Molly’s Rose Adventure

‘Ooh, what are those?’ Molly asked, bounding away from us and towards a wild flower patch.

         ‘Not too far, please,’ Gemma called after her, in that unholy mix of gentle and stern that I’d never been able to master.

         ‘Reckon she’ll bring back some berries?’ I asked. ‘Our little forager.’

         ‘I hope not,’ Gemma frowned. ‘Then she’ll get a taste for it. We’ll have to find out where to buy seeds online.’

         ‘We should probably stop for lunch soon,’ I noted, the picnic basket nestled on my shoulders.

         ‘Is the cheese getting too heavy, dear?’ Gemma teased me.

         ‘Yes, actually!’ I grinned back. ‘And don’t get me started on the biscuits—’

         ‘Where did Molly go?’ Gemma suddenly snapped to alert, glancing around the park. We were completely alone, nobody else around us – and no sign of Molly.             

         ‘Molly?’ I called out, in the general direction of the bush she’d been heading towards. ‘Molly, where are you?’

         After a short, heart-stopping wait, her little head popped up from behind the bush.

         ‘Yeah?’ she called back to us.

         Gemma and I both sighed, deeply and in unison.

         ‘Lunchtime, honey,’ Gemma told her. ‘From now on,’ she whispered to me out of the side of her mouth, ‘that girl only explores standard roses, near me. None of those interesting varieties.’

         ‘Good call,’ I nodded.

         ‘You two are weird,’ Molly rolled her eyes as she trudged towards us.

         ‘“Weird” is what boring people call interesting people,’ Gemma told her, as I unfurled the picnic blanket.

         ‘Oh god, do we have a boring child?’ I asked her.

         ‘No!’ Molly protested. ‘I’m not boring!’

         ‘But, then that would make you…’ I frowned like I was in a pantomime.

         ‘You have to say it, honey,’ Gemma said to Molly, as she laid out the plates, ‘or he’ll never take that look off his face.’

         ‘I’m weird,’ the little girl huffed.

         ‘Thank you,’ I nodded solemnly. ‘Now come get some cheese before your mother eats it all.’

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