We left the tree peninsula at 10:30am on a Friday. We drove through garlic and apricot blossoms and grapevines and more cowbell please, trying to hit the old orange groves before dark, before the doormouse donned his cap and robe.
The timebomb ticked, delayed by stickers and books and snacks. After lunch the ticking stopped; stopped until the incline of the car flipped the switch back to “on” as we started up the mountains.
But it never went off. Coming down out of the mountains into the valley and into the holly it threatened again, but a portable DVD player, reserved for emergencies, fixed attention on moving pictures and happy music.
But the valley and the holly were densely overgrown, over-RUN, with beetles and beemers choking the life out of the body, congealing its arterial blood.
The doormouse went to sleep while we were still squishing bugs.
But family was awake, and grandma and aunts and uncles and cousins erased all the tense memories, the worries about the bomb going off, the stress of getting to the old orange grove in time.
We stayed up too late, but the bomb never went off.
It slept like the happiest baby in the world and let everyone sleep in the next morning.