“I am so sorry about your father, Misha,” Gabriel said as he placed a ladder up against the house. The sky was bright, a wonderful day to help in the garden.
Misha plopped her butt on the damp earth and looked up. “It’s okay, Gabe. I’m not terribly upset.”
Gabriel dug the feet of the ladder into the ground and looked down at Misha. “How could you say that? Your father loved you.”
Misha laughed raucously. “He always said he wanted me to dedicate something to him. One of my poems that he scoffed at maybe, I thought.”
Gabriel watched her silently as she did a fine job of controlling the tears.
“But I discovered something better,” she whispered as she pulled back a rotting piece of wood from the garden floor. “Look,” Misha said gesturing to a family of slugs hiding beneath.
Gabriel jumped back. “Eww,” he said and crinkled his nose. “Are you going to kill them with salt?”
Misha put her finger to her chin and glanced up to the sky. “I thought about that. Sad, you know, slugs get such a bad rap. They are certainly more useful than my father ever was.”
Misha stood up and brushed the dirt off her butt.
Gabriel squatted to get a good look at one of the slugs, gently poking one with his finger.
Misha watched him and grabbed his arm.
“Don’t touch the slugs, Gabriel.”