Saturday, May 06, 2006

Big Dogs and Small Kids

Little kids can be fun. Especially country kids like these. The one on the far left is my Grandpa- he was a cutie. Yesterday, I got to spend some time with some country kids. You know, the kids I teach... Right before lunch they like to run down to the creek and stand in the muddy water and catch slimy frogs. They carry them around a bit and then stick 'em in a bucket for the day. I can't blame them... I used to do it too. My brothers and I would spend hours during the summer months in the little creek that ran behind our house catching frogs, lots of crayfish, minnows if we could, and maybe, once in a while, a snake or two. It was one of very favorite things to do. And of course we would leave them in a bucket in the yard for a day or two or three till we let them go. It was fun being a kid... And I suppose, that my pupils also should have a chance to catch frogs and enjoy sunny afternoons too. Of course, we try to get school done as quick as we can so we can go outside and play. Yesterday, I went for a walk with three of the girls. Bethany (who is 11, almost 12), Rebecca (6), and Katherine (4) and I hiked on out over the creek and out to the woods. We walked through fields and followed the tractor trails on up the hill. Watch out for muddy spots! I braved 'em and walked through the middle on the high spot. The girls took the safer route. Once we hiked up the ridge, we noticed a single, beautiful trillium blooming under the canopy of the trees. It was like a treasure among the leaves and twigs and undergrowth. It was so precious in its' singleness. I explained to the girls what it was and how it was endangered and against the law to pick them. They ooed and awed over it and then we walked on. Pretty soon we began to notice a few more trilliums here and there. We got so excited... Bethany said they had never seen them before and she was so glad we took a walk when we did. I wished that I had my camara. The farther we walked the more and more flowers we noticed. They seemed to be growing everywhere along the ridge or that hill. They were so pretty and I am so glad we decided to take a walk that day. I don't get to see many trilliums and they only bloom in the woods in early spring. So that was a treasure. But that wasn't the only exciting thing that happened on our walk... When we were almost done with our walk (nearing the road, which we would follow back to the house) we saw, standing in our pathway up ahead of us, a big black dog, just standing there watching us. I stopped in my tracks and tried to remember what to do when you saw a strange dog and didn't know whether he was nice or mean. I told the girls not to look him in the eyes and we backed up a little. But we couldn't turn around now... it would take us forever to get home if we did. And then the dog started trotting toward us. I told the little girls to stand behind me (just in case). You have to understand... this dog was huge. He was at least part Great Dane and his head came up past my waist. I decided that I would talk sweetly to him and called out to him "Hi puppy". He was hardly a puppy, but that didn't really matter. When he came too close for comfort I stood there and told the other girls to walk on ahead but not run. The dog stood there next to me... he didn't seem mean, but he hadn't wagged his tail yet either. How could I tell what he was thinking? He was wearing a collar, and when he wanted to follow the girls, I took hold of it gently and told them to keep walking. When they were far enough away for me, I let the collar go and started walking down the path, the dog walking next to me. I caught up to the girls and took Katherine's hand in mine, and kept myself between her and the dog. The Great Dane dwarfed Katherine. She was scared of him. I patted the dogs head just to make sure that he knew we were okay and so I knew he was okay too. Rebecca got brave and patted it too. I did not want her to do that. Whenever we would stop walking the dog took a few more steps then turned around and waited for us. It looked like he was there for the duration. When we got farther down the path we could see some kids playing at one of the houses next to the road. They were jumping on a trampoline and I took the educated guess that the dog belonged to them. It turned out that he did and his name was Mozart. And although he was scary looking, Mozart really was a nice dog. Good thing for us. It was quite the adventurous walk. And fun too. Sometimes it's nice being a kid, and then sometimes one has to be the grown up, and at least act like you're brave because there are younger people looking up to me. Good thing I have someone watching out for me too.

6 comments:

Brian said...

It sounds like it was great walk. I certainly wish that I was there to see the Trillium, what do they look like? Also, when there is a dog that you dont know is friendly, supposedly (boyscout experiance) you should hold out the back of you hand and wait for him to sniff it, that way he knows you arn't a threat, or something like that. I also wish I could have seen the dog, Doggies are soooo cute ^_^. Anyway, cya later.

Martha said...

I miss taking walks in the woods. When I was a little girl, my friends and I would go to the woods. We would see trilliums and May apples and Jack in the Pulpits. You'll have to look for them as they should be out there soon too. Maybe Ben, Hannah and I can come and go for a walk with you and your friends one day.

Bethany said...

Ooo, ooo! We did see a jack-in-the-pulpit coming up right next to the first trillium we saw! That was cool... two rare plants right next to each other! And that would be so fun if you guys came on a walk with us. I think the kids would love it too!

Rachel said...

I can remember going to the playground as a kid, and catching polliwogs in buckets or jars. Remember that Martha, or was it just me and other neighborhood kids? Some of them would be growing their little legs and it was fun to see different ones in different stages of development. I was just talking with Dave about this memory a few days ago and he laughed when I called them "polliwogs", he says they're called,"tadpoles". Whatever, to me they were polliwogs. My niece in PA had one in a fishbowl on her dresser.

Martha said...

Yes, I remember catching polliwogs too. They were mostly the little tiny black ones. We caught them not only at the playground but in the woods at the dead end too. That's where I swung out over the water on a vine. It broke and dropped me in the muddy water and I had to walk home that way. I was so embarrassed.

Bethany said...

yuck!