When to be a Couch Potato

“Mum, it’s really not that safe out there.”

You have to tread carefully in our garden on the coast. My four-year-old son just told me so.

In the grass just beyond the patio crocodiles dwell and they’ll eat you. And up there by the slide are giant beetles that will suck your blood. Huge spiders hang from the swing set. Big red ants will bite you like a dog. There are dragonflies poised to whisk you away and worms that stretch from one end of the patio to the other and up past the club house and into the forest where giant bats come out at night to feed on kids. On my son.

The sun is up now but still the garden is wild with dangerous and hungry creatures.

He is pacing back and forth.

There in the middle of the lawn is his soccer ball and we, the grownups, are too busy to fetch it. So he has to go on his own.

There he goes. Fast. Up the lawn and then back again, with the ball – and a limp.

“What’s the matter?” my wife asks from the patio table.

He doesn’t move.

“Come over here and I’ll give you a cuddle,” she says.

He doesn’t move.

“Come on.”

“Can’t,” he says

“Why not?” my wife asks.

“The dinosaurs got my leg.”

“Don’t be silly.”

He still doesn’t move.

My wife looks at him and pauses for a moment and then says, “Look, they got my legs, too.”

He can’t see her legs under the table and so he slowly lowers himself to peer under and at first he sees nothing and it looks like he wants to scream. But then he sees two sets of toes wiggling and the color returns to his face.

Then he turns toward the living room and hops on one leg to the sofa and the TV.

It’s too dangerous outside.

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  • That's Ron April 8, 2010, 4:40 am


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