- Vol. 08
- Chapter 06
In the Hierarchy of Things
The tiny flea remained still. Its round, electric green eyes magnified and magnificent. Its legs, planted firmly in the soft soil, remained steady. The bright afternoon sun, shielded by a collection of lanky bodies that loomed large over the small creature, continued to shine. Blankets – gingham, grass, dandelions, weeds, fleas – everywhere. In the hierarchy of things, the tiny flea had no advantage. The sheer delight on the faces of the glass-wielding children offered a mirrored reflection of the sheer dread on that of the flea. Only no one asked and no one was watching. Except for a pregnant robin, at rest and on guard, in the nest of the tree that was rooted, in the soft soil, behind the group. She was both out of reach and out of options. The circle and cycle of life all-consuming. Even as the flea remained silent the surrounding world continued to buzz.
“Catch it,” one shrieked.
“I’m trying,” yelled another.
“Shhh,” offered a third. “Don’t let him know.”
“Him?” taunted a young girl a few feet to the right.
“Oh, brother,” responded a young lad to the left.
Banter bounced like sun rays off the magnifying glass, the children’s spectacles, and the dewy shards of grass. Life buzzed. Tensions rose. The tiny flea remained still. Its round, electric green eyes magnified and magnificent. As one youth yawned, a yellow jacket buzzed just to the right of another lad’s right ear. He shrieked and all of yesterday’s reminders dissipated like scoops of cherry ice on a blazing hot summer afternoon. The group fled and the glass dome dropped, just to the left of the flea’s front legs, still planted firmly in the soft soil. The metal instrument bounced gently, rolled, then found a new home in the soft green grass. The flea flapped its tiny wings then fled, in the direction of the children. Blankets – late afternoon sun, yellow jackets, daisies, yawns – everywhere. In the hierarchy of things, the curious youth had no advantage.