“Well, you certainly aren’t shy, are you?” I look into his huge sparkling blue eyes, lit by a wide grin. I guess him to be about eight years old. For fifteen minutes he has peered at me intently through the bushes by the waterfall. I ignored him, figuring he was playing spy or something.
“That’s what everyone says!” he answers. Obviously my quiet time by the waterfall is over, so I give him my full attention. “For ten minutes you’ve been edging closer and closer, trying to get my attention. Do you have a question?”
Tilting his head he studies me a long time. “No.”
“Ok, I give up,” sighing loudly.
“I have a statement of fact,” he announces. Now this is a pretty typical way some kids in Los Alamos communicate.
“What is your statement of fact?”
“I am really a giant, giant, giant crane that lives in a little boy.” The blue eyes are still fastened on me intently. I wait for more, but none comes.
“I didn’t know that giant, giant, giant cranes had red hair.” That answer seems to delight him, and he shows me the sunny grin again.
“It’s a secret,” he whispers, leaning in close.
“Will you still be a real giant, giant, giant crane when you grow up?” I ask.
“Of course, not! He’s my spirit, so I’ll be a man body.”
“Well, thank you for sharing your secret with me,” I answer. “I feel very honored.”
“Yeh,” he says, “I could tell you aren’t really an old lady, so you’d understand.”
Trying to absorb this comment, I finally manage to ask, “What do you think I really am?”
“Easy!” he crows. “You’re a white owl.” He turns away to leave, stops and turns back. “Our secret, right?”
Jeannie Hope Gibson