This past Sunday afternoon, just before dusk settled in, Heather and I are in our bedroom talking... when it begins to dawn on us that the house has gone quiet.
I open our bedroom door to utter silence. No sounds echoing down the hallway and bouncing off the walls and our heads. No screaming. No banging. No off-key singing. No arguments. Where'd those little monsters go?
Eventually, through expert sleuthing, I detect muffled noises coming from behind the kitchen garage door. I swing it open and find…
The normal gloom of a typical garage. A poorly set-up step ladder. And, a swirled pattern of light… cast from the spinning air vent I'd installed in the roof last summer. The light dances over the crouched forms of my five children. They're huddled over a clear, plastic storage box of stuffed animals that they had ILLEGALLY dragged down out of the rafters from above. How on earth had they managed that without hurting themselves? It would have required cunning, planning, and a level of cooperation that I had previously never suspected of them.
Crouched over the box and it's contents like that. They looked… for all the world… like a pack of coyotes quarreling over the remains of a dear carcass. Arguing and muttering to one another as they tore into the dear…er… box. Occasional scuffles breaking out over a particularly choice..er..toy.
And backed into a corner is Holly, the baby. A stuffed dog cradled in her left arm and a purple, stuffed "My little pony" clutched by it's rainbow-hewed mane in her right fist. She glares and shrieks at her siblings whenever any of them turn to see what she might have claimed for herself out of the carcass…er…box.
I swear, at this point, she'd gone completely feral.
"WHAT ARE YOU ALL DOING IN HERE?!" I holler with my best "Daddy's-in-charge" voice.
Five pair of eyes suddenly focus on me…. glittering out of the gloom of the garage.
_Jeepers that's creepy_
Than the noise starts. A cacophony of apologies and "I didn't do it's" and "We just wanted one of the monkeys!" and "Please can we..?"….etc. All at once. Peppered with a couple more shrieks from the baby, who felt she ought to have her say as well.
"AllrightallrightALLRIGHT! Just… Out of the garage! Take the box with you, and we'll talk about this later. Come on. All of you. Out!"
Chittering amongst themselves happily, my sweet little angels fall upon the savaged box again. They drag the box and it's remaining contents out through the garage side door, tugging it around the corner into the darkening light of dusk… like… like a… pack of coyotes maybe….dragging a….
"OH, STOP IT! Stop it with the "feral animal" analogy.