yesterday the girl and her family were here for a visit. at one point, they went for a quick walk, and the little girl came back with exciting news of newts. they counted thirty-one, she said, but there were at least a hundred. her dad accidently stepped on one and felt bad. they were all over one side of the road but not the other. they were everywhere!
after they left, after the table was cleared and the leftovers were put away, after the dishes were washed and the floor was swept, i took a walk down the stretch of road she described. i was disappointed, but not surprised, to see only three newts. tiny and new, they were wandering the road long after their ninety-seven brothers and sisters had dispersed. up the hill and into the woods they went, all while i, of course, was doing more important things than investigating the wonders of spring.