Rating: PG - wee!chesters - Gen - Humor
Spoilers: General (for aired episodes only)
Disclaimers: SPN & characters are owned by their various creators.
Summary: John has to explain a brutal nature documentary to a sobbing Sammy: The Jungle: The Battle for Life and Death in a Landscape Devoid of Sentimentally.
John knew horror.
At least he knew it in degrees. And most of it he could deal with something like a smile on his face. But nothing prepared you for some things. Like walking into a puddle of warm milk with your socks on before he had even gotten his first damn cup of coffee yet. He wasn’t quite in the mood but he felt like he could do some yelling. Really loud stern yelling. Get his kids in a row. Demand who the hell thought it was just fine to leave this travesty all over the kitchen floor. Believe neither of them when the explanations came pouring forth and then ignore them while they cleaned up the entire kitchen while they were already at it. Christ, it wasn’t even 6am yet.
He stopped when he saw his youngest son sitting in a ball at the end of the couch in front of the television.
And the four year old was crying.
There were only two channels that came through with any kind of clarity. The local PBS station that either had news or some cooking show on it and the unintelligible Spanish network. John was confused as to how either could have reduced his kid to tears.
"What's the problem?" John sat down and peeled off his damp sock.
Sammy shook his head vehemently and shoved his face further into the nest of pillows and cushions he'd collected.
John listened to his muffled wailing for a little while longer wondering just exactly how he should proceed. The television was still on. There was some French guy with one of those accents that made John's skin crawl traversing the Costa Rican rainforest like it was a six flags theme park. Sammy usually liked these boring shows about frogs and what they ate. Bugs that looked like snakes. Snakes that looked like the fresh green branches of a tree. Butterflies that had by natural selection now sported a perfect set of predatory eyes on their backs.
He watched it for a moment as the undaunted Frenchmen described how the praying mantis could eat small snakes that its own size. Gruesome for sure, but it wasn’t anything Sammy didn’t get the same of on the 5 o’clock news. And for a zygote, his kid watched the news a lot. More than John thought normal at any rate.
The wailing had not ceased.
John flipped one of the pillows out of the way and discovered a leg. Before it could be hidden away back into the nest, John got a good hold of it and dragged Sam out from hiding. Sam’s sadness was only suddenly equaled by his outrage at being exposed out from under his pile. His cheeks red and wet, he kicked at John a few times before huddling back under the stack of every pillow the living room had.
John wondered briefly if he should be concerned for his kid's apparent need to burrow.
His gaze fell on the open newspaper complete with a page of comics his son had undoubtedly been reading, but also the TV listings right along side to it. John flipped it up and took a good look at what was that the finest public assess had to offer.
Apparently right before Pierre Avec his Forest Loving Amis, there had been something else on. The Jungle: The Battle for Life and Death in a Landscape Devoid of Sentimentally
“Jesus.” John whistled.
A little heavy handed with the adjectives in the name. But he figured those public access film makers got paid just as well as he did so why not shine while you could when it came title time. At least they got a telethon once or twice a year.
"No cartoons on huh?” John enquired of the sobbing lump that had just previously assaulted him.
“Git ate da ghuny!”
John titled his head, trying to better understand the garbled tear stained words that were coming from the depths of Sam’s fort.
“The what ate the who now?”
Sam suddenly sat straight up, pillows and cushions falling away from every side.
“The bunny!” Sam wailed, puffy eyed and runny nosed. “It ATE the bunny!”
“Oh boy.” John rubbed at the two day’s worth of beard on his face.
These natural horror documentaries weren’t for the faint of heart let alone a well, kind of sensitive kid like his youngest. In fact, with some of the things he’d seen, Bambi getting it right in the dewy nose from a river crocodile, baby elk mowed down by lions… Frankly he wasn’t sure how that stuff was still being aired in the day time. The sadistic fucks would even make sure they got those nice snowy shots so the blood made a real meaningful contrast when it started to splatter.
What exactly had happened to educational programming anyway? Shouldn’t they have that puppet show on that street with that guy in the trash can instead of how to fillet adorable rabbits alive in slow motion at early prime toon hours?
Sam had retreated back into the nest, his sobs slightly subdued but still going strong.
“Sammy, there’s something you gotta understand, about… about the jungle and its lack of um, well, sentimentally.”
“No I DON”T.” Sam declared from within.
“Well now, hear me out.” John sat back and regarded the pillow pile thoughtfully. “Now this bunny you saw, it was real cute I bet, minding its own damn business and then something came along and ripped the little bastard to shreds—“
Sam’s wailing renewed and John figured he’d pegged the documentary right on the money. Those wildlife documenters were fucking ruthless.
“What was it that came along?” John asked. “What came along and ate it?”
There were a few moments of sniffling silence before Sam answered.
“It-It was a fox. A white snow fox.”
“Why do you think that fox did that?”
Sam stuck his head out from the pile and didn’t hesitate to explain exactly why he thought the beast had done what it had. “Because it was MEAN, and it was EVIL and—“
“Okay, okay,” John smiled a little as he caught the profound look of injustice on his small son’s face. “But can ya think of another reason?”
“It-It was hungry?”
“I bet it was real hungry.” John speculated.
Having shot his share of rabbits himself, he knew what it meant to get one of the elusive things on a spit at the end of the day. He sort of thought Sammy knew that too. Television tended to turn these typical moments of nature into slow motion and set to some tragic sound track. Now his kid was sobbing over a rabbit that the film crew probably would have snared if the fox hadn’t nabbed it first.
“I bet that white snow fox had an entire den of baby snow fox kits waiting for her to come home.” John said. “I bet that mama fox made sure all her babies were fed all winter.”
"Baby foxes?” Sam sniffled from his hiding place.
“Yeah,” John said. “Sometimes you see, something has to be eaten, so other things can survive.”
Sam’s crying had stopped, but his eyes were large and bright. He used his arm to wipe his nose.
John really didn’t feel like giving the kid a play by play of the fantastical blood bath that was the cattle industry so he just nodded.
“Yeah, just like us.”
Sammy’s eyes started to dangerously water again, his nose crinkling up and his mouth sounded out in a brand new wail. He grabbed the nearest pillow and looked distrustfully towards the doors and windows.
“What!?” John raised his hands in alarm. “It’s ok now! Get it? Baby foxes will live!”
"I dun— I dun—I dun—” Sam hiccupped miserably. “--I dun wanna be eaten!”
“No, no, ya got it all wrong—“
John looked up when Dean suddenly appeared, disheveled in his pajamas, and his eyes still half shut with sleep.
Without a word, he dragged the television’s sets antenna all the way to the open window and tipped it half way out. John watched in semi detached wonder as Dean kicked the thing a few times before flipping the knob to reveal a fuzzy channel that John didn’t realize they even could get.
Sam was suddenly clapping and bouncing in place causing pillows to go flying everywhere.
Dean collapsed on the opposite sofa and dragged the quilted blanket that lay across the back of it over his head. John almost thought to ask him if he was the one that spilled the milk on the kitchen floor but the sound of Dean’s soft snores stopped him.
Standing up tiredly, he found a dishrag by the sink. Tossing it down over the offending milk puddle, he flipped on the coffee maker, taking solace in the steady drip and hiss of its components heating up to do their work.
He might have just woken up but he was feeling exhausted already.