As I mentioned earlier this week, we were up in northern Wyoming with David’s family, laying his mother to rest. Despite the circumstances, wintery weather in Wyoming, and the extensive miles put in over a short time – about 1,600 miles in four days – it was a good trip.
We stopped in Denver on the way and picked up my stepdaughter, Lauren, and her kids, our grandchildren. They rode with us there and back again. Of course, #kidsthesedays have all sorts of electronic devices to keep them entertained in the car on long road trips. So, Aerro and Tobiah had their games and tablets – and also borrowed my phone, my tablet, and their mother’s phone.
Yes, they overran my data usage and I don’t even care. I’m totally a sucker.
I also brought along some books to read to them – some of my very favorites that I’ve kept all this time. One of them was Fantastic Mr. Fox by Roald Dahl. I’d always loved that one, for the wiliness of the fox and how he outwitted everyone. Aerro picked that out for me to read, because foxes.
So, I’m reading along – and Tobiah was totally drawn into the story, too, despite initial grumpiness – and we get to this scene near the end. Mr. Badger expresses reservations about what they’re doing.
Suddenly Badger said, “Doesn’t this worry you just a tiny bit, Foxy?”
“Worry me?” said Mr. Fox. “What?”
“All this … this stealing.”
And Mr. Fox goes on to explain that they’re taking food they need to live from the farmers who tried to kill them. The animals are just trying to live. On the page below, Mr. Fox explains:
“If they want to be horrible, let them,” said Mr. Fox. “We down here are decent peace-loving creatures.”
Badger laid his head on one side, and smiled at Mr. Fox. “Foxy,” he said, “I love you.”
I might have paused a little at that, I’m not sure. It did kind of read funny. But Aerro spoke right up and said, “Well, that was awkward.”
Which totally cracked me up. I don’t remember ever noticing that before, but Aerro sure knew her boundaries there. I confess it bothered me more that Mrs. Fox and Mrs. Badger were the first to become weak from hunger, while the men folk remained strong and resolute, and even the small badgers and foxes could keep digging. And then Mrs. Fox, so weak from starvation and dehydration that she can’t help dig is still able to muster the energy to cook a feast with all the food the others acquire.
I nearly caustically commented that the females were no doubt weak from popping out so many babies, but I do try not to editorialize. At any rate, so are our expectations and assumptions laid in, yes?
I might not be saving this book any longer, alas.