I was drinking my coffee when I heard E. singing. He was singing to his owl, Over in the meadow, by the old mossy gate,/Lived a brown mother lizard and her lizards eight. Yesterday Aunty Angie found a salamander under some moss on the trail to Francis Point and yesterday we saw a pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins plunging in the water just below us as we paused on the rocks and a newt was found on the highway, lured by warm pavement and then frozen as the sun passed. E. was singing. For the past week he sang as he drove his cars and buses over the mat by the woodstove, he sang with me as we sat on the cedar bench by the campfire waiting for it to die down to coals so we could roast marshmallows on the long forks, and after they leave this afternoon, I know I will hear phrases of song as I take the sheets from the beds, wash the linen napkins we used last night for our last “dinner party” with Great Grandma Mollie’s blue willow plates and the junk store silver. I’ll hear Over in the meadow, where the stream runs blue,/Lived an old mother fish and her little fishes two. E. loves everything, he tells me. The song, the book, the owl he loves and is taking home to Ottawa, the fire Grandad made with dry cedar, and his toast and jam. Swim, said the mother./ We swim, said the two./ So they swam and they leaped,/Where the stream runs blue.
Now our tale is done, said E. to the small brown owl, and he closed the book.