Out for An Apple: Slice of Life 9/17/19

“Let’s go! Let’s go!  Let’s go!” The urgency in my wife’s voice caught me off guard, unsettling me.  Alarmed, I looked up from the plastic Snow White and seven dwarfs figurines my three year-old and I had been playing with to meet my wife’s gaze.  Both the twinkle in her eye, as well as the one in my 8 year-old’s, immediately  allayed my concern.

“What is it?” I queried.

“Holy giant beaver!” my  wife chirped.

Snatching my little one up out of her chair and away from the dwarfs, I followed my wife and two older daughters hurriedly through the back sliding glass door, onto the deck, and out into the expansive back yard.  Our voices fell to whispers, as my wife quietly explained what she had spotted from our upstairs window.  Skulking up from the meandering Bantam River behind our property, she’d seen a rather large brown creature making its way toward our grape vines.

As quietly as possible, we all tiptoed down the backyard incline, my youngest now walking under her own power.  I’d never seen a beaver in the yard before and wondered a little about their temperament around humans.  Would we be okay getting up close?

Sure enough, at the bottom of the slope, something resembling a small brown bear sat frozen in the tall grass beneath an apple tree.  “Do beavers hurt us?” asked my  youngest, as she stretched her arms upward toward my shoulders, the sign she wanted to be held (right now, please).

“Um, I don’t think so, honey,” I offered with no confidence whatsoever.

Silently we all watched.  Then suddenly the beaver pivoted to his left, sniffed the ground, and picked up an apple in his mouth.  Faces of wonderment turned to face me.  “Papa!  He’s taking an apple!”  Back to the river headed the beaver.

“Guess he was hungry,” I said.  Let this moment soak in, I told myself.  Let it soak in.

Author: Lanny Ball

For more than 23 years, Lanny has taught, coached, presented, staff developed, and consulted within the exciting and enigmatic world of literacy. With unyielding passion and belief in the possibility of workshop teaching, Lanny has worked to support students, teachers, and school administrators around the country in outgrowing themselves as both writers and readers. Working first as a classroom teacher, then as a coach and TCRWP Staff Developer, Lanny is now a literacy and reading consultant in Northwestern Connecticut. Outside of literacy, he enjoys raising his three ambitious young daughters with his wife, and playing the piano. Find him on this blog, as well as on Twitter @LannyBall. Lanny is also a co-author of a blog dedicated to supporting teachers and coaches that maintain classroom writing workshops, twowritingteachers.org.

7 thoughts on “Out for An Apple: Slice of Life 9/17/19”

  1. This is a great small moment to share with students – I love so much about it. Perfect balance of dialogue, action, and thinking. I love how you brought this scene to life: Sure enough, at the bottom of the slope, something resembling a small brown bear sat frozen in the tall grass beneath an apple tree. “Do beavers hurt us?” asked my youngest, as she stretched her arms upward toward my shoulders, the sign she wanted to be held (right now, please). Thank you for sharing … and what a cool sighting!!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. > Let this moment soak in, I told myself. Let it soak in.<

    Sometimes, that's the hardest part, isn't it? You've got this wondrous scene in front of you, and you so desperately want to say something. Silence is so hard for our country, but it's so awesome when watching a beaver trundle up and grab a snack!

    Thank you for sharing our slice with us today! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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