My sister and I have found a wild place just beyond our fence.
We climb the fence by an old sawhorse my father has in the yard.
In our wild place, there are trees that are tall enough to make shade, but not too tall to climb.
There is a little mound just past the fence, and a path through the trees. There are bushes to sit under, and it is always quiet.
In our wild place, there are flowers. Little white ones. Tiny blue ones. Sometimes a big purple or yellow one.
In our wild place, there are fairy holes and rocks to collect and sometimes we find footprints from little animals. Our father says they might be from squirrels or rabbits or raccoons.
In our wild place, there are bugs to catch. Sometimes, in the summer, there are too many bugs, and then we don’t go as often.
Sometimes the grey stripey cat from next door comes to visit us in our wild place. She lies on the grass and lets us pat her.
Sometimes her orange stripey brother comes. But we shoo him away, because he likes to bite.
Our beagle wishes she could come with us. When we climb up onto the sawhorse and then over the fence, she stands on her back legs and puts her front paws on the fence and sticks her nose through.
Sometimes, even though we’re not supposed to, we carry her over the fence and take her with us. Sometimes, when she gets to the wild place, she forgets herself and runs off.
Our baby brother sometimes sees us from the window and I think he wishes he could come, too. But he’s too little. Maybe someday we’ll take him.
Or maybe not.
Our father grew up a long way from here, but he says that when he was a boy, there was a wild place near his house. It was a bare, dusty place with lots of dirt mounds. He and the other boys would ride their bikes there, and play “War” there, and throw dirt clods at each other for fun. And they would catch scorpions and snakes and little lizards.
That was a long time ago. He says that wild place isn’t there anymore. Someone bought the land and built houses on it.
It doesn’t sound as good as our wild place.
Once we asked if he wanted to climb the fence and come to our wild place. He just laughed and said he was too old for adventures. And besides, our wild place was only for us.
I think he’s right.
Our wild place is far enough away from our house that there is no noise. We can’t hear the phone or the TV or our older brother’s radio with all their talk, talk, talk, talk talk.
No one fusses in our wild place. There is no “do this” or “don’t do that.” There is no “having to go somewhere.” No one ever has to “get things done.”
In our wild place, there is no homework. There are no mean kids from school.
There is only the day.
Our wild place is far away.
But not too far away.
You might not think our wild place is very grand, but it is to us.