One fine summer day my sister (8) and I (9) were left alone because we were old enough to look after ourselves. We decided to go on a picnic. The suburb we lived in was a new development. Lovely Alaskan forest was bulldozed to make building space for our townhouse.
This meant there was a lot of forest and bog (moss-covered ground that squishes like a wet sponge and is a good place for blueberries to grow) for us to explore. Brandy and I loved to go on picnics, but today we wanted something special, so we decided to take our cats, Pooder and Tig.
In the small pocket of our school backpacks we put packed lunches for us and cheese and lunch meat for the cats. In the large pocket we shoved in the cats. I knew they would not walk there on their own. We weren’t unkind; we zipped them up so their heads stuck out of the packs, and they could see where we going and could breathe.
We walked deep into the forest, and found the perfect place to play and wait for unicorns to come and visit us. It was maybe a quarter of a mile from the road, and the cats had no idea where we were.
We took them out of the bags, and they began to meow frantically. I was worried they wouldn’t have any fun on our picnic. After eating some meat, they calmed down and began to explore. They ate grass, chased butterflies, and climbed fallen logs.
They were careful to not go too far, and I like to think they enjoyed their outing. When we were ready to go Brandy and I used the last of the cats’ lunch to lure Pooder and Tig back to us and then stuffed them back into our backpacks and left for home.
I guess this wasn’t as bad as Cat Radio, because our parents didn’t ban us from doing it again. In fact Brandy and I took Pooder and Tig on several picnics that summer. They really enjoyed them, I am sure of it.
Thank goodness bears didn’t enter into the story! Sorry, but I’m a mother and I always think of the worst. Still, I think it’s wonderful you had such wild space to explore. When I was a kid in Tucson, there was lots of wild space everywhere, even in the middle of town. I ran barefoot through the desert for years and years.
One time while walking I did see a bear and several times ran into Moose- which are huge! I don’t know how my parents didn’t pull out their hair worrying about us.