Caterpillars and Grass Snakes
The children have pretty near taken this town over. No one gets the New York Times delivered to the doorstep anymore. Instead, it’s that magazine with full-colored pictures of blue birds, diagrams of beaver dams, articles about how clowns go to school, and line drawings of backyards with secret discoveries to find and circle in pencil—a badger in the BBQ grill, a blue
heron in the fence slats. In the mornings, one used to hear retirees discussing tumors over the neighborly hedges, now it’s all cooing and murmurs. The word “milk” is tossed about with monotonous regularity. One hears: “If you want to be the moo cow, then I want to be the horse.” “I want to be the horse.” That’s all there is in this town these days, moo cows, beaver dams, and cooing. We’ve got grownups lined up for miles outside of town, suitcases in hand, to get in.