After dinner, my brother and I walked down to the boathouse. Gordie and Jaspar were due to arrive sometime in the middle of the night and we had to drive in to town to pick them up and lead them on the winding dirt roads back to the lake, but they wouldn’t arrive until late, so we had decided to kill some time out on the water.
We would pick them up and stroke their soft orange bellies, and wonder why nature made them the color of the sunset. I liked to talk to the newts and I really thought they could understand me, maybe because when I introduced myself as Eliza, people tended to exclaim, “Like Eliza Thornberry on Nickelodeon! Can you talk to animals too?” or maybe just because I liked the idea. We never named the newts because our grandfather would convince us to let them go before returning back to camp, their hearts visibly thumping in their chests as we released them back onto the wet moss.