Just above 0 and as we hit the forest the ice was beginning to yield a little in the sunlight. Making for our hideout the boys made a start on new dens. They declined my brilliant idea of making one together, looking at me as though I’d asked why North Korea and South Korea couldn’t just get along. I think I glimpsed the beginning of humanity’s tribalism – brothers who had struck out making their own dens, villages, communities – nothing so fierce in life as two brothers competing. Maybe once upon a time we all knew our family affiliations until so many years had passed and we seemed like strangers.
Watching these two work brought their personalities into glaring light – one worked quickly and fiercely erecting a den in no time; the other was still ruminating over which branch to begin with as his brother watched from on top of his completed watch tower. “My brother may be fast, mum, but mine will last longer” … birthing the Three Little Piggies in one sentence.
Tired out, cold, with dens completed, we walked familiar walks and returned to the car for hot chocolate. Cold to the bone but with glowing red faces.