Og and Unk

I wrote this twenty years ago yesterday.  For my kids.    Remember, they were little kids.  Actually  Brittany was a little kid, I was still pregnant for Nessie.  I came across it looking for other stuff.  So sorry!  I want to see if my kids read this.  I don’t think I ever actually read this to them.

There’s a world of wonder, every where you look, every where you imagine.  You never know when or where you might happen upon a world of unknown.

Just like the boring summer day when I was just a little kid.  What a dull day!  It was hot!  It was miserable!  And it was the day I discovered Og and Unk.

I was sitting outside, trying to catch a cool breeze, or at least enjoy the shade of the biggest tree in the woods behind my house.  My back was starting to hurt from leaning against the tree for so long, so I scooted down, rolled on my stomach, placed my face in my hands and stared at the ground.

I don’t know how long I was staring before I actually saw them.  Boy they were small!  Tiny!  They were coming out of the base of the tree, out of a tiny hole no bigger than a penny!  They used the tree’s bark as steps.

There were two of them and looked alike, the only difference I could see was one of them was wearing a dress, and one of them seemed to be wearing bib overalls.   They didn’t seem to be aware of me as they walked hand in hand through the grass that was a forrest to them.

They didn’t look like you and me-people like.  But they were a lot like us.  Two arms, two legs, two eyes, but they had a softer, cuddle look to them.

I was staring so hard my eyes hurt.  I was afraid to blink-or they might disappear.  Finally I was sure I was really seeing them, but would they be scared of me?

“Hi”.  I spoke softly so not to scare them.  They looked startled but turned to look up at me, and they smiled!

“Hello”.  Their voices were tiny, but I could hear them just fine!  I smiled back, I wanted them to know I was nice.

“Who are you?”  They walked up to me until they were standing right in front of me.

The little guy in the pants spoke first.

“I’m Unk.”

“And I am Og, Unk’s wife.”

“We live here.”  Unk pointed to the tree behind them.

“Really?  You’re so small.  I’ve never seen anything like you before.”  They smiled and nodded their little heads.

“And you are so big!”  Og looked disapprovingly at Unk, like he had been rude.  Unk looked a little embarrassed.  No one had scolded me, and I had said they were small.  But I didn’t mean any harm.  I smiled so they wouldn’t think they hurt my feelings.

“But I’m small to my mom and dad.”  They both nodded like they understood.

“We have seen you, and your parents too.  But what is your name.”  She seemed so well mannered, everything came out just perfect.

“My name is Dexter”.  They smiled and nodded like they approved.  “I’m a person.  What are you?”

Og smiled at Unk like they shared a nice secret.

“We’re Unk and Og.”  Unk smiled up at me.  They sure smiled a lot.

“Oh, I know, but WHAT are you?”

“What do you mean?”  Og was puzzled.

“I mean-I’m a person, there’s-birds, cats, dogs, fish…all kinds of different animals.”

“Are you an animal?”

“Uh, no, I’m a person, a people.”  Og smiled at Unk again.  “So what are you?”  Unk looked to Og.

“We just are”.  Og seemed pleased with her answer.

“Are what?”  I was confused.

“We just are, we’re here, we belong, we are a part of this world.”  I pulled my face out of my hands and pointed at them, they jumped back-startled.

“But WHAT are you?”

“Og, he doesn’t understand.”  Unk looked from Og back to me.

“Dexter, does it make more sense to you if we tell you we don’t KNOW what we are?”

“Uh…I guess, I don’t know.  How can you not know what you are?”

“We know we are Og and Unk, it’s always been that way.  You are Dexter, we are Og and Unk.”  I looked from one to the other, I was trying to understand, but it just wasn’t sinking in.

“I don’t know, everybody is something.  That’s just the way it is.”

“Well Dexter, we have no explanations.  We’ve just been us for so long.  We never had to explain ourselves before.”

“Oh.”

“I have an idea Og!”  Unk nearly jumped at his good idea.

“What is it Unk?”  He turned to Og excitedly.

“Why don’t we let Dexter name us?”

“But Unk, we have names.”

“I mean a ‘something’ name.  Like Dexter is a people, we can be something too.”  Og didn’t look happy.

“We ARE something Unk, we are us.”  She was really sad.

“Og I’m sorry, I didn’t mean anything bad, please don’t be hurt.”  I was afraid she would cry.

Unk put his arm around Og.

“I’m sorry too Og.  I just wanted to make it easier for Dexter to accept us.”  Og looked at me sadly.

“But Dexter, can’t you just accept us because we are?  We are here, we are real.  I accept you as Dexter, because you are here, I don’t ask you to explain yourself or what you are.”  Unk was patting Og’s shoulder.

“Og, Dexter didn’t mean anything.  Maybe he’s too young to know what you mean.”  But I felt excited, it made sense.

“No Unk-I understand! I do!  It’s not hard-it’s really very simple, it’s too easy.”  Finally Og smiled.

“Maybe that’s why you didn’t understand.”

I smiled because she was happy again.  I wasn’t sure what she meant, but it was okay.  “So you like me Og?”  Og looked at Unk and giggled before she answered me.

“I like you very much Dexter.”

“So do I Dexter.”

“Oh good, we can be friends?  Right?”

“I think that would be wonderful.  Don’t you Unk?”

“I think it’d be great!  A new friend!”  Og was clapping her hands together happily, Unk was nodding happily, and I felt-I just felt wonderful!

And that was my first meeting with Og and Unk.  I had forgotten about the heat, the boredom.  Everything was so much nicer, having two new friends!  What a great day that was!