Ahsdale opened the cupboard, staring up into its dark interior. It was filled with cloaks and muddy boots, and he made a face at the smell of old sweat. But Father had stashed the bottle of honey here, he just knew it.
Emboldened by this conclusion, he climbed inside and rooted around, holding his nose with one grubby hand. Yes, lots of boring things in here. Why does Father need so many walking sticks anyway? He walks just fine. A small parchment envelope tumbled from the cupboard’s upper shelf, just missing him. Curious, he opened it. Ick. Dried leaves. As if there aren’t enough of them outside.
Another rustling packet fell on him. Ahsdale looked up, rubbing his forehead. It was like the cupboard was trying to hit him. Perhaps it was. Perhaps that meant the honey was on the top shelf. It was a long way up, but that wouldn’t stop him. If squirrels could climb trees, then he could get up to that honey.
He carefully hoisted himself up onto the bottom shelf, and then reached up to the next one. His fingertips just brushed the rough wood. It was a struggle, but he was almost…
“Get down from there!”
Ahsdale looked over his shoulder. Father looked awful mad.
There would be no fighting that tone. Reluctantly, he clambered down and went to stand before his father.
“What were you thinking?!? Don’t you know that’s dangerous? You could have fallen, you could have been hurt… you should be more careful, Ahsdale!”
“I was careful!”
Father knelt, radiating waves of irritation. “What were you doing in there?”
Ahsdale looked down at his feet. “Looking for honey,” he admitted.
“I told you, that honey is meant to last us until spring.”
“Yes, Father.” He scuffed a toe in the dirt, sneaking a peek through his lashes at Father. He still looked mad, but the anger was draining from his face, leaving it smooth and bland.
“Patience, Ahsdale.” A rough hand thumped his shoulder. “The great wheel of the seasons will turn, and Nature will once again cloak the world with green.”
What does that have to do with anything? “Yes, Father.”
Father awkwardly patted him again before returning to his seat.
Ahsdale looked up at the cupboard again. He glanced at Father’s hunched back, and then back at the cupboard. He licked his lips, almost tasting that sweet, sweet honey. There has to be a way. And I’m gonna find it.
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