick Louise up from the kennel this morning.” Alice called after them.

“She wasn’t about to let anything get in her way of the family watching the young birds hatch and fledge. Alice cautioned Walter as they returned from the kennel, “Don’t let Louise use the front door. Bring her around back into the house.”

“Why?”

 She might disturb the filming.”

“Whatever” mouths Walter.

Sara rolls her suitcase of dirty clothes to the laundry room. Sara pauses to look at the camera and sees the bird flying into the plant.

“There’s a nest”. With a shrill, Sara heads for the front door.

“Don’t do that. We need to use the side and back doors for a few weeks. We don’t want to run off the new neighbors.” Alice chimed.

Louise pauses at the sink and immediately puts her big paws up on the counter. Cocking her head to the side, she lets out a good bark. Walter walks over combing his hair. Pieces of grass are on his clothes.  

When George got home, Walter escorts him seriously through the side door into the house to show him the bird’s nest.

After the first day of school, Alice looked at the half written essay by Walter as they organized his backpack.

“What I did over my summer vacation?”

Nothing. If these birds had not laid eggs
in one of my mom’s plants, nothing would have happened.

“Do you need this paper?”

“No, the teacher made me write another one. She said it was too short.”

Alice put the paper carefully aside to put in his Alaska scrapbook. One day, he would have a good laugh.




Comments

  1. Great job painting a picture of this family! Love the ending - kids are hilarious!

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    1. I agree. I think it is why I managed to teach over 30 years. The things they would say and do.

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  2. Such a funny end - sounds like every conversation with my kids!

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    1. Everyone is an individual. However, there are some things most children do. I always felt the parent who had the wildcat in sixth grade was lucky. Imagine your kid eventually sprouting their independent streak when they are 30.

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  3. It is funny what children find important-and we adults often forget that we were just the same!

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  4. That is so what my second-grade son would have written! Love it!

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    1. I had a friend whose husband had won tickets to New Zealand. When they returned, I asked her son if they had done anything interesting lately so he would tell me about it. He goes, "Nothing". I love kids.

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  5. I love the part about “Thanks for saying I’m bored, now we got a family project” - that was always me and my sister! We were never allowed to complain about boredom.

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    1. My memory was if you were arguing, mom would remember the dishes needed to be washed. We were never smart enough every evening this pattern occurred.

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  6. Replies
    1. You know moms are usually pretty sharp. I was a retired high school teacher and I know I could not compute and react quick like the kindergarten teachers I knew. Children will hone your wits.

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  7. I would love it if birds built a nest next to my house!

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