Saturday, January 21, 2017

Fall Afternoon (Blogophilia 48.9)

It took fifteen minutes to find a parking space. The wind was cold against Emily's face as Kristy undid the buckles of the seat. With a tug, the pink jacket untangled and the little redheaded child tumbled to the ground, but she wasn't one of those whiny kids. She immediately bounced up and brushed the rough sand from her knees and inspected her tights. No tears, good. As she began to look around, the huge granite rock smiled at her over the tops of the trees with their red and yellow leaves. Emily excitedly pointed at it.

"Ooh, look at the big rock, Daddy."
 
"Yes, Sweetie. That's Stone Mountain."
 
"Can you climb up to the top?"
 
"Yes, you can and maybe we will another day. We're doing something else today."
 
"But I want to climb to the top!" Her face flushed. Jimmy knelt down to her level and in a quiet voice he said:
 
"If you act like that, we'll go home and you won't see nothing."
 
The blue eyes got wide. Daddy was serious and the little head quietly dropped. Crossing the parking lot the small family strode up to the admissions table. As they waited, the melancholy sounds of pipers warming up floated out of the woods. 
 
"What's that noise? It sounds like somebody stepped on a bunch of cats."
 
Kristy giggled and put a kiss on top of the curly head. It really was what they sounded like. Jimmy was getting irritated.
 
"They are bagpipes, Sweetie, and the players are warming up. They'll be marching on the field over there in a little while." He pointed to his left. "Now, hush until we get inside."
 
Jimmy paid the admission and they passed through a cardboard gate that was fashioned like a midieval castle with the initials RSCDS over the arch.

They passed a man with a hawk on his wrist.

He was giving a short talk on hunting birds of old and how they are used in modern times. Jimmy thought it was fascinating. Emily was sad the bird was on a leash and the talk was boring. Kristy sensed the tension and tugged on Daddy's sleeve to get him to move on. 
 
"Honey, lets go to the dance stages. I think Emily might like that. We can come back to Birdman later."
 
"Dance? Like ballet class?"
 
"Sort of, Emily. Every place in the world has their own ballet. Scotland is no different."
Jimmy grudgingly agreed. As they made their way, a group of men in full Regimental Uniform passed.

One was quite tall, with dark red hair and beard to match. The others were shorter, with much greyer beards. They were all of Clan McFarlaine, their tartans neatly pressed, daggers strapped to their ankles. The little girl was puzzled.
 
"Daddy, why are those men wearing skirts? Those are girl clothes."
 
The men laughed at that as Jimmy and Kristy cringed. The taller one got down to the little girl's level and with a smile, he gently explained:
 
"To put on my kilt is an honor, Lassie. Only the strongest, bravest men put their legs out to the weather and battle."
 
Emily thought about that a minute.
 
"But that's why you wear tights! It keeps them warm."
 
The men laughed harder. One of the older men spoke up.
 
"Oh, Lass. You are a hoot. But, you are right. See our socks." and he turned to Jimmy. "We spend the first years of their lives teaching them to walk and talk and the next twelve to tell them to sit down and shut up."
 
Thoroughly embarrassed, Kristy and Jimmy agreed. And with that the men went on their way. 
 
There was a fork in the path. Looking at the map, the Junior Dance stage was off to the left. A group of teenagers were just beginning their set as they sat down to watch. It was Daddy's turn to be bored. He wanted to go over to the athletic field and watch the tabor competition. Emily, however, was immediately taken. Young boys and girls taking turns doing reels and jigs. They passed each other in circles and rows, greeting and smiling at each other.


Another group did a traditional line dance with taps, six pairs of legs working as one.


Emily grabbed Kristy's arm. "Mommy! That looks fun."
 
Kristy smiled.
 
"Yes, Emily it does. Can you see anything that looks familiar?"
 
"The girls go up on their tippytoes like Ms. Harley makes us."
 
"Uh huh. How about how they hold their arms?"
 
"It hurts when we have to hold 'em like that."
 
"It takes work to build them up. But it is fun, right?"
 
"Oh, yes. Especially when we get to do a whole dance."
 
The last girl dancing had flowing carrot hair, almost the same color as Emily's. She performed a sword dance. The sun reflection flashing competed with her hair to look like to flames fighting each other. When it was all over, Kristy and Emily jumped to their feet with their clapping, while Jimmy shook his head. With that, the morning dance session was over. 
 
The three of them went around the other side of the stage where there was an open platform. A woman with a red plaid tam o'shanter hailed them over.
 
"I couldn't help but notice the wee one here likes the dance. If'n you like, we have an introduction class that lasts about an hour. I can tell Dad there wants to be with the men. Let him go and we'll teach the two of you."
 
Mommy and Daddy looked at each other and nodded and Jimmy headed on down the hill. 
 
It was the most fun she'd ever had.

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Pic Guess-On Broadway, Hot Time in the City, The City, Popsicles,

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