I parked the ute as usual by the garage, I was just stopping in for lunch, and soon would drive out again. Barely through the front door and Lyn is frantically calling to me, “Have you seen Hayden and (his friend) Nathan?”
“No” I replied. “What’s wrong?” “I called the boys for lunch, but they’re not responding and I walked out to the places they’d normally be, but nothing.” “Okay, I’ll drive the top end of the paddock, you take the home block.” And off we set, tooting, yelling, whistling, calling, but no sign of the boys.
Now I was frantic too, I stopped to check the granite outcrops, then the creek line, and then with some trepidation, my heart in my throat, I drove out to the dam, looking but not wanting to look, barely breathing. Relief flooding in that there were only sheep there.
Somehow we managed to time our return to the farmhouse, and no luck. I drove out again with lyn behind, and then suddenly, there they were, jumping out from behind some rocks and laughing. It had been a huge joke for them, seeing us frantic and playing hidey! Apparently it was fun to watch us driving around and shouting out. It was that weird moment of anger and relief. That moment when you realise just how tense you have been in the moment, sweating, rasping, dry mouth, pressure around the forehead. It took some time for my pulse to settle. I worked much harder that afternoon. The boys took it to heart, thankfully, that it was not quite so funny for us.