There's an old cottonwood that's grown itself into the perfect hideout. Many trunks rise up around the base, forming an enclosure that called to curious boys last week. I watched from my window as scrap boards were carted across the yard. Back and forth those boys went - for wood, then for twine, and then for a No Trespassing sign.
After hours of devoted labor, it was ready!
A ready secret, just in time for daddy to come home. The plan was to wait with a good Sunday read, there inside, wait with pages and words and pictures, and not make a peep until his tires slowly crunched the gravel driveway. Wait silently til he'd turned and parked his Jeep. Then, when he was walking across the lawn toward the cabin door, a short call-out from the tree would stop him.
Quiet. Wait. Let him wonder.
Then, another short call, just a bit louder this time. Then, he'd be curious, and he would wonder, and he'd start calling back, anxious to find where the boy-call was coming from. All excitement would burst from the tree, then, and those hollers would get loud and call him right over.
He'd take quick steps down the twine-fenced path to the fort's 'front door' and all the boy-chatter would tumble over him, end over end, as all the cool features were pointed out here, there, and everywhere. And he'd climb inside, and he'd be smiling and he'd be looking. And he'd say that was the perfect tree for this cool fort. And then he'd say 'Way to go' and 'Good job, guys, it's awesome', and other big words like that.
And it'd be boys and their dad and a cool fort and twittering birds and a hot breeze and sweaty arms around necks and summer spilling over.
The best thing is?
That's exactly how it went.