Dangerous Work


“Okay,” said Clive, getting up from the kitchen table. “Time for you to see the kind of things we do.”

We followed him out the front door of the house. Well, more accurately, I followed Clive, and my sister followed me. We looked around the yard for a while, then Clive pointed.

“Who’s that?” he asked.

Following his gaze we saw Ell, driving the quad thing at a fiery pace from the barns toward the house.

“That’s Dee’s husband,” I said.

Dee whispered in my ear. “Is he talking to you now?

“Yes. He’s looking at Ell.”

“Why?”

“Because I can already see his KerDoodle.” said Clive.

“What? I can’t see anything at all,” I answered.

“What did he say?” said Dee. “Did he say something?”

“Look closer,” said Clive. “He’s right there!

I stared harder at Ell tearing along the driveway. It was like one of those puzzles where they say if you don’t try so hard you’ll see it. After a few moments, there he was.

“Well, I’ll be a sonofagun,” I breathed.

“What? Who?” asked Dee, desperately looking all over the place.

“Ell’s KerDoodle. He’s right in there behind him. Can’t you – ?”

I turned and looked at Dee. The look on her face answered my question before I could finish asking it, so I hauled out my pad and pencil and started scribbling.

“Wow,” she said. “I’m going to have to let Ell know to slow down. That poor little guy’s really holding on!”

“He’s okay,” said Clive. “He’s actually having fun. Look at his face!”

“Clive says he’s okay – ” I reported. “He’s having fun.”

We all watched Ell speed along the driveway. He got to the top and we joined him – greetings were exchanged, hands shaken – and we helped him fill the bin with the branches and twigs felled by a recent windstorm. Ell’s KerDoodle smiled to see Clive even as I smiled at seeing Ell. We filled the bin and we all hopped into the quad, then we drove back past the barns and up the hill to the burn pile. Clive sat in the back for this journey, with Ell’s KerDoodle.

“Um,” Dee said to Ell, “you might want to slow down a bit. You’ve got passengers.”

“I know,” said Ell. “There are seatbelts if you’re nervous.”

“Not us, the KerDoodles.”

“The what?”

I suppressed a smile as Dee took her turn explaining what was going on….

* * *

When we got to the burn pile we all got out and Ell started tipping the bin to discharge the branches. I stood back with Dee and this is what I saw.

Clive was beside me, watching the other KerDoodle’s antics. He was laughing so hard he was crying.

“We do like to ham it up,” he said, rubbing his eyes.

“Aren’t you worried?” I asked.

“Of course not. He does have the option to get out of there, you know. I mean, look where I’m standing!” He paused. “Don’t worry, we make our own fun. And besides, machinery can hurt you, but it can’t hurt us.”

Then, with the bin empty we all got back into the quad thing and drove back down toward the barns, and as we got out Clive turned to us and said:

“Do you see what I see?”

* * *

Follow along to learn more about the KerDoodles, and if you like, contact me to find out if you’ve got a KerDoodle of your own.

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