174. Wind in Spring
© Bruce Goodman 2 April 2014

The late spring winds came. They would brown-burn the edges of the new season’s leaves, so that they looked worn and tired even before summer arrived. But the powerful winds were warm and lovely.

Tabitha and Justin were six and seven. As soon as the strong winds began they would rush to the top of the hill nearby. They would stretch out their arms and spin till they toppled. They would lean into the wind with arms outstretched like hawks in the air, to see how far forward they could lean without falling. They would squeeze into the shape of a ball and roll down the hill like hedgehogs. They would undo the buttons on their shirts so that the clothing flew as if they were airborne. They would shoot down the steep hill on old slippery pieces of plastic. It was such fun, especially with the mad wind blowing. The wind made them brave.

Great aunt Shirley from the city came to stay. She belonged to the Teachers’ Union. She knew the ropes. She thought that letting the children play like that was utterly irresponsible. They would hurt themselves. They would get grass stains on their clothes. They would grow up undisciplined. Tabitha would end up a tom-boy.

“Come here, children,” called great aunt Shirley. “The hill in the wind is a dangerous place.”

Tabitha and Justin’s mother told great aunt Shirley to go suck eggs. Politely of course.

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