Wrong Idea

If yesterday was gloomy, today the sun’s rays penetrated the cloudless skies and turned the surroundings warm and dusty. It’s a good thing the southwest winds have not abandoned us to bring some cooling breeze under the trees.

I encountered one of my godchildren early this morning. That was strange because I seldom see him that early: he usually came to my place in the afternoon after school.

“What’s the matter? You look depressed.”

“I am looking for my assignment,” he mentioned it as if it was a normal occurrence.

I did not want to laugh because he might interpret it differently. I just thought he was at his usual playful mood that he considered me his first victim of the day. 🙂

“You’re supposed to look for it inside your school bag.”

“It never was inside it,” he said, searching the bushes. He kept poking the plants with a long stick so as to be sure no stinging insects would surprise him.

I stood there watching him as if he was a bee, walking back and forth, sometimes running here and there, trying to find something I did not have the faintest idea of.

“Will you tell me what are you looking for? Perhaps, I could help.”

He did not reply. Instead he ran toward the dilapidated rest house and checked under the bamboo slat floor.

“Have you seen our dog, Ninong?” he asked after a while, approaching me.

“I think I saw him earlier. Why?”

“I believe he took my assignment.”

“What is it?” I asked, exasperated to be left in the dark. “How can I help you if I do not tell me what are you looking for?”

“Never mind, Ninong,” he shouted, running away. “I just saw our dog going home. There!”

I was stumped. I like to read about mysteries or discover one. But at the moment, I wanted to follow him home and see what the assignment was all about.

Then, I had second thoughts. What if he was playing his usual tricks again?

I went back to the orchard to continue my morning ritual, collecting fallen leaves. I dug up a small pit to gather organic wastes that would decompose in time to be used as natural fertilizer.

When my godchild’s dog appeared, he carried as small plastic in his mouth. I took it and checked what was the content: three matchboxes tied together with a rubber band.

“Can I have my assignment now?” a young voice asked from behind.

“Is this what I think it is?” suspicion was all over my face. “I suppose your assignment is about spiders?”

He shook his head, innocence and sincerity combined to show he told the truth.

“May I take a peek?” I asked, still convinced I was correct. “To be sure.”

“If that escapes, Ninong, you have to catch it, hah?”

“Don’t worry. I was also a child once. I know how to handle spiders.”

I opened one of the matchboxes. Suddenly, a green blur passed by my sight: it escaped.

“What was that?” I asked, startled because I did not know that spiders hopped.

“That’s my assignment, Ninong,” he said, running after the small grasshopper that was trying to disappear in the grass. “Help me catch it!”



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