King of the Jungle

Hello there. I would have written earlier, but I’ve been busy.

The fall sunshine has finally come, and we have been outside. The weather is sunny and warm, and apparently will be all week long, and we are going to make the most of it. I have been out walking with the King of the Jungle.

She’s a small, benevolent king, but a ruler nonetheless. She likes to go for walks in the woods — hence the title, “King of the Jungle”. Why “king”, and why “jungle”, is anyone’s guess, but lest anyone get confused, she announces to anyone we happen to meet on any trail in any wooded area that “I’M THE KING OF THE JUNGLE!!” So there.

I like that my kid likes walking in the woods. It’s cool and quiet, and we can talk, and share lots of time for discovery. Sometimes, we see deer, and ducks, and cyclists and joggers. Today, we saw a snake (fortunately alive and moving for all he was worth off the trail and into longer grass, unlike the one we saw last time which was dead like a dead thing), and a fuzzy caterpillar, who was all OMG WHAT IS THAT GIANT NOISY THING and decided it was best for all concerned to stick his head under some pine needles and play dead. We encountered another family with a little one out exploring nature. We found a really long wooden bridge that started in the middle of nowhere, crossed nothing, and ended, similarly, nowhere.

I let her choose where we go, once we get on the trail. The network of trails through the woods behind our home branches off in all different directions, so when we come to a fork in the road, I let her choose. “That way!” she will point triumphantly, and off we go. We do that on other trails we’re not so familiar with, too, but in a more limited fashion, but behind the house, where we’re familiar with the area and can’t get too lost too quickly, it’s all up to her. Fortunately, she is not old enough to have much of a sense of direction, so it is easy to loop her around and head for home when it’s getting late or the walk is getting long, and little legs are getting tired and tummies grumbly.

Today was lovely. The weather was warm. We had lots of time for walking. The mosquitoes are (mostly) gone for the season. And everywhere we walked, through the trees, there was a cloudless blue sky. We did about 4 km or so, walking and talking, running and stopping to look at things. And it was nice, just spending time with my girl, without distractions and TV and other kids and places to be.

There are lots of trails in our area. I hope we get lots of time this fall to explore some more. If I get some pictures, I’ll show you my little outdoorsy girl, the King of the Jungle in all her glory. That is, if she’ll let me — if she’s not too busy announcing her Royal Presence to all and sundry, or pointing her little pointer finger in whatever direction she commands me to go.

It could be worse — she could have decided that she’s the Regent of the Yardwork instead.

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