The Charlie Bravo Story

Eight or eighty?

Dad here; wanna hear a cool story?

Not even dog related, but an awesome encounter nonetheless. I took a twenty mile bicycle ride today in attempt to counter the effects of too much recent good living(read honey buns). My route of choice was the Arkansas River Trail, which crosses the river three times: at the dam, the Clinton library, and at the Broadway bridge. Approximately halfway through the loop, this random eight year old boy popped out of a side trail and began riding beside me like it was as natural as the sun rising. I asked him where his parents were at, he said that they were walking his newborn baby sister, so I assumed that he was on his way to meet back up with them.

When we got to the base of the Big Dam Bridge, he started across it to the Little Rock side; I assumed his parents were over there, so I rode with him. When we got there, no parents. He looked at me like an idiot; if course they weren’t over here, they’re somewhere “over there”. So back across the river we went.

And during this time, I received a continuous schooling in all things important to a super intelligent eight year old; some examples: his favorite airplane(an A-10 Thunderbolt), why electric bikes shouldn’t be allowed on the River Trail(doesn’t having motors make them motorcycles?), see this word on the side of my sunglasses?(this is where his dad works), the size of a fish he once caught(one pound), what his three year old brother had caught earlier that day(a snake, although I’m not too sure I believed this one), where his name came from(an Austrian prince), and on and on. It was quite the enlightening experience.

When we finally encountered his parents, I congratulated them on the outstanding quality of their progeny and went on my way. But do you think that was the end of the adventure? Not on your life. The next thing I knew, he materialized again like a pint sized genie.

“Wanna go ride some trails?”.

There is only one acceptable response when an eight year old suggests going to ride some trails, and that is you follow said eight year old down some dirt trails. And my schooling continued until it was time for us to part ways; he grilled me as to when I would be coming back out here to ride again and what his own personal schedule looked like over the next few weeks. I have to admit, it was more than a bit surreal and yet somehow seemed perfectly normal, even though a span of exactly fifty years separated us.

So, what’s the moral of this story? Sorry, don’t have one. What about a punch line? I seemed to have misplaced that as well. It was just a very cool encounter to experience, and now, you have as well.

We be of one blood, ye and I.

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