Follow through the trees

Liesel skipped through the back garden towards the playhouse that Tevas had built for them.  Frieda was already there.  They were going to have lunch together there.  It was nice to have space of their own, particularly since they had three brothers.

Konrad wasn’t so bad.  He was old enough that he didn’t have any interest in pestering them.  The most he would do was come and get them for meals or check in on them.  Markus was also older than them.  He tended to be more interested in not having them bother him – as if they would!  That left Johannes.

He was younger than them.  Sometimes, he was busy doing his own thing.  Other times, though, he wanted to see what they were doing.  He very much wanted to see what their playhouse was like.  However, Tevas had said it was theirs and he could only go in if they invited him.  They never did.  They did girl things there, after all.  He was a boy, so he had no business there.

Liesel didn’t feel bad about excluding him from the playhouse.  After all, they didn’t keep him out of their room.  In fact, they often invited him to play with them in there.  There was nothing wrong with having one space that was just for them.  Was there?

As Liesel reached the playhouse, she rapped on the door and then peered inside.  “Hey,” she said, grinning at Frieda.  “are you ready for our tea party?”

Frieda nodded.  “It’s not really a tea party, is it,” she said, frowning.  “I mean, we don’t have tea.  We have lemonade instead.”

“It doesn’t matter if we actually drink tea,” Liesel said, shaking her head.  She sat down at the little table in the middle of the playhouse.  After a moment, Frieda joined her.  While Liesel poured their lemonade, Frieda set out their sandwiches, fruit and vegetables.

While they ate, they discussed their plans for the afternoon.  Sometimes, they would make up plays or put on performances for Opa and their brothers after dinner.  Other times, they went on adventures in the garden.  It was a large enough garden that they could spend a couple hours exploring.

They were just finishing when they heard a sound outside of the playhouse.  For a moment, they just frowned at each other.  It was a scrambling sound that seemed to come from the roof.  Shrugging, they headed outside to looked.

“It’s a squirrel,” Liesel said, grinning.  She pointed as the squirrel jumped from the roof to one of the nearby trees. They watched as it scrambled from one tree to the next.

Then, Frieda sprinted into the playhouse.  When she came out, she had their backpacks, a compass and a pair of binoculars.  “Let’s see where it goes,” she said, her eyes bright with excitement.