Once upon a time there was a little girl who loved to run. She would run and run and run. Sometimes in circles sometimes in zigs and sometimes in zags. But rarely in one direction until she was just a small dot on the horizon. Her mother would watch her run until even she felt tired.
The mother on the other hand enjoyed writing and reading. She often would sit on the grass and watch her overly energetic child dart about the lawn. It was the mother’s idea of this that the child would eventually gain some sort of beneficial skill from all this running and would write this down in her little notebook in which she kept all sorts of small hypothesise and thoughts that occurred to her throughout the day.
“I saw a woodpecker today. Makes me wonder if I am self-centered.”
“We ate lunch in the sun. Baby almost choked on her food. She eats too fast, just like she runs.”
“A cat crossed the street and 7 baby kittens followed behind her.”
“More often than not, this world seems like a dream.”
Up at the end of the dirt road a small cloud of dust was forming and moving closer as a figure began to approach. There’s a tree at the end of the drive way that can be used to tell how big the figure approaching is. But right now the tree does not have any leaves, because it’s the very beginning of spring and so even the tree seems to shift out of existence depending on what angle you look at it. The figure was taking a long time to reach the house. The little girl had stopped her careening around in order to measure the amount of time it took the figure by counting the seconds go by. She could really only count to twenty so the man never took longer than that to reach her.
When he finally did arrive she informed him that it had taken him the longest time to get to her house. He asked how long it took and she told him a whole twenty seconds. He laughed and told the mother that she should teach the baby to count past twenty.
“Maybe it is time that the baby started going to school again so that she could learn to count higher than her mother.”
Lunch consisted of a light green salad spotted with a few orange carrots. Lemonade was drunk and cucumber sandwiches that the baby would not eat were replaced by crackers and cheese. It was a small lunch. Breakfast had been filling and it still was not late in the day. Dinner would satisfy their hunger until tomorrow.
After lunch was no more exciting than before lunch. The little girl ran in the grass and carried her doll to a pretend house where she fed the doll the same lunch that she had been given with the addition of berries and cookies. The figure reclined in a chair while the mother rocked slowly back and forth. They talked occasionally but rather preferred to sit in silence and watch the girl in her adventures in childhood imagination. Secretly, each longed to ask the other what childhood had been like and why it had slipped away. But neither could get the nerve or the figure out the best way to ask. Either way, neither asked the other the important things that were on their mind.
When they would think back upon this day while looking at the collapsed house and the brown yard and hole where the tree once stood, they would try to remember what it was that had caused the world as they knew it to changed so drastically. But strangely none of them could remember what had happened the previous day to cause it. The mother remembered seeing a woodpecker and felt suddenly very self-centered. The figure remembered drinking lemonade and thinking that it was just a little too sour. And the baby remembered running faster than she had ever imagined she could run. It had seemed like the earth had started moving under her feet as though she was pushing the ground back with each step while remaining in the same place.
The three characters leaned on each other and thought their individual thoughts as the sun set on the day after once upon a time.
The End. 🙂