Many months have passed since then. So many that I can’t tell you how many of them. It’s summer now, and it’s warm. The creek has unfrozen, and I’m babysitting my sister’s kids.
The house is quiet. Sitting here at my kitchen table I can see the whole property to the treeline. The boys went out this morning at the crack of dawn to hunt rabbits, so I’m alone here. The summer breeze floats through the house, cooling the hot cabin off, carrying the scent of rabbit stew to my nose.
Cold tea cooled my body that quiet day. So much that I almost fell asleep, but the boys came crashing through the door before I could manage.
“Hey Aunt Alex, we’ve got dinner!” Ben says, holding up a rabbit carcass with an arrow sticking out of the head.
“Hm? Oh,” I push the chair away from the table, then stretch, “Good shot,”
“I shot that one, actually,” Sammy huffs.
“Then why is Ben carrying it?”
“Because Sammy has too many to carry,” Ben said, hanging his head.
“See?” Sammy holds up about five rabbits from their feet, each with an arrow sticking out of their heads.
“Jeez, Sammy, do you need that many?”
“Of course I do,” He sniffs, slinging them over his shoulder like a sack of potatoes.
“You know what to do with them, then,” I say, gesturing to the heavily decorated smokehouse outside. Those kids have managed to take down all kinds of animals. They’re wonderful little hunters.
“When will dinner be ready?” Ben asks, eyeballing the pot on the gas stove.
“Soon enough, kiddo,” I smile, “Go take baths; both of you,”
“Nope, go on, both of you guys,”