Sitting on a rickety wooden rail beside a sea of balls, one gets to see life as it is really lived out. It is a vantage point like no other, really. One must sit as quiet as a bird on a limb so as not to miss a thing. For conversations like these are quick and to-the-point, especially when boys are doing the talking.
There are two of them playing, these curious boy-creatures so rough and tumble, one boy whom I’ve known since birth, the other I am quietly observing for the first time. The former is my nephew, a little imp with golden hair. Although his angelic halo has ceased to fool me into thinking there is innocence in that crowning glory. I wasn’t born yesterday.
To set the scene, it is supper time, and bellies are getting hungry. Nephew has already asked me for cookies twice. I was only able to distract him once with a roll, and even that was a challenge. So when nephew sees the popcorn chicken, sitting there in that neat little Styrofoam container on the ledge, he does what any hungry little boy would do. He lifts the lid to inhale the aroma. Just a little sniff, and then a quick look to see if anyone is watching. Perhaps the other boy wouldn’t notice?
He is just about to swipe a golden nugget of greasy goodness, when the other boy looks and then sees that his meal is about to be eaten by another. Alarm bells go off. The boy yells, “Hey those are my nuggets,” which startles my nephew out of his reverie and cause him to jerk his fingers away from the prize. But it was what he said next, at the ripe old age of four, which made me chuckle. As he walked away from that temptation, stealing not even a backwards glance at what he could have had, he whispered this word in a feather-soft voice.