Age 10

by Sky Hayward April. 30, 2019 355 views

At Lena's house there was an abandoned barn in the middle of the field. It was your typical barn. Its cedar body was grey with age, most of the roof had fallen in a long time ago. In the sun it smelled like dust and the old musty hay of the horse stables. It was wonderful and completely ours. We spent hours out in the field. We explored every inch of it. We would find skulls in the long grass and display them in the frame of the barn like museum pieces. The tiny skulls of mice were the common finds but every so often we'd find larger ones. The long sharp incisors and how big the eyes were made me certain they were cats. I thought they were fascinating. Sometimes we found jaw bones. Cows possibly, maybe horses, with teeth that looked more like wood than teeth. They were covered in lines and cracks. Eaten away by the weather, looking how teeth shouldn't look. If I pulled carefully, rocking them back and forth I could pull them out without breaking off the roots. Sharp, shiny, clean roots hidden in the bone, protected, white like porcelain. It was like finding ancient ruins to me, animals that were once breathing right where I stood. I always wondered how they died, who they belonged to and why they were left laying in the field.

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