Summer is in full swing here in the Big Wood. We spent many days cleaning out the den, and when I say we, I mean me. Trying to get my boys to help my around the den is very difficult since they are easily sidetracked by the simplest of things. I do not expect Mr. Otter to help because he takes care of other duties, and is usually too tired after fishing. Now the home is clean and I can get down to real business, visiting friends, unless a mystery arises.
Effie stopped by a few days ago and shared some tea, when the boys came scampering into the den with an unusual object. I had a hard time calming them down before I could get the full story and actually examine it. It looked like a small stick but it had a closed circle at one end and an oddly cut square at the other; and its golden surface twinkled like the sunlight off the lake. I know it was not wood, since no trees around here resembled it and it was too hard to break. I turned it in my paw and noticed it looked like something that the people might make. I have seen them sitting on the river’s edge, holding branches with thick spider silk into the water. They are quite good at catching fish with them.
“Is this from the people that fish in the river? Perhaps it is one of those things on the end of their lines,” I said to the boys, still scrutinizing the strange object.
“No, those are hooks,” Benjamin said. “I heard them say it when Pop took us out one day. They look very different from this.”
“Where did you find it?” I asked.
Bradley bounced on his heels as he spoke, “We were playing by the grove, when I tripped over a branch. I pulled myself up and found it in the grass. Look how it glitters, Mama. Isn’t it beautiful?”
“Yes dear, but that doesn’t help us determine what it is.”
“Maybe it’s a tool for those books they have,” Bradley added. “Every time I see one with a book, they take out a shiny object and put it on their face.”
Bradley always amazes me with how inquisitive he is. He spends a lot of his time watching the people when they come into the woods. I tell him it is not safe, but he assures me that he always keeps his distance. I remember when he told me about the books, that is what he said they called them. They stared at the hard boxes of leaves for hours and seemed very happy.
“Perhaps you should return this to where you found it,” I suggested. “If this does belong to the people, they may be looking for it.” My idea was met with three long faces that were extremely difficult to resist. “Fine, you may play with it for today, but then you need to put it back. We have too many trinkets in our den already, and I am always the one left picking them up.”
The boys scampered back out the door into the sunshine; I could hear them each postulating what the object was and what to do with it. I returned to my seat and finished my visit with Effie. We talked about the mysterious object for a short while, but I am glad it is out of my life. Animals and people need to stay in their own worlds; that is the key to our survival. I can only imagine what would happen if they came looking for that object, and I hope it never happens.