Part one |
”..what’s that sound?”
Bruce looked down at Rick. The little boy had his eyes shielded as he looked up towards the canopy of the trees, trying to discern where the cacophony of noise emanated.
“Cicadas.” He said, after a moment. It took a while to realize that they had been listening to them for hours, by that point. Bruce was so used to the sounds of nature that he was able to tune them out; a kind of auditory fatigue.
“Oh.” Rick squeezed Bruce’s hand as they continued walking. “What’s a Cicada?”
“It’s a flying insect; they are really interesting because they live in the ground for several years before they crawl out to finish their life cycle.” Of course the really fascinating part of that was that all the time spent underground was prime numbers, which gave them a head start over their predators. “I bet if we look hard enough, we can find one of their shells; they don’t have wings when they crawl out of the ground, then they shed that skin, kind of like how a snake will shed? Well, there will be a dried cicada-shaped husk left over.”
Rick looked up at Bruce with wide eyes. He seemed to be asking permission without really verbalizing it and Bruce smiled at him; if he wanted to go look around for one, he was fine with that. Rick grinned and ran several feet in front of Bruce and peered into the scrub brush that lined the path where they were walking.
They continued on for several miles and Rick maintained a steady orbit around Bruce, returning to show him everything that interested him; Slugs, interesting fungus, a skeleton of a mouse, an owl pellet- all of which produced no less than 50 questions, each.
Lunch was an interesting affair. Bruce had to summon patience to an extent he’d never had to try, before. Every time a rabbit would get close to the trap he’d set, Rick would titter and be generally child-like and the prey would jet off in the opposite direction. Rick would run off after it, shrieking and laughing.
They didn’t manage to catch anything.
Clearly, he’d have to catch that day’s meals while Rick was sleeping. Didn’t kids take naps anymore?