the dogwood wild runner

It all started with a chore. My son was supposed to rake up all the cut grass in the field, load it into the trailer, and then dump it where we dump the big pile of grass. But once the wagon was full of grass, he (and his sidekicks, because when the trailer is involved there is always extra help) got sidetracked.

If I wrote a children’s book, I would title it, If You Give a Kid a Wagon Full of Hay.

If you give a kid a wagon full of hay, he’ll want a blanket to cover it with. He’ll find himself an old dirty blanket from the barn, but once he lays back in the soft, blanket-covered hay, he’ll realize the sun is shining in his eyes. So he’ll (once again) rummage in his papa’s barn till he finds a suitable piece of old tarp and some metal poles…

And so it went.

When I finally looked out my kitchen window, I was semi-stunned to see a gypsy caravan parked in my yard.

It even had reins.

The inside was surprisingly roomy and comfortable.

There was stale old popcorn for nourishment.

Of course they had to take their house on wheels for a spin around the pasture to see if it could withstand all the bouncing and jouncing.

My husband got home from work, and I headed out on a walk. When I returned, Spiderman had entered the scene.

It was like Times Square had descended upon us. Just a little bit disconcerting.

My daughter shoved an invitation-slash-contract under my nose, inviting-slash-ordering me to take a ride aboard The Dogwood Wild Runner. I signed it (I had no other option), and the kids burst into cheers.

They waited impatiently while I popped a bunch of potatoes into the oven for our supper, and then I walked down the deck stairs and into my waiting chariot.

They had gussied it up considerably with…Um, what’s this? Blankets and pillows and all manner of not-to-be-used-outside bedding? But I said not a word and instead leaned back onto a cushy pile of pillows. It really was quite comfortable.

The mower engine was so loud that talking was impossible, but we couldn’t really talk anyway since we were busy clenching our teeth together as we jittered and jolted our way through the field.

At the far end of the property, the drivers swapped places, and then we headed back home, just as a light rain began to fall.

My husband oversaw the caravan tear-down, and, well, that’s what happens if you give a kid a wagon full of hay.

The end.


  • thedomesticfringe

    Your kids are super creative! It will be so interesting for you to see what they become and create as adults. They have SO much fun!

  • Karen

    I love coming here and reading about the creative and really ingenious things your kids come up with. I always come away from your posts thinking, 'I want my kids to feel free to create and explore like that.'

    But, then I realize that I'd be the mom yelling out the back door when I realized my child got sidetracked from his chore, "What are you DOING? You're supposed to go dump the grass. Can you PLEASE just finish your job & stop lollygagging???"

    I don't like that part of me. 🙁

    So here's my question for you. Obviously chores still need to be done and part of our job is to teach our children to focus & finish what they started. How do you teach that and still allow room for ideas & experimenting & creativity?

    I really admire what I read about your family. Maybe you can share how you find that balance.

  • Margo

    please please read The Diddakoi by Rumer Godden – it might even be a good read aloud for the kids. the gypsy caravan is the center of the story.

    I love that you didn't protest about the indoor bedding – I hope I can be so big in situations like this!

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