Pine Nuts: Little brothers |

Pine Nuts: Little brothers

Phunny, the things our minds turn to when left to daydreaming in the midst of a pandemic. At times we torture ourselves with guilt over the slightest of grievances. Today, for me, it was my little brother, Luigi. His real name was Larry, but along the way, for some reason, I don’t know why, we started calling him Luigi.

He was the most innocent, good-natured eight year old you ever met. I, on the other hand, was the most incorrigible ten year old you ever laid eyes on, and yet he idolized me; me, the devil incarnate. I cringe to think about it, and have never had the courage to lay it down on paper, but I’m going to try here…

We had a stone wall in the backyard just tall enough to jump from without getting hurt. My imagination was burning hot with boredom one afternoon, so I concocted a fiendish plan. As Luigi was always quick to imitate everything I did, I hatched a scheme to literally make him lay an egg.

I filched two raw eggs from the kitchen and headed for the tall wall in the backyard. Luigi followed behind and asked, “What are you going to do with those eggs?”

“Just watch.” I answered. I climbed the wall, set one egg down, and put the other in my mouth. Then I leaped from the wall onto the grass below, executed a perfect parachute landing roll, stood up, and extracted the raw egg undamaged from my mouth.

Luigi’s eyes lighted-up and he could not get to the top of that wall fast enough. He found the other raw egg, placed it in his size-eight mouth, and made his leap. Well, the scene that followed would make a hoot owl laugh out loud. I split my sides laughing at the antics he went through when that raw egg broke in his mouth, and I was never happier in my life.

That memory was tormenting me so I decided to visit him and apologize. I even took a flower along to cement my sincerity. I made the long hike up to where I scattered his ashes and laid the fox glove on the solemn ground.

“I’m sorry, Brother, about the egg thing…it was…not a kind thing to do.”

Just at that moment a little bunny rabbit came hopping out of hiding and looked up at me, as if to say, “It’s OK.” I had to smile as it occurred to me that following the first snowfall, my brother’s ashes had seeped into the soil that nurtures the snow plants and mountain mule ears that flourish in the Tahoe Basin. That little bunny had nibbled on a mountain mule ear nourished by my brother’s ashes, and was himself nourished. I felt purged, and a weight was lifted from my heart.

That little bunny rabbit might not know it, but he has a name now, Luigi, a funny name for a rabbit, but a fitting name, a proud name…

Learn more about McAvoy Layne at

Support Local Journalism


Support Local Journalism

Readers around Lake Tahoe, Truckee, and beyond make the Sierra Sun's work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.

Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.

Your donation will help us continue to cover COVID-19 and our other vital local news.

Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.

User Legend: iconModerator iconTrusted User


See more