As he is the master stone mason, father brings me to the highest construction platform of the cathedral on my saint’s day. I feel his strong hands, his steady shoulders as I climb up. “Hold tight,” he cautions in his usual tone, “Or,” as he swings me down to the scaffolding planks, “I shall have to tickle your disobedience right out of you.”
Birds roosting on the granite blocks jump startled more by a child’s giggles, than the stone mason’s trade. “Stone masons never laugh,” my father explains. “They shout and they curse; they are the most serious of men.”
My father is serious, strict, religious, to be obeyed as a father must. But, on my saint’s day, with a whisper and a hush, he leaves those clothes behind. For but a fleet of an hour, we are both children. Watching the games play out below. Hoops and handstands. Games of chance and skill. Girls twirl skirts and choose their babies. Boys scruffle and roust.
He knows that his time of magic will be broken on the saint’s day when, looking out to the street below, I ask “Father, why do the playing children grow smaller, I grow taller?”
Constructed playfully for Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie Tale Weaver 34: a painting in search of a story
© phylor 2015