A Summer’s Afternoon

Summer afternoon- summer afternoon, to me, those have always been the two most beautiful words in the English language. (Henry James)

It’s Saturday, and it’s very hot.

Small, bare chested little boys are wilting, and looking quite tragic. They slump against their daddy’s knee, certain that they will surely melt. “It’s just a matter of time,” they explain while wiping away errant tears.

Kind daddies nod sympathetically, and attempt to untangle hot little bodies from their own. They figure melting kids aren’t likely in their air conditioned houses, but admit that one can never tell. Daddies know this kind of stuff!

It’s a minute past noon, and the temperature soars past the old century mark. Colorado Springs swoons and melts with the heat.

The big ol’ trees in the park, usually resplendent with their glossy green leaves, curl and wilt, while their resident blackbirds peep with fatigue. Everyone fans themselves whether it’s with hands and feathers, or paws or claws.

Danny complains the prickly grass hurts his bare feet and Jack reminds him that’s what shoes are for. Tempers are short on hot summer’s days.

The pretty little birds in the backyard forget to sing because they are all too hot. Instead, they wait for the sprinkler to come alive, and for the little boy to run under it and play. It might be a long wait but they know it will be worth the wait.

As the moments tick by, Danny begs to be allowed to play under the cool water. But patience is needed. The clever daddy knows the heat of the day would burn sensitive skin.

Hurrah!  Finally the daddy nods his head. It’s time for play! Danny runs into his room and put on his blue bathers.

The water baby snatches his new goggles and presses them against his eyes. The band catches the back of his hair and he looks adorable. Searching the closet, Daniel runs outside with a crab and seahorse towel. It’s his favorite, and perfect for playing in the water.

Alas, brightly colored goggles catches Jack’s attention, and holding his hand out, he returns them to the boy’s swimming bag. Now, they are safe for tomorrow’s lesson.

Sighing, the tot scrunches his toes, and asks if he can wear his new flip-flops. Nodding, Jack agrees that he can. Still, the goggles are put away…for safe keeping.

Finally, a hand on his hips, Jack asks the important summer’s day, question that Danny has been waiting for.

“Well, who’s ready to get wet?”

“Yes, yes, yes,” the little boy crows.

Breathing in and showing his skinny little chest, ribs and all, Danny dances around plucking up enough courage to hurl himself under the water. Screaming with delight as the sprinkler started to hurl its drops of water around the yard; he looks over and grins with joy. The sun kissed, potbellied little boy shivers as the cold water ricochets off his body, teasing and tantalizing him.

Darting in and out, he is happy and full of giggles. Just like all little boys should be.

The pretty little birds fly back and perch in the branches. They watch with their beady eyes and wait patiently. Soon, the wet grass will give up its insects and they will feast!

Swaying in the breeze, the trees rustle, joining in with the laughter.

Jack sits himself down in his deckchair and watches his little boy pretend to be a fearsome warrior battling water monsters.

Jack gives his young monster slayer ice-blocks, and picks out stray prickles from tiny toes. He whispers that even dragon slayers don’t like prickles!

The day has to finish.

The bright hot sun will disappear and littlest dragon slayers will need to have his bath and go to bed.

But, that’s a while away, and until then, Danny and Jack enjoy the summer afternoon.

Henry James would so approve!

 

The end.

 

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