togbean's place

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Time To Go

This was one of my favorite things that came out of my writing class last semester. It's a rework of bits that I wrote a few years ago. Enjoy

Time To Go

Daddy had gone to work. I know because I heard his boots squeaking on the wet pavement outside my room. It was raining and still dark outside. I heard him close the trunk after he put his bag inside; I heard the engine start and I listened as the sound of the car faded away down the road. The big black birds were cawing outside. Mommy calls them crows but I know what their real names are. Just then the clock in the living room chimed softly five times. All these things meant it was a day to go, so I climbed out of bed.

I crept into Mommy and Daddy’s room to see the little brown man sitting on the bed at Mommy’s feet. I heard the small words he said to Mommy to make her have happy sleep, and then I watched him climb down. His skin was now a color like a chocolate bar and his clothes were made from the fallen leaves, all oranges, reds and browns, even his little hat. The last time I had seen him he was all green, his skin had been almost blue and he’d had a wreath of flowers on his head, but he always smelled like Mommy’s garden when we plant the seeds. He smiled at me and I saw his eyes crinkle and his little white teeth. He took my hand and we walked back into my room so he could say the small words to my baby sister. It was time to go.

We walked outside using the small door in the kitchen that was only there when the little man came. We spent a few minutes in Mommy’s garden while he passed his hands over each of the plants and the last few flowers; he sang a quiet song I didn’t understand. It reminded me of the songs that mommy sang to sissy and me at bedtime. Then we walked around all the trees in the yard. He continued to sing his song and we hugged each of the trees in turn. The big black birds stopped making all their noise just as he finished his song. It was time to go.

The little man and I settled down under the big tree next to the garden and he covered us over with all the fallen leaves. He began to sing another song and I settled into his hug like I had all the other times. Under a snow bank, in Mommies favorite patch of Lily of the Valley, once under Daddy’s tomato plants. Wherever we settled when he began that song I grew sleepy and knew I would awake in the other place. It was warm and dry under the leaves and it smelled like trick or treat night. I heaved a great sigh and was soon fast asleep. When I woke up it was because the little man was chuckling and tickling me under the chin. The sun was shining bright and we were sitting under our mushroom. It was time to go.

We crossed a field of squishy green moss and headed for the cave. She was waiting inside, she was now brown too, and wearing the leaf clothes. She was just settling in for a breakfast of nuts, oatmeal and warm applesauce. The little man hugged me and gave me a smile. I knew I would see him when my day with her was done but for now, it was his time to go.

I hopped up on my seat and dug my spoon right into the applesauce, it was my favorite.
I talked to her about all the things I had done with my family since the last time I saw her and she told me all about her own adventures. She asked if I remembered the things I had learned the last time I was there. I wasn’t sure so she promised to take me out after breakfast to practice the names of everything. We walked in the forest naming all the plants and animals that I could remember and learning new ones. We swam in the pond, naming the fish and frogs, and ate lunch in a meadow full of tiny blue flowers. We made wreaths of them to wear in our hair, and they smelled like summertime. After lunch we took naps in the tall grass because our bellies were so full of nuts and berries that we had gathered on our walk, and bread with sweet butter that she had packed in her basket. The buzzing bees woke us up just as the sun was starting to hide behind the great trees. It was time to go

We sang all sorts of songs on the way back to the cave, she taught me some and I taught her my new favorites that Mommy sang with me at home. I helped set the table for supper and we ate nice hot soup with carrots and potatoes we had gathered on our walk. When supper was finished and I had helped to clear all the dishes, we settled down in front of the fire for a story. It was a wonderful story about a little bear that got lost but was found. It was my favorite, especially the part about all the berries he found along the way. Just as the story finished I heard the little man laugh at the door to the cave. She gave me a big hug and promised that we would go find the little bear’s berry patch the next time I came. I kissed her goodbye and promised that I would practice and try to remember more next time and I would learn new songs to share. It was time to go.

The little man and I made our way back to our mushroom and I was so sleepy from a long and busy day that I don’t remember if he sang his song to me but I do remember his hug and quiet laughter.

“Sweetie. Wake up sweetheart. You‘ll be late for school. I made warm applesauce for you, and your sister is all ready. Let’s get dressed and eat breakfast.” Mommy was waking me up. I was snuggled under my blanket in my sunny yellow room and it smelled like yummy applesauce. I got dressed in my favorite yellow sweater and pants and ate all my breakfast. I looked out the window and I could see all the big black birds sitting in the tree next to the garden. They were quiet now, they had done their job. I would tell you what their real names are but Mommy is putting on my shoes and picking up Sissy, “We don’t want to be late for school.” It’s time to go.


Anonymous gagum said...

my little one, i love you so!!! this story brought tears to my eyes.


10:47 AM  

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