First thing this morning I found Rio sitting by Mouse’s grave sobbing. He was genuinely very distraught and saying again how much he misses mouse and how he loved mouse and that mouse was too little to die. I again stumbled out an explanation about how Mouse’s spirit is in the sky and he has gone to a better place where he is with others who love him. Rio wanted to know who, which was a tough one, but I told him other squirrels who had died and who would look after him ‘up there’. Still need to formulate some sort of coherent theory on this.
I am beginning to think we did the wrong thing by telling Rio all about Mouse’s death. He is developing an issue with it, I would say bordering on obsession. Today he asked me why I don’t die. I told him I was too young to die. Later, as I was putting him to bed, he asked me again. He quickly latched on to the fact that “granny Marion is old, why doesn’t she die”, which of course is a good question. He also pointed out that Mouse was just a baby, so what about him and Keita, why don’t they die, all of which freaks me out.
Now, when I head off to the long drop, or in the vehicle with Brad, he hugs me and says earnestly “be careful mommy, don’t die”. This is causing him much anxiety.
The day progressed as most of our days do. I work until 10.30 or if I am very lucky, until 11. Then the kids are let loose and all hell happens. Today they were both very needy and strange, finding me wherever I was in camp and latching onto my limbs. The only thing to do is put everything aside and get into their headspace, which is frustrating from a work perspective. Keita has had diarrhea since her illness in Jo’burg and it seems to be getting worse.
Very hot, unseasonably so, which makes doing anything difficult. Brad has spent the past 2 days out from sunrise to sunset, despite the fact that the lions are sleeping through the heat of the day. He is feeling anxious about the feature film he is putting together. He realizes that he isn’t going to get any support from anyone and it is entirely his baby.
Surprisingly Brad returned with some giant mushrooms which we find occasionally, but not usually this late in the year. These are enormous white, plate-size mushrooms that grow exclusively on anthills and emerge after thunderstorms. We usually braai them with butter and gariic and one big one can be sufficient for 10 people. This find was a treat and Frannetty was immediately dispatched to cook them.
Keita spotted the vine snake again, which is rapidly turning into ‘our’ vine snake, or devine snake, as Keita says. I was rather impressed that she managed to find it, considering it is also called a twig snake because it looks very much like a twig.