In the woods across the stream, there is a pile of bricks. There are 79 bricks. I know there are 79 bricks because the gingerbread boys counted them once when they were much younger, when counting things was cool. The bricks are not close to any house, nor are they close to any structure at all. There's no barn, no sugar shack, no hunting cabin. Nothing. They are in a no-man's land of pine and ash trees, brambles and firebush. How did they get there? Did the deer bring them, nosing them along until they formed a neat stack? Did the ants go marching one by one (Hurrah! Hurrah!), carrying them on their backs? Did the rafter of turkeys fly them in? Do they mark the spot where treasure is buried? Are they there as some post-apocalytic stash? I have questions.
In the woods past the old beaver dam, there is a tree with BUTTER spray-painted on it. There is also a tree with FLOUR spray-painted on it. EGGS, too. This grocery list is in a vast area dubbed the Marshy Swamp by the gingerbread boys. It's marshy. It's a swamp. No one goes there except in winter when we snow-shoe over the frozen ground, weaving in and out of cattails taller than we are. Who needs the reminder to pick up butter and eggs from the store? The chipmunks? The woodpeckers? The beavers? And why did they spray-paint it on the trees? Is it an art installation? Is it a permanent reminder of where one's priorities should lie--with the basics? Is it a subliminal suggestion to go home and make cake?
I have questions.