Two Little Boys

The two little boys were weighted down

with really big, camouflaged, external

frame backpacks.  They looked like little

turtles balancing on their hind legs

with heavy shells tipping them

 

backward. A grizzled, bowed older man,

maybe the kids’ grandfather, wore a small

daypack. He looked like a hunchback.

 

And a younger man, maybe dad, had

no backpack or daypack but tattoos

which looked about as heavy to carry.

 

“Hey, getting your backpacking legs,

huh?” the man asked from the car’s

passenger seat window before pulling

out of the parking lot of the county park

after jogging with his Chocolate Lab.

 

“Nope. Don’t backpack,” said the grizzled

Grizzly Adams with a bald head. “The

packs sit on the back porch just in case.”

 

The man started to ask, “In case of what?”

But then thought better of it.  He was

encountering the scared, wild

 

animals known as survivalists. The

paunchy, old grand-dad looked really

out of shape and the man understood

the really small daypack.  He man smiled,

raised the window and drove off.

 

As he pulled away he heard his

Lab slurping water and thought of

baby turtles tipping backward —

 

their very vulnerable, still soft

bellies exposed.

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