Fantasy Fiction Friendship

Have lunch with me she said. That how it started and the way it has been ever since we were in school. Brenda was not like most teenage girls. despite being attractive and approachable she had no

boyfriends and only a few close girlfriends. I was the school stoner who only noted quality was having the best weed. Brenda didn't smoke weed at all. We had history together right after lunch. Returning from lunch I was usually enjoying my high from the activities during lunch. I had a running joke with her asking for sex. Always got the same answer and always ask again the next day. So asking me to have lunch gave me mix messages. I said yes. We spent the whole time talking. The topics change from day to day and it keep me straight for the rest of high school. Well at least after lunch. I went though a half dozen girlfriends the last two years of high school but, always had lunch with Brenda. We both had a love for the woods and outdoor life. Brenda and I also worked after school and were a lot more self sufficient than most having equally

absent parents. So we had very little time outside our lunch meeting. My grandparents ran a farm for a rich landowner that had high dollar horses and breeding bulls. I ask my grandfather if we could camp down by the creek in late spring our senior year. Gramps told me yes and shook my hand when I got back in my car I realize he had handed me a condom. So The next day at lunch I asked Brenda to skip School and go camping with me along creek.

I told her of all the woodland creatures that live along the creek and how at night they all came out. She said yes she love to. I call my boss and told him I had a cold and wouldn't be in. Brenda did the same. Poor planning was the name of this trip. I had sleeping bags in my pickup from parties at the lake with my fiends and Brenda brought a 6 pack of Dr. Peppers. We drove out to the creek and talked our normal conversations a news of the world kind of thing. We arrive in the afternoon and parked right off the county road having to cross a small meadow to get to the woods around the creek. I grab the sleeping bags and started to say something when I looked up Brenda was holding her finger over her lips with her eyes opened really wide. I very quietly step around the truck.

There at the edge of the meadow was a very large jack rabbit. I watched her very slowly move close to the rabbit with a flower in her had held out to the rabbit. The rabbit to my surprise took the flower and ate it on the spot. The rabbit slowly hop away like a old friend. I told her that was a first; never seen anyone feed wild jack rabbit or even get that close. Brenda said it was about body language. Animals can tell your intent by the way you move toward them. I knew what she was telling me was true in domestic animals.

I had been around horses being train enough to know they could read you intent by your approach. I had never seen anyone due it with a wild animal. We walked down the trail to the edge of the forest. I could see a small black bird darting around to the ground from the distance. Brenda turn to me and said be stop talking and listen.

I didn't hear anything. She step into the brush and reach down picked up a mud nest that had fallen down with 4 baby swallows.

Then she turn to me and said I need you to climb that tree and set this between those two large branches very carefully. I will hand them up to you when you get there. So up the tree I went and when I got here I turn around and she pass me the nest. I set it upright as best I could. I climbed down and said I don't think it would stay if it rains. She said It would be ok. We get to the creek and there is a really large tree across the creek from one side to the other. I said looks like we have a beaver moving in. I look up and there again she holding her finger over her lips and pointing to two beavers dragging the limbs off down stream. We start walking across the tree as we look the water is clear and deep. We should go for a swim I say. I give Brenda a sheepish look saying"what a perfect place to go skinning dipping". She replays Not a chance and then pushes me off the log into the water. Then she dives in herself. We both come up from the water laughing. We splash each other and swim for a while making it back to the shore where the sleeping bags are. I start gather stones to make a place for a fire and gathering sticks and old wood for a fire. Brenda steps off into the forest and comes back with a couple of baby raccoons carrying them like you would kittens. Momma raccoon might not be happy with you playing with her babies I say. She too busy watching you Brenda says, I look up and she in the tree next to me about eight feet up. I go back to my fire building finding enough dry leaves to light. I pull my disposable lighter out and light the fire. Brenda takes the raccoons to the mother and set them in a tree and the mother racoon makes some kind of clicking noise. Me joking ask did she tell you say away from here young ins. Brenda laughs and say no she was thanking me for baby sitting. I am tending the fire and Brenda steps back into the woods out of site. Thinking she is taking care of herself I keep the fire going. She returns with the sleeping bag cover full of blackberries. I ask were did you find them. Brenda says the mockingbirds are nesting in them along the fence just past the forest. Well "Mary Poppins" Did they invite you over or did you just intrude. No I just heard them singing and figure they must be close. The blackberries where just a bonus. So this stop talking and listen thing. Where did you learn about animals and the keen since to understand them almost like you talk with them.

I have known who you where since Elementary school we have only been friends since High school but, you have always live in a apartment and your folks are not the outdoors type. Are you just Just a animal whisperer at heart or what? Brenda says when I was a little girl my parents would send me to my aunt who is a school teacher on the Navaho reservation in New Mexico during spring break and part of the summer. I lived outdoors with the Navaho children every year. They are taught to stop taking and listen by there elders. They can tell you when a rat scurries across the ground. What bird is in flight and how to track and/or care for wild animals when they are not being used for food. I learned from the very best about nature. They not only teach about it. They live it as a part of there life. So I have to ask; what can you hear now? I hear the whipper will courting his new mate. I hear the owl twisting in the tree above. There is a family of snuck just past the log in the creek they are eating June bugs. The snake in the water by the rocks on shore is waiting for the frogs. I was hypnotized by Brenda voice and listen to what sounds in the night went with which animal in the forest. I listen to all the wisdom she had been taught thought the years. I had know so little about her. The talks every day at lunch the jokes and fun in English. Brenda talked until the sun came up the next day. This was the only night we ever spent together. I had found a friend I could never replace. I drove her home the next morning and went home to talk a shower to get ready for School. Graduation happen soon afterword's. I went threw about a hundred jobs before I went to work as a electrician and stayed with it. Brenda got a degree and became a park ranger in Big bend national park in Texas. I got married to a wonder woman and we settle in to raising children and family life. Brenda also got married and raised children in Texas. Anytime she was in town she would call and ask if we could have lunch. We did for many years. I even sent my kids to summer camp where she was one of the instructors in the national park. My bright young teenage daughter came home and told me about this woman who could tell what animals where saying. She told me the first thing she always tells the class is to stop talking and listen when we go outside.

March 22, 2021 01:06

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