“What do you think you’d call that?” I ask my nephew.
“I don’t know, a horn?” he says putting together a Lincoln log cabin.
There is a train far off that you can hear every evening when dusk sweeps in, the time before dinner is cooked, after you have the lake water showered off and the canoe is put away, the time that everyone is ten pages into the next chapter or five moves in each to the chess game, another log just got tossed onto the fire and the crickets have just started singing. It’s then that you hear the train.
“No,” I say. ”Horn is too harsh. It’s softer than that, more nostalgic, like a remembrance of something lost.”
He stares at me blankly through his thick kid glasses, his hair sticking straight toward the ceiling, lake water and sand still there. ”You’re right. It’s not a horn,” he says.
“Not a horn,” I say.
“It’s a choo-choo.”
“Yeah, a choo-choo.”
And he’s back to his log cabin as the train is far off and fading.