*The theme for my A to Z is Childhood Stories. Some are real, some are embellished, some are downright fictional but are based on the kind of things I imagined when I was younger.*
Every time we were at my grandparents’, my brothers, cousin and I would build a fort in or around the trees. We did this religiously. We fought off the sheep when they tried to eat them (to be fair we started off making our forts with fig leaf roofs, which is akin to making a house out of dog treats and then trying to keep a bunch of dogs from destroying it), we made kitchen areas, and stock rooms where we kept useful things. We decorated it, made fires outside (we set fire to my brother’s jacket one time; my cousin and I put it down to character building — ahem), invited our parents for tea inside, and in short did all the things you would do when moving into an actual house.
It was a lot of fun.
I was generally the head organiser, which essentially meant that I bossed the boys around — the privilege of being the eldest and a girl.
One year, we made our fort beneath some pine trees. As you’d expect, the ground there was covered in pine needles. I was inside the fort organising twigs by size, or some other such important items, my cousin and one brother were out gathering whatever I’d instructed them to gather, leaving only my youngest brother.
He hung around me, unsure of what to do. He got under my feet and on my nerves.
“I don’t have anything to do,” he kept saying.
“Here,” I said at last, handing him a broom. “Go sweep the pine needles outside.”
He ran out leaving me in peace.
“Finished!” he cried, running back inside five minutes later.
“No, no,” I told him. “Not just in front of the door. All the pine needles.”
“Oh… That’s a lot.”
“Yeah, but it’s real important.”
He ran back out and got to work while I returned to organising my twigs in blissful uninterruptedness.
When my parents arrived for tea later, they were bemused to find my brother sweeping the ground, informing them that he was going to get rid of all the pine needles.
PS: I know I fell a few posts behind. The Book is due for its final round of editing on Monday so that took priority over all else. I decided to keep going with the letters but later I’ll go back and write the missing posts — making this a chronologically challenged A to Z.