Inside the forests it was overcast. Small feral ferns still growing wound upon themselves at their tops and looked like Catherine wheels throwing off raindrops instead of fire and flame. Henry had walked long and down through back pathways to explore and was standing looking at a pond that had become on its sides covered with large fallen trees. The kid jumped out from some bushes and hit him over the head with a large stick.
Henry turned around stunned and said, ‘Jesus Christ kid, what the hell did you do that for?’
‘This is a robbery.’
‘A robbery. Doncha speak English old man?’
‘Kid you are crazy? I ain’t given you anything!’
‘You give me the money or I’ll whack you with this.’
Henry surprised the kid by kicking the stick out of his hand.
‘Whatcha do that for man?’
‘Listen kid; scram before I do it again.’
The kid disappeared into the bushes again and was gone like a bird or butterfly coy, like a wisp of wind.
Henry shook his head and muttered to himself, ‘Godamn kid. What kind of world is this anwyays?’
He walked on admiring tall tree lines, watching by turns the peculiar yellow flowers or new mushrooms growing. A crow alighted on a branch.
Then a rustle.
The kid jumped out just ten feet up ahead.
‘Kid what do you want now? Look. I got ten bucks. It’s yours. Take it and scram. Leave me alone.’
The kid said to put the money on the ground and step away. Henry did. The kid scooped it up. Henry asked the kid why he wasn’t in school.
‘I hate the teachers and the whole thing. I ain’t goin’ back. I left.’
‘What’s your name?
‘They call me the Pirate Kid.’
‘The Pirate Kid. I like that. Well Pirate Kid, you wanna get outta my way now?’
The kid moved aside. Henry continued. Another full hour of walking up and down inclines and slopes and alone by ridges. There wasn’t a sign of the kid. Sun coming out. Fine blue color showing up like someone painting the air up there. The rest of the walk turned out well. At the populated places he recalled the kid and wasn’t mad but felt a sense of sadness. ‘Poor soul,’ he thought, ‘so angry and robbing strangers in a forest for a few bucks. What kind of world this is I will never really know…’