Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Parkour in Parkas in the Park

One of the first rules of storytelling is: If you introduce a talking kangaroo into the story in the first chapter, you’d better have made sure he was used by the third.

Fortunately, this isn’t a story, so the rules don’t apply.

And it may be that the rule applies to a loaded firearm, not a talking kangaroo, but I think any old writer can find something explosive to do with a loaded weapon.

It was sunny down at the park. Hannah stood on a tree stump, twirling the pink propeller toy in her hands and letting it go, to spin evenly out over the footpath where the owners were being led in crooked strolls by their dogs.

James took his skateboard, in his head he was defying gravity and hearing sonic booms as he scraped across the concrete skateboard track. When he tired of that, he and I explored an owl pellet. It looked like a dust bunny, with only the gleaming white jaw and hip bones betraying its origin. Probably a mouse.

Jonah? He was sitting with his knees braced on the rug, shielding his sandwiches from the dogs which trotted damply up from the stream now and then to explore.

Karen was happy to referee, keeping them moving through the long grass where small yellow flowers broke up the green expanse occasionally. I watched for the brown mounds which could end up stuck on shoes and transferred to the floor mats in the car, but the squirrels had devastated the pinecones in the park, leaving the husks scattered, confusing my eyes in the bright winter sun.

There were families and cyclists, runners and walkers. Sandwiches were rejected in favour of chips and juice, and an old woman stopped near us to straighten the tartan jacket on her poodle.

Two pied crows circled overhead, waiting for the activity to slow down so they could swoop on scraps and dead things.

Other families navigated their way around us the skatepark, the fathers encouraging their children and making sure that everyone got a turn. They kept half an eye on the one or two homeless people who had colonized benches, but generally everyone kept a polite distance.

That night, I dreamed I was living stranded on a rooftop. A neon blue kangaroo came to me, speaking deep words of wisdom. I don’t recall what he said.


  1. we found the pink helicopter thing today, it blew off the roof.
    And I do wish you would remember what the kangaroo said!

  2. I imagine the kangaroo said something like, Scott you are one awesome dude! I know thats what I would have said. Lovely post and it was a lovely day thank you. xx


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