Her son is zigzagging on the lawn behind her house and he holds his new toy in his arms as if it is a babe in his arms.

It is the Easy Disk – which is painless to catch, cuts through the wind, floats on the water, flies up to one hundred and twenty feet, and is composed of a flexible, grippy material – but still, he has no one to play with.

His son is out there also, although his son is not yet old enough to walk, and is not interested in crawling either.

His son speeds along on his knees by swinging his arms and races away from his father, while his grandmother idles alone inside of her house on the headland.

The alcove the old woman sits in features objects that may impress her guests – except that through time she, herself, has been well humbled.


Her son enters the room to say, ‘You are so rude to me!

‘Yes, I am,’ she says. ‘Where is Neddie?’


‘Please leave me be,’ she says.

Then Neddie can be heard.

‘It will be my turn to cry,’ she says, ‘when he stops crying.’


How will that little boy fare?

Neddie, that is not for climbing!’ his grandmother calls – but the boy does nothing further to improve the old woman’s mood. She does not feel appreciated and quite possibly she hates Neddie.

Blue jays in the pine tree let loose their unmusical jeer calls and in some other more ingratiating atmosphere elsewhere – say, where cardinals live – the locale is heavenly.

It could be that the Easy Disk’s zeal in action sets a good example for boys and girls, as does Neddie’s stacking toy.

This is a set of graduated colour rings – the brilliant basics – for the child to grasp and to shake, and the plastic rings smack at one another, as the child puts them into their places.

His father takes up the game, too, beside his little boy, and this is the developing scene: The biggest ring has been situated wrongly at the top of the tower by the child, and so requires shifting.

‘Will you just play, play, and dawdle?’ – the mother asks her son. ‘Is this what you intend to do with the rest of your life?

‘How funny you are,’ says her son. ‘I don’t know if I ought to.’


Dinner is over and his mother delays her retreat from it in order to first fully open and smooth out her linen napkin on the table top. She then succeeds in producing a folding feat of middling difficulty, a pyramid.

She is prevailing as a large body who is slow walking, taking short strides from the table, thinking, Is it too much to ask for? – that the happiest, proudest day of my life will arrive? – when it is all I have ever aimed for.

The summer night still reflects light – and when the child Neddie is put to bed, the old woman’s son sets about navigating his soccer ball, with his toes, or the whole sole of his foot, on the promontory, gently.

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