Many months later, it felt like years to me, we, as in three, went to pick him up. My father was clean and pressed. My mother was glamorous from her long rest away at the convalescent spa. Her done-up black hair with perfect waves, her long red fingernails, ( which I’d only seen in magazines or the poster in the window for fire and ice.) High heels with a navy dress with a matching short jacket. I’d never seen her so fancy.
Finally, they opened the gates to let him out. He ran to us screaming, “My Ossi!, my Ossi! and he jumped at me and held on to me for a long, long time. So my world was coming back to where it was before, to the familiar.
I was glad to be home, but I was even happier to back to the bush, to the wild vacant land next to our house. I was glad to be back to what I knew, the places where I could go to hide and make-believe. I had missed my secret places, my tree huts, my bush houses, my little house under the outside stairs, which I’d decorated and made cozy with rags and junk I found. It was my very own house. I had many places, and I was rich in my town of homes. The old apricot was the Tarzan tree, it was bent all the way over so it was easy to live in and swing from the rope that dangled from the middle. The hillside was so steep, I could climb the trunk, then walk over the middle, like a gang-plank, and jump off the top and only be a little further up the slope. The pear tree was bent over too, but the other way, which made an extraordinary pirate ship, the leaves and upper branches hiding the decks below. Further down closer to the street, stood the apple tree, it had a cozy little seat sling, the branches made it that way. I could sit there and see the street. I was hidden. Occasionally, I would throw rotten apples at someone who deserved it.
She never let go of the fact he ran to me first. Just another unfortunate incident for her to go crackers over.