On Pete’s tenth birthday, Mommy and Daddy know exactly what to gift him. Binoculars for his forest jaunts. And books. One can never be sure, which one precedes the other – his passion for books, or his love for wildlife and birding.
Mary and Oliver always buy him books that pique his ever growing curiosity.
On his birthday morning, Pete hastily peels off the wrappers from the gifts Mommy has meticulously packed. They are swathed in purple, lavender and cyan recycled paper, that she has painstakingly created by painting old newspapers. The ribbons pirouette around the room along with the playful, nippy morning breeze.
Pete chuckles ecstatically as he unwraps each present.
A shiny Olympus 10×50 binocular in black.
“Oh my God! This is totally OG*, Dad and Mom!!” squeals Pete.
Oliver squeezes Mary’s arm and they exchange a smug smile.
Thereafter, Pete goes on to eagerly unwrap all the books.
There are five different genres. One on birding, another on wildlife, “Sapiens – The Birth of Humankind”; in its graphic form, an omnibus of the Tin Tin saga and a book that is unique in its own right: “Lets Talk about the Birds and Bees.” This book explains what Pete has been evading all this while in a unique, story telling format.
Mary and Oliver have tried their best to broach the subject, even when little Ollie was born a few months ago. But Pete evades the topic each time. It embarrasses him no end and he hushes them off. Therefore, Mary and Oliver have decided what better way to get the discussion started, than with a book; that too on his birthday!
Without further delay, Pete, the voracious reader sprawls himself on the couch and starts devouring one of the books. And no prizes for guessing that its the one on birds and bees!
Pete is oblivious to the fact that this book is far from what he has imagined it to be. In his head, it is another of those that stokes his fascination for birds and their brethren.
As he starts reading the book, his jaw falls wide open. He gets off the couch and lets out a cry.
“Mommy! Daddy! How could you?!” he screeches.
“Is that how Ollie and I came into being?
“Nooo! Nooo! Not possible!!”
Mary looks utterly dismayed. But before she can open her mouth in their defence, Pete has his nose glued back to the book.
“Phew!” Oliver heaves a sigh of silent relief, wiping his brow.
Little Ollie gurgles and coos from his cot, as though calling out to his older brother.
Pete is now lost in the pages of a territory he thought he would never tread.
OG* – Original gangster
Written for dear Sadje’s What Do You See? picture prompt.