The Death of Privacy
Who would think that the sound of giggles and pigtails would be the harbinger of evil? Like all adventurers, my brother and I could face the fearsome dragons, the monsters of both the land and the sea, but these creatures did not seem dangerous. However, danger is exactly what they were.
My brother, our neighbor’s grand son, and I were in our woods, hunting the creatures that inhabited our creek. It was our world, and we were kings walking among our subjects. The frogs, crawfish, lizards, birds, and squirrels were ours, and we acted with the unashamed confidence of kings. We were planning our next adventure when a strange sound could be heard.
It was very subtle at first, just the hint of the lyrics of some bird in the distance. In just a few moments, it began to get louder. We were very unsure of what it was, and why it was coming closer, but closer and closer it came. At first we hid in the bushes that created a natural barrier from the world. Almost at the same time we saw them, they saw us. With a squeal one of them said, “There they are!”
There were three of them. Sirens in pigtails wanting our souls were on the prowl. They came skipping. Skipping? None of our creatures skipped. We did not skip, and nature does not skip. But these creatures were not natural, they were girls, and girls were not allowed in our kingdom. For reasons that would become painfully obvious to them, and us.
We did what every king does when faced with unexpected danger. We ran. In an attempt to keep them in sight, but keep them at a distance, we used our “Tarzan” vines to cross the creek. We are not sure what the sources of these vines were, but they stretched from the ground to high in the trees. We had cut them free from their anchor to Earth and they were part of our playground.
Safely on the other side of the creek, we could watch these strange birds. They knew our names. We vaguely recalled them. The asked if they could “hang out” with us. You just don’t walk into a king’s castle and ask if you can lounge around in his living room. Girls are not aware of the rules. This left us with very little choice. We remained silent.
One of the girls asked if she could swing across the creek. A ha! At last we had them. One does not merely swing on a vine over water. This level of skill only comes with years of training, trial and error. My brother nonchalantly pushed the vine over the water toward the girls. He had to do this twice before the girl on the other side was able to grab it.
We watched as she grabbed the vine and with all her might she ran toward the bank of the creek. At first we were worried since she was doing everything right; however, the next few moments allayed those fears.
She sailed over the creek like a pro, but when she reached the apex of her swing on our side she didn’t let go. Instead she began flailing her legs, and with legs flailing and pigtails whirling…she sailed back to the other side of the creek. Like a pendulum she eventually stopped swinging and just hung there in the middle of the creek. The once lyrical songbird was now more of a screaming banshee.
Her friends were yelling for us to help, she was yelling for us to help, and we, well we were stunned. At one point we had all been stuck in the middle, but we never thought to ask for help. Kings do not ask for help. So, we didn’t help.
With legs flailing and pigtails whirling, she lost her grip and plunged into about 6 inches of mud, snake, crawdad, and who knows what water. As I recall she sounded like an asthmatic Osprey in a death dive.
With a shriek, she leapt out of the water into the waiting arms of her friends. Suddenly, the three girls were the Harpies of ancient
Greece…screaming for our
souls. Luckily for us, they went
shrieking away from our creek, and out of our woods. Unluckily, they had our names and their
interpretation of the story. Of course
we were the villains.
By the time we left the woods, our parents had been alerted to the incident. My mother explained that no matter how “stupid” girls were, we were supposed to “rescue” them. The result was, that we three kings were forced to move our kingdom deeper into the woods, and further up the creek. We would happily remain there, until the Harpies returned and eventually devoured our souls.