“Dig there! Do you see them? Wait for the next wave. You’ve got them now.”
He is quick to learn. I point a finger, cock an eye, and he fully understands what is expected.
The next wave washes the scene and the fleas are exposed to his amazed gaze. Looking up from his work, his face searching mine for clues, I see joy, curiosity, and a little fear. His face tells me his future. I’m sure that he will succeed in all he attempts.
Having understood my quick nod and large smile he attacks the laughable creatures and plops them into the bucket.
“That’s it! Good job! Okay, try it again. Go through the eye, around the line, 1, 2, 3, 4 times. Now down and through the little hole. Wet it. Pull. Clip it. Done! Very nice!”
Tenderly grabbing a flea he invents his own way to impale it: mine being “too mean.” He throws to his own spot, moves too much, smiles continuously, hopes eternally, and meets with no success.
He knows to shuffle his feet but the school of rays convinced him to keep his knees dry.
A big red sun squats on the water. Puffs of air too warm to matter crawl past. A trickle of sweat glides down his cheek. He sighs and yawns, “Should we go home and tell Mom that I caught the bait?”
“Yes, let’s do that. But first, let’s get some ice cream.”