Since Dad’s accident, Mom was at the hospital all the time.
Instead of pizza Friday night, Maya and Pearl had to eat whatever the neighbors had kindly delivered.
It had only been a week, but nothing was the same.
“I want to go outside,” Pearl complained. “Grandma promised. But she fell asleep.”
Maya forced a smile. “C’mon,” she said. She couldn’t make Dad better. She couldn’t cook dinner. But she could play with Pearl.
She flipped her collar up against the wind.
“Look!” Pearl pointed to a nest on the ground.
“It probably came down in the wind,” Maya said. “Don’t worry. It’s from last year. Most birds haven’t come north yet.”
She walked toward the metal pole in the middle of the yard. The bottom half of the pole to their purple martin houses. Purple martins were Dad’s favorite birds. He even talked back to them, imitating their joyful gargling sound. She helped him clean the houses each winter.
“We’ll put the houses back up on Saturday,” Dad had said last weekend. “To be ready for the scouts.”
What would happen if a scout came, and the house wasn’t up?
Dad would be sad. Their yard would be quiet. And buggy. Purple martins ate a lot of mosquitoes. Maya thought of Dad again.
He wanted the houses up.
Maya could barely lift the houses. Another pole attached to the underside. She couldn’t balance it over her head to slip it onto the pole in the ground.
“Let’s go!” she told Pearl.
“I don’t want to go in,” Pearl groused.
Maya took Pearl’s hand and went next door.
Mr. Landers answered her knock. “What can I do for you?”
Maya explained the problem.
Before Mom came home, Mr. Landers had the house up.
“You shouldn’t have,” Mom said. “Everyone has done so much already.”
“Just glad to hear Don is doing better,” Mr. Landers said.
“Look!” Maya pointed to a lone bird circling overhead. “It’s a scout!” And she smiled for the first time in a week.
Maya knew Spring was here at last.
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I'm betting there will be a lot of stories to check out this week. Stop by Susanna's blog to read the others if you get a chance.