Then I took off my shoes. And I showed her my sneaky sock feet.
“See?” I said. “See how quiet they are? You can hardly even those those guys.”
After that, I breathed in and out for her.
“And see? My nose doesn’t whistle, either,” I said.
That Grace smiled. “I’m good at spying, too,” she said.
I patted her. “Yeah, only too bad, Grace. But you can’t be as good as me. ’Cause I said it first.”
from Junie B. Jones and Some Sneaky Peeky Spying
by Barbara Park
llustrated by Denise Brunkus
Random House, 1994
Russia is in the news. That’s not news. The Russian government treats its people badly. That’s not news, either. Russia’s been treating its people badly for a long time. In fact, that’s the reason my grandparents moved away from there.
My grandparents and their friends spoke English like Boris and Natasha from the Rocky and Bullwinkle show. Spies, criminals no-goodniks doing dastardly misdeads.
Boris and Natasha always got caught.
Like Junie B., spies are sneaky tip-toers. They lurk. They try to trick us out of our most carefully guarded secrets.
Unlike Junie B., real spies distract us from doing and thinking about what is really important, taking care of ourselves and each other and our planet.
Like Boris and Natasha, spies do bad things.
Unlike Boris and Natasha, real spies don’t always get caught.
The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show aired from 1959 to 1964. I was young and missed most of the satire and irony. I think I liked the show because of the accents. Something felt familiar in a kinda crazy way.
It’s a crazy world we are sharing. The Cold War is over. Now the news is just plain chilling.
I’d like to end on a positive note, but I’m having a hard time in my little piece of the world. A lot of my anger has turned into fear. I’ll work on rolling up my sleeves and doing something useful.