“How’s your mother?” Anna asked as they continued up the rocky hill.
“She’s fine. Just tired out in the evenings from looking after the little ones.” Gloria said as she looked up.
Anna slipped her camera in her jeans pocket and grinned. “Say hello to your Mother. Will come for a visit in a few days.”
They had walked halfway up the hill when Gloria said. “Uncle we should go back before you get too tired.”
“Well now. How about a little further? Just to the rocks over yonder. Then sit a spell and enjoy the scenery,” Great Uncle Henry gripped his ornate cane.
Sounds like a deal,” Anna answered. Anna took a sketch pad out of her backpack and sat cross-legged on the hillside in front of a cluster of pink wild roses. “You two go ahead. Will catch up.”
Great Uncle Henry chuckled as he continued up the path calling to the children who had scampered ahead as sure on their feet as mountain goats. “Meet at the big rocks. Don’t go any further.”
“Will you tell us one of your stories?” Gloria asked as she skipped along side the great uncle.
“You bet,” Great Uncle Henry said. “There was a den of foxes up there that you might want to take a picture of.”
“Be right there,” Anna did a loose sketch of the roses that scattered along the hillside before taking a photo. “Be right with you.”
Great Uncle Henry was sitting on the smallest of rocks when his niece caught up. “Sit still, and the little foxes will come out. They are boisterous little ones, especially when Mama is out hunting.”
They didn’t have long to wait for the little foxes to poke their noses out of their den under a neighboring pile of rocks. Before long Anna snapped several photos.
“When can I see your pictures?” Gloria asked.
“Come look. You can see miniatures of them on the camera,” Anna answered.
“Oh, it’s like magic,” Gloria looked at the small pictures. “Who’s that pretty lady?”
“That’s Mother and was taken before she became ill,” Anna answered with a smile that didn’t reach her eyes.
“Oh,” Gloria looked at the sad look that appeared in Anna’s eyes for a brief second.
The air was filled with lively chatter as the rest of the children came running down the hillside towards them. “Tell us a story,” they said as they sat cross-legged in front of Great Uncle Henry.
He stroked his white beard as he gazed at the Fox kits who had come out to play in the sunlight. Great Uncle Henry appeared to be deep in thought while he looked at the children gathered around him. Then he began his story.