"C'mere, child." She crooned, kneeling to the ground, arms spread, welcoming him into an embrace.

The little boy toddled into her open arms, wrapping his own little arms around her neck. "Auntie!" He squealed, though it came out more "Annie," for he could not yet truly pronounce the "t."

"Jamesie Jamesie, my sweet little boy." 'Auntie' sang, giving James butterfly kisses. "Wanna go for a walk, little one?"

James giggled and clapped his hands - an affirmative, to anyone who knew the toddler.

The woman hoisted the boy onto her hip and started, barefoot, on the grass around the sacred earthwork, blatantly disobeying the signs all around the mound. She wouldn't get in trouble for it, though - her sister and brother-in-law were the park keepers, and she knew how to walk without destroying any of the mound, even with the extra weight.

The grass was warm and slightly dewy in the summer morning sun, and there was a breeze going, the kind that made wildflowers in meadows dance. James had rested his head against the woman's bare shoulder, watching the wind play with tendrils of her long hair.

"Is it nice to get away from Mama for a little while, Jamesie?" She asked, smiling softly at her nephew.

He nodded, not taking his face away from her arm.

They continued in silence until they reached the head of the serpent and the lookout over the woodland below them.

"I love you, Auntie." He mumbled, "Annie" again instead of "Auntie."

"I love you too, little love." She kissed the top of his head, his light golden hair.

He looked up at her, taking his head off of her shoulder. "No, Auntie!" He said as vehemently as a toddler could. "Not 'little love.' Lotsa love!"

The End

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