I crawled into the room, wondering where she was. I knew who “she” was, though I wouldn’t call her “Mommy” for a while more. The sound of water came in from the next room, and the air was warm and humid with steam from the shower. Words never came into my mind; I just innately knew what she was doing, and that she would be out soon.
I crawled over to the bed. The carpet was scratchy on my hands, and I wanted to stand up. I had just learned how to pull myself upright; it was fun. I held onto the comforter. The covers were a deep color — maroon, I think — with some sort of paisley pattern. Or was it floral? My infant mind didn’t take notice. It was focused on something much more important than the blanket.
Holding on to the comforter for support, I tottered my way over to the sliding glass door. My knees were starting to support my weight, and I was pleased that I didn’t fall down. I wanted to show her when she got done with the water. She would be so proud of me, and smile, and it would make me smile back at her. But that could wait. What was on the other side of that glass door?
I saw the familiar yard with the little pink flowers dotting the fading green lawn. The sky was gray, but the trees stood tall and green, standing sentry on the other side of the fence. I leaned forward and put my hands on the glass; it was cold. Was it cold outside, too? What was in the yard?
The beast moved. Its huge head lifted, and small pink flowers dangled out of its mouth. Long grasses hung from the wide, fuzzy antlers. The creature swung his gargantuan head around to stare at me with warm, dark eyes.
He stared at me.
I stared at him.
I wasn’t afraid. It didn’t occur to me that anything could hurt me. I was curious. But my little brain didn’t have the words for what, who, why, and how. At the time it was only:
He blinked at me.
I blinked at him.
He shook his dark brown head, a slow motion that made the flowers in his mouth and grasses in his knobbly antlers dance around. I wanted to touch the antlers. They looked velveteen. I wanted to touch the fur on his face. It looked coarse. His nose looked soft; I wanted to touch that, too.
He lowered his head and continued to eat the flowers. I continued to stare at him, fascinated.
Word count: 456
Time: 25 minutes
In response to this week’s Weekly Writing Challenge, I wrote about my first memory: the bull moose in the backyard when I was eight months old.