GOING TO THE PARK



"Grandpa why are those white streaks in the sky?"

"Well son, they are made by the exhausts of jet airplanes six or eight miles up in the sky."

"But Grandpa, how do they make those white streaks?"

The white-bearded, short rotund man with a cane and a definite limp, just smiled. "Well the hot exhaust gasses from the jet's engines hits the really cold air way up there and the moisture in the air makes little clouds."

"But Grandpa it is warm down here. I even got my shorts on and am barefooted."

"Yes but as you go up in the air it gets colder and colder. Why it is actually a little bit colder in the top of that big old pine than it is on the ground." The old man realized he was now in for a long afternoon. No working a puzzle today.

The boy looked at the tall pine tree and then at his grandpa, back and forth. Then he stopped, put his hand on his chin, stood for a few seconds. His eyes lit up and he spoke again. "Heck grandpa if we had a tall enough tree we would not need a refrigerator, huh?"

"That is right, but it would take a mighty tall tree. Gosh I wonder how tall a tree it would take, then how would you get stuff in and out of the top of the tree?"

Again the boy put his hand on his chin and pondered a moment. He looked at the old man and gave his reply. "Shucks Grandpa, Ma would not worry about getting fat if she had to run up that tree every time she wanted something from the refrigerator." And with that the boy ran over to the swings, hopped in one, and immediately was swinging about as high as the swing would allow.

"Careful, hold on tight," the old man yelled, reaching into his pocket and pulling out a worn crossword puzzle book. But no sooner did he sit down when he heard that unmistakable voice.

"Grandpa, Grandpa, look at me!" The boy called from on top of the slide. Then swooooooosh, down he came.

The old man smiled, put his book back into his pocket and ambled over to the slide. Then the old man had an idea, so he and the boy walked just south of the park and crossed the street to a Seven Eleven store, where they both got an ice cream bar and a bag of peanuts.

"Grandpa, wow you got me a treat, I like treats." The boy smiled as he licked his fudgsicle.

Slowly the two, with the little boy holding grandpa's calloused hand, walked across the road and back into the park. Then they went to the pond where the little boy watched people feed the ducks and geese.

"Come along, there is something better, want to go see?" the old man said.

"Grandpa what about the peanuts, you bought peanuts, are we going to eat them or will you take them home?"

They left the pond and walked into the trees, tall trees, and the old man led the boy to a bench. He patted the bench for the little boy to sit also. "Sit and don't make any noise for a few minutes. I will show you what we are going to do with the peanuts.

"Shhhhhh, OK grandpa," the boy said in a hushed voice.

The old man took the bag of peanuts out of his jacket pocket, then very deliberately reached in and pulled out his pocketknife, using it to adeptly slit the bag of peanuts.

"Lookie Grandpa, Lookie. There are three squirrels coming down that tree." The boy's face lit up and he rose a little on his seat, his eyes glued on the on the three squirrels.

The old man handed the boy one peanut. "Wait till they get real close then drop the peanut just in front of you."

The boy took the peanut and waited until the squirrels were about ten feet away, then he tossed the peanut across the path.

The smallest squirrel dashed over, grabbed the peanut and ran away.

"He took it Grandpa. Look, he took it."

The old man waited, then when the squirrels were about four feet from him, he tossed two peanuts in front of his feet.

The squirrels stopped, sat up, and looked at the two peanuts. Then both dashed over, grabbed a nut and ran off.

"See, they are not afraid of us if we don't startle them."

"Can I Grandpa, huh, can I try again?"

The old man handed him another peanut, and by then the first squirrel was returning.

The boy started to talk to the squirrel. "Come on little squirrel, come closer. I won't hurt you, just come closer."

The squirrel slowly came and stopped just in front of the little boy. He dropped the peanut and the squirrel grabbed it. Then the squirrel ran across the path, stopped, sat up and proceeded to eat the nut. And by then the other two squirrels were back.

The old man handed the boy more peanuts. "Sit on the ground and hold one in your fingers. See if one will take it."

The boy scooted off the bench, knelt on the ground, and held out a peanut. "Come on squirrel, take it from my hand. I won't hurt you, take it from my hand."

The largest squirrel slowly walked over, took the peanut, then ran away.

Of course the little boy's elation got to him, so when he began to giggle loudly, the other two squirrels scampered away.

"Just relax and don't make any loud noises," the old man said, handing the boy more of the peanuts.

"Here squirrel, here squirrel," and in a few minutes the boy had all three squirrels taking the peanuts from his open hand.

Soon the nuts were gone.

The old man stood. "Come on, lets go home. Grandma should have us a snack, about now." Hee took the little boy's hand and off to the car they went.

"Just a minute boy," the old man said a few minutes later when he turned into the supermarket parking lot. "Come on," he added, and they went into the supermarket.

They went toward the back and to the flower display area where the old man picked out one red rose bud. "Pick a carnation. You pick it out and we'll take it to Grandma."

The boy stopped, stooped, and looked at a green one. Then he spotted a blue one. Finally, he said, "This one Grandpa. It looks like the squirrels."

The old man pulled out the brownish carnation, the worst in the display. "This is the one you want for grandma?"

"Yes Sir," the boy beamed. "It is brown like the squirrels."

The old man smiled and paid for the two flowers. Then they headed home.

"Grandpa, is that rose for Grandma?"

"Yes it is."

"Grandpa, why did you buy Grandma a red rose bud?" The boy looked directly into the old man's eyes.

"Cause that is my way of telling Grandma I love her."

Needless to say, Grandma got two tokens of love and a big hug from her grandson.











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