Monday, July 13, 2009
The Giraffe in the Shrubbery
I thought Lysander got the last strawberry out of my little patch – almost two weeks ago, but this morning – this cold morning – I see that a small handful, several small berries, have ripened to the requisite jeweled sheen, and I pick them and they are unmarked – must be it’s too cold even for slugs – and I rinse them off and pop them into my mouth, and they are the best, the absolute best, of the season. And definitely the last.
Lysander and his parents were here only a few hours this year, and Lysander is an energetic three year old. Almost immediately he got up in the old high chair I keep for him and devoured some strawberry shortcake. Then he led us on a merry chase until I gave him the hose with a trickle of water and a couple of buckets. That kept him intently occupied for at least an hour, until Leo stuffed one of his big fingers down the hose to show Lysander how to make it squirt.
"Oh very good, Leo," I said, and escaped into the kitchen to get together a small supper of egg salad sandwiches and more shortcake. A tearful Lysander came in and told me in a quavery voice, "Giraffe bite." Leo had placed a wooden giraffe inside the small tree off the deck, and I have to admit that the first time I discovered it it was a bit of a shock.
"No," I said, "that giraffe doesn't bite."
"Giraffe Bite," he insisted. "Leo told me!"
"You tell Leo," I said, "that if he doesn't behave himself he's cruisin' for a bruisin!"
A week or so later I found this small giraffe at SolarFest. I'll mail it to Lysander with the little clothes that Leo pinned on the line and forgot to send along with him when he left. Maybe I should wash them first.