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I Cannae and I Dinnae

The twins have been transfixed by “Brave” for weeks, which justifies Daddy’s marching around the house, saying in something approximating a brogue: “I cannae and I dinnae!” They don’t understand what that means, nor does Daddy really, beyond the actual words, but it seems to fit the mood, if not each exact situation, wrapping the house in a tartan, inspiring lots of other drawn out vowels: King Fai-ai-ai-air-gus and Mor-dooooooooo. Cory always comes to get Papa or Daddy as the wisps draw Merida toward the cottage of the woodcarver-cum-witch (“Come sit with us!”), and Fisher always whispers a warning, “Don’t eat it” when Elinor leaves the gamey cake within her redheaded triplet princes’ later reach.

One morning, Daddy washes the dishes, listening to the twins babble, as Fisher repeatedly fires nerf bullets from a toy gun that (clearly) someone other than Daddy or Papa gave him as a gift…

C: Fisher, no! That’s not right! The first MacGuff does hit the circle, it’s just not in the middle, I told you!
F: But, Cory, that boy misses. (Muffled by running water.) …and, he does worser than, than, than, er, uh, than, than the other boys.
C: But, I told you, he’s…arrow does hit the circles.


F (loud voice): I am Merida! I live in a house Dunbroch! And I will shoot bullets myself.
C: Fisher, I want a turn!

More bullets fire; lots of barely audible sounds waft around an occasional “Mac-this” and “Ding-that.” Dishes done, lunches made, hair detangled, Daddy passes by the window to the back yard to get kids off to school, thinking, “Cute, nerf bullets.” Dogs fed, shower taken, kids gone, Daddy passes back by to gather computer, etc. to head to work, “Oh, their Scotch tape snowflakes are targets, how fun.” Work crap gathered, music for the dogs on, Daddy makes one more pass by and…their morning activity dawns on him…

MacGuffin misses badly, MacIntosh hits the target outside the bullseye, and Dingwall’s “arrow” lands dead center. By the look of things, neither was as good a follow-up shot as Merida…yet…

That evening, they ask whether they can each have a bow and arrow. No. They are not getting a bow and arrow. Hear that, gift-givers? No bows and arrows…you cannae and you will nae!

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