Waking very early, my young son calls me to his room because he’s seen “… a deer-fly on the land-rover”.
There is no land-rover: was this a dream? “No”, he says, “…over there on the radiator”.
There is no deer-fly. I put on the lights and search the room.
Sensei wakes, joins us and tells how they, on waking early a few days earlier, unable to sleep, walked to the coast. Sensei says we should go – “We should all go!”
My son, unprompted, says we should go using ‘stealth’. He “…has been practising stealth…” to slip between here and there.
I reveal to my son our Ninja heritage. Our afternoons out doing Archery is really weapons training – our Ninja family weapon of choice. I tell him his siblings have already embarked upon their Ninja training, but that he is yet to start. Perhaps he is now old enough to begin.
I suggest that we should use our early morning walk as an opportunity for my to start his Ninja training – and we do!
In dark-silent paths we moon-light walk
Where shadows tread and quietly talk
Of stealth and movement freeze and dance
Between the sleepers each flows a chance
We stop and look then quietly ride
Undetected twixt each tree’s shadow-slide
To arrive at last where we will reach
This night’s lesson – upon the beach
Not leaving footsteps upon the sand
We walk and run and jump and land
Our only witness the roaring waves
The towering dunes and quiet glades
Quick-silvered moonlight – each wave-crash
Drowns our movement and each bright flash
Distracts the attention of one that strolls
At this early hour, but away we roll
Not silent – muffled and mistakes lost
Amid the crash of wave-foam tossed
As cicada announces the coming day
Inland we slip with the pale sea haze
With steady sureness as dew’s drip
With the breeze to our home we quietly slip
And all the way play our silent games
You crouch by the bamboo – my shadow framed
But coming our way – why it’s Superman!
With his cape he sways onwards feeling grand
Looking up from his stop, feeling fully relieved
Superman meets two Ninja’s – why you’d never believe!!
That moment we choose to step into the light
He stops startled – a moment – considers the sight
Black figures stand frozen invoking power stance
Ninjas! This day and age – just what is the chance?
His Adam’s Apple suppresses his up-rising fear
He considers his life and just what he holds dear
With a tear in his eye, he blinks, shaking his head
The ninjas have gone … if they ever existed
“Gotta stop drinking this stuff ” – stumbling on
Looks at his bottle and then he is gone