A Grandchild’s Worldview

The Ragtag Daily Prompt this morning is RETIRE

My response will be this short fiction tale about a grandpa’s morning out:

Murray’s a grandpa a dozen times over and loves all his grandchildren. He especially enjoys being with the youngest ones before they begin their school years. He regrets not having had as much opportunity when the older ones were small, but those were his working years. He’s retired now, but still in good health and can enjoy some playtime hours with the little ones.

One day he was out with five-year-old Amanda, pointing out different interesting things to her as they walked to the children’s park. As they strolled along Murray noticed a cat cross the street in front of them. He pointed it out to Amanda and said, “I wonder where that cat belongs? It shouldn’t be wandering on the street.”

“Maybe that’s the one Grandma was looking for. Oh, Grandpa, we should catch it and take it to her right away, in case it is!”

Murray was puzzled. “But Grandma doesn’t have a cat.”

“That’s ’cause she let it out. I heard her talking on the phone before and she told the other person that she should have been more careful and not let the cat out of the bag. She said now somebody’s going to know about it and they aren’t supposed to. If we catch the cat, maybe everything will be okay?”

Amanda was so serious that Murray swallowed his chuckle and gave her a comforting answer. “I’m sure that’s not the cat Grandma let out of the bag. I’m sure that one is still in our house somewhere.”

“How come she was keeping it in a bag?

“You’ll have to ask Grandma that when we get home.”

“Cats don’t like to be put in bags, do they, Grandpa?”

“No, I don’t think they do.”

“We should tell Grandma she shouldn’t do that. And cats don’t like it when you put baby clothes on them and stick them in a pram, either.” Amanda nodded knowingly. “Our kitty jumped out and ran away. Then she got all tangled up and clawed the doll dress and Mom said I shouldn’t do that again.”

“Your mom’s right. You shouldn’t try it again.”

Soon they arrived at the park and Amanda rushed toward the swing sets. Murray helped her get seated and started pushing her, thoroughly enjoying himself. He grinned as he thought about the explaining Grandma would have to do when they got home — if Amanda remembered.

“Grandpa, I’m sure glad you don’t have to go to work like Daddy does. He can only take us to the park on weekends.”

“That’s one of the good things about being retired,” Murray told her. “I can go for walks and come to he park with you whenever you come over.”

“What’s retired?”

“It means you’ve worked long enough and earned enough money that you don’t have to get up and go to work every morning anymore. You can stay home and you get paid anyway.”

“My Daddy has to go to work all the time. I told him he should stay home with us, but he says he has to work ’cause we need the money to buy food and clothes and stuff.”

“Yes, your Daddy has to work some years yet before he can retire. I worked many years, too, before I got to retire. When your mom was a little girl, I had to go to work every day, too. That’s how it goes.”

“When I grow up, I’m going work just a little bit, and then I’m going to retire like you,” she said. “Then I can stay home with my children and we can all come to the park and swing every day. You and Grandma can come, too.”

“That sounds like a great idea,” Murray agreed. Oh, to be young and so blissfully innocent!

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