Good morning, everyone! Happy Thursday!
One of the things I love about where I live is the unexpected wildlife that shares our space. I’m not talking about spiders (yuck!) the cats sometimes chase or the bull snake that decided to make a kitchen cabinet his temporary home (don’t ask), but the bunnies who munch on my lawn, the little lizards who sun themselves on the deck, and the quail who scurry across the road in front of my car, because lord knows, quail will never fly when running really really fast will do. There’s a kind of quiet magic about sharing space with animals whose lives would normally have nothing to do with mine.
This week’s story is about that kind of backyard magic. “Chance of Bunnies with Occasional Toad” is now available in a brand-new paperback edition that includes a free electronic copy. Enjoy!
Chance of Bunnies, with Occasional Toad
Copyright © 2012 by Annie Reed
The house smelled dusty and abandoned.
Just like me, Cecily thought.
For a minute there, the old-fashioned lock, rusty with age, fought her. Cecily worried the real estate agent had given her the wrong key, but eventually the doorknob turned, and she pushed the door open.
Even though Cecily was a grown woman with a place of her own, it felt odd opening this door with a key that now belonged to her, just like the house itself now belonged to her. During all the summers when she’d been sent to live in this house with her aunt because her mother couldn’t deal with having Cecily home from school for an entire three months, Cecily had never unlocked the door herself.
She could have. Cecily was one of a generation of “latch key” kids, a by-product of the feminist movement that saw women like her mother working nine-to-five jobs while their kids went to school from nine to three. Cecily had worn her house key on a lanyard around her neck, and for two and a half hours every afternoon, she sat by herself at the dining room table and did her homework in an empty house. Not because she wanted to, but because her mom would check Cecily’s work first thing, even before starting dinner, and if Cecily couldn’t show her mom two and a half hours’ worth of work, she was grounded from watching television for the night.
Her aunt didn’t place the same restrictions on Cecily as her mom had.
“Summer is a time for fun,” her aunt used to say. “To read because you want to. Eat in the living room, have dinner for breakfast or breakfast for dinner. It’s not a time for kids to worry about keys. Keys are for grownups.”
(read the rest of the story here)