Jul 9, 2008

The old man kept whittling. Perhaps he would fashion her another animal from the woods,
like the bear, or the deer, or the little family of squirrels now left playing on her
window sill. Of course she really wanted a new game for her NintendoDS, but she had
lost the pen anyway, and her angry father would not buy her a new one for a whole week.
The old man did not seem to care much about such things. The old man kept whittling.

This wood was hard, and straight. Just some old native species, but what a wonderful
tree it must have made. What a wonderful bow or arrow it might have been. Perhaps it
was from the very tip, or near the root. It did not seem to have any compression grain.
The old man reached down and grabbed a handful of shavings. They smelled like her hair,
and one or two had left his work and landed there, amongst the curls. They reminded him
of his wife who died so young, and long forgotten ways, how the wind blew her hair as
they both got swept up those stairs at the train station in Edinburgh, how she would
have loved the cottage he built on Magaguadavic Lake, and of Passchendaele.

The old man kept whittling. She sat patiently by his feet watching her Jacob Two Two and
the Hooded Fang, or one of her favourite DVDs she wasn't supposed to watch until she was
a wee bit older. What a great trunk his legs made those rainy days. They seldom stirred.

When he was done he reached down his great old hand and offered her what looked like
nothing more than a giant toothpick. She looked up, absolutely hurt and horrified. What
cruel joke was this? Then at once she saw his eyes and understood. She jumped up so
suddenly and stood there upon her toes, and kissed his cheek, like it was Mahogany.
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