The Vacation

Polly Horvath

Farrar, Straus and Giroux

From The Vacation

I must admit the beach was hot. I do not know why I didn’t expect this. I guess when you see beaches in magazine ads they look as if they are always a temperature for perfect comfort. We put our towels down, and Aunt Mag and Aunt Pigg lay on the sand where flies would land on them and then apparently change their minds. I watched this for a while. Then Aunt Magnolia sat up. "I'm too hot, Pigg," she said.

"I know what you mean," said Aunt Pigg. "But let’s give it a while longer"

They lay down again, and then Aunt Magnolia said, "How much longer?"

"Maybe we should get wet first," said Aunt Pigg. “Then we’ll be just the right temperature.”
"I don’t want to get in the water," said Aunt Magnolia. So Aunt Pigg went down to the water alone. She came back screaming. There were long thin whip marks over one shin.
“Jellyfish," said Aunt Magnolia reflectively. "I've seen them on the Discovery Channel. Must be very painful."
"Argh, argh, argh!" Aunt Pigg was shouting and hopping around on the good leg."
"Well, just lie down on the sand and put some wet sand on it," suggested Aunt Magnolia.
"Is that what you’re supposed to do?" asked Aunt Pigg.
"I don’t know," said Aunt Magnolia, lying back down herself and closing her eyes. "You know, I think I’m beginning to enjoy this. I feel a cool breeze stirring."