The Tale of the Drift
“I claimed this spot!”
“No ya didn’t! I was here first!”
“See the marks? I claimed this earlier today!”
Like playing the National Anthem before a sporting event, this exchange must take place before any actual work can be done on the snowdrift that we are currently arguing over. Our plan for the day? Take a fifty-foot snowdrift and riddle it with more holes than a block of Swiss cheese. Like moles on a caffeine high, we begin tunneling.
The first bit is the hardest part. We usually do not start with tools, as we never seem to remember right off the get-go that these are essential to the really extensive system that we want to create. The air is filled with cries of “I’m in to my waist!” and “Look! I can almost get all the way in!” Also a few snowballs, as I can never resist the chance to drill someone’s rump as they take a look in their respective caves.
After I get in about a full body-length, which usually takes about 15 minutes, I attempt to coerce one of the other kids into getting some shovels, spades and (the greatest of the overlooked drift-digging tools), the HANDSAW. This usually meets with no success, so I reluctantly get off my lazy butt and go get the tools myself. Upon my return, they are distributed among my siblings, and the real fun starts.
As I fling myself back into my tunnel, I am eagerly anticipating the arrival of the pole that Nemesis is preparing to push though the wall of his cave and into mine. I forget, in my anticipation, to check the dog’s location. I also forget that Nemesis might be as hyped up as I am and give the pole a bit more of a hefty shove than might be strictly necessary.
Pandemonium ensues. The pole whacks me in the face as Max romps over the top of my cave, collapsing it in on me. With snow filling my mouth, I would’ve found it difficult to breathe even WITHOUT the overweight dog on my back. Fortunately for me, Max decides he’s not very comfortable and hops off my back.
We always tunnel together, just in case of cave-ins. However, my tunnelmates are incapacitated with laughter, as I discover as I rise up out of the snow like a monster from a myth, spitting snow in all directions. The Abominable Snowman then proceeded to hurl snowballs and insults at his siblings with a vengeance.
After the snow has settled, we gather sorrowfully around my ruined cave. I shrug. “We can use this as an internal fort, right? Like, make a bunch of tunnels and caves to it and…”
My idea is met with much enthusiasm. And snowballs. But it’s winter—what do you expect?