‘Do you have your wellies on? Looks like there might be a few splashy puddles.’
‘Yesss,’ replied Cara, sliding her left foot into a bright red boot.
‘Wrong foot,’ said Grandad.
‘Oh,’ she said, wobbling over to the other welly.
‘Better?’ asked Grandad.
‘Where would you like to go today? The park? The fields? The woods?’
‘All of them!’
‘Gosh, that will be an adventure. Will you help Grandad if he gets a bit tired?’
‘Of course! We can sing. That always helps me when I’m tired.’
‘What do you like to sing, Cara?’
‘That depends. But I do like to make up my own songs.’
‘Would you sing me one?’
‘Yes. Shall we sing a welly boot song?’
Grandad smiled. ‘OK.’
Cara started her song with a huge double-footed splosh in the closest puddle. Drips fell from the bottom of her raincoat as she sang.
‘Wellies, wellies, what would we do without wellies….’ She looked up at Grandad expectantly.
‘Oh, um…,’ Grandad stuttered. ‘Wellies…wellies…help you jump into jellies.’
Cara giggled. ‘Jelly, jelly, rolls round in your belly.’
‘But don’t let the jellies get into your wellies,’ finished Grandad.
Both of them laughed as they splashed along.
‘So, who else do you sing with?’ Grandad asked.
‘Oh, you know, whoever I meet.’
‘What, other people?’
‘No, not people. Mummy says I shouldn’t sing with people if I don’t know them. But she’s never told me not to sing with animals and plants.’
‘Has she not?’
‘No. I don’t think she can hear them.’
Grandad stopped walking and looked down at Cara. ‘And you can?’
Cara reached out her little hand and placed it into Grandad’s big palm. He closed his fingers and gave it a gentle squeeze.
‘It’s OK,’ he reassured her. ‘You can sing with the animals and plants.’
‘And talk to them too?’ she asked, her eyes wide and round.
‘Well, yes of course. How else would you decide what to sing together?’
Cara nodded, not taking her eyes off Grandad.
‘Do you hear them too?’ she whispered.
Grandad took a deep breath and looked up at the clouds. ‘Yes, perhaps sometimes I do.’ He lifted Cara onto his hip and she wrapped her arms around his neck.
‘Come on,’ he said. ‘Let’s go and find somebody to sing with.’
‘Going to find somebody to sing with, to sing with,’ sang Cara.
Grandad joined in, marching along in time to her beat. Around them the trees swayed gently in the wind as the bees danced and the sun smiled.
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