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Wednesday, May 16, 2007 :::

Baby Killer

I mostly hate working/being out of doors, but homeownership forces me to do yardwork from time to time. The little girl who lives on the corner has a habit of coming over to talk to me every time I am working on my lawn, but she only ever asks one question: "What are you doing?" She's rather young, so usually I humor her with a straightforward answer in the spirit of that Whitney Houston song about children being our future blah blah blah. But our "conversations" usually go like this:

Little Girl: What are you doing?
Dan (holding a rake over a big pile of leaves): Raking leaves.

Or like this:

Little Girl: What are you doing?
Dan (bent over a garden with a trowel and a handful of weeds): Weeding the garden.

Or like this:

Little Girl: What are you doing?
Dan (standing behind a running lawnmower): *incredulous silence*

Last weekend I got up the ambition to clean out my gutters, so I got out my ladder, carefully propped it up, and slowly climbed up the rungs. Wobbling at the top, I started to dig out the usual debris and mulch when I heard the familiar voice from far down below:

"What are you doing?"

I was busy yanking on an oddly wedged mass of twigs and leaves, so I impatiently shouted back, "Cleaning the gutters!" without even giving her a glance. Suddenly my hand flew violently backwards, the mass of sticks and dirt came loose, and from deep within its center fell three little birdie eggs, which subsequently crashed to the bottom of the gutter, creating a big yolky mess of death and destruction. I had inadvertently destroyed a sparrow's nest and killed an entire generation of as-of-yet unhatched tweeties in the process. When the reality of what I had done hit me, I shouted rather dramatically, "OH NOOOOOOOO!", and just stared in disbelief.
"Now what are you doing?" I heard again from below.

I looked down at her innocent little Kool-Aid stained face, unsure of how to answer. And although I could have been truthful and said, "Killing babies," instead I just swallowed the tiny lump in my throat and said, "Nothing." So much for being truthful to the little kiddies. I don't want to be labeled a baby killer after all.

::: posted by dan at 8:10 AM :: [ link ] :: (8) comments Social Bookmark Button

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8 previous comments:

Eewww... Poor Dan... That's sad about the birds (& gross too.)

I've got a neighbor girl who constantly asks what I'm doing when I'm outside as well. She's quite a bit more talkative though. She also always seems to be selling crap from her school too.

By Blogger CampBlood, at 7:34 AM  

The next door neighbors kindly invited me for dinner last evening after helping me capture an escaped degu ("What's a degu?") and growing worried on seeing my sweaty red face after 5 hours of concentrated personal effort before seeking their help.

Their two-year old insisted on sitting next to me, an adorable little girl with a raspy speaking voice like Stevie Nix who talked... alot. The father: "We like to think of her as our resident schizophrenic: you just never know what her topics and their trajectory will be."

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:28 AM  

Just do what I do to my kids...start talking about yourself endlessly, on the most boring of subjects (ironically, all those things that we, your readers, find fascinating) such as the gym, or music...she'll go away. My kids are happy to blah blah blah about their days but as soon as I start talking it's off into the TV room. If it works for me, it can work for you!

By Blogger Silver Frog, at 11:56 AM  

Count your blessings. My neighbor kid always follows up his "what are you doing?" with, "Why?"

There's so many places you could go with the answer.

By Blogger Kevdogg, at 12:53 PM  

Aw, that's too bad for the poor little murdered birdies. Perhaps if she knows what you did to the tweeties she'll stay away from "Creeptown" now. Could have been a blessing in disguise Dan!

By Blogger Trudy, at 3:07 PM  

I was waiting at the airport just last week and a man with a child sat in the row of seats behind me, we had our backs to one another and I gathered that maybe the child would have normally traveled with his mom, but that day he was with his dad. The child was very curious about everything at the airport, and after firing off about 20 questions in a row the father said to his son, “Hey buddy, why don’t you try just observing for a while.”

By Anonymous KMack, at 12:46 PM  

Dan...I'm bored, where's our gif!!!

By Blogger Trudy, at 10:08 AM  

well at least it was the yolky stage and not further along because THAT would have been gross...

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:13 AM  

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