Thank you, Nancy!
We were five and seven, Tommy and me. He being two years older made him the ringleader, always being the one with plans for a caper or adventure or game. Of course, more often than not it landed us in a scrape, but it was always great fun and made us popular with the other kids, so a little trouble from Pa was not enough to stop us.
The Summer of the Bones was a particularly good one. We’d decided our garden had once belonged to a recluse of the sort Hitchcock would have been familiar with. We were sure he had buried the bodies of his victims in the back garden as it had such a usefully high fence to hide the evidence of his crimes. Mother was not pleased with the holes that kept appearing amidst the zinnias and runner beans, but we told her we were hunting for Indian arrow heads which calmed her down as she believed most passionately in the pursuit of scholarship.
We found the skeletons of a squirrel and a couple of birds and a whole heap of fish heads. We talked them up as being dinosaur fossils, but we all knew our bones were much more domestic than that.
Until that day, that is, the day we dug under the old willow in the back corner. There, under the drooping tent of branches we dug deeper than we’d ever dug before and found honest to goodness, result of a crime bones.