The scientists’ children ate our weird food with gusto. “We like trying new things,” they said.
“If someone served you escargots, would you try it?” I asked.
“Sure,” they said.
And as soon as supper was over, they were right back outside.
Their parents had gone off down the mountain with a couple other ornithologists to survey the spot where they planned to construct a blind and spring-net trap for banding golden eagles on migration, later this fall. The impulse to hunt and capture fierce winged beings seems to be in their blood.
Jeffrey was immensely proud of the male praying mantis he had found before supper and decided to keep as a pet, and he continued to address it in terms of endearment even though it delivered painful bites every chance it could get. His younger sister Ashley wasn’t shy about playing with the beast, either, and when my father spotted a dense swarm of green darners up on the barn bank, she raced back and forth for ten minutes, desperate to catch one.
Plummer’s Hollow gets a fair number of younger visitors, but I haven’t been so strongly reminded of my own childhood in a long time.