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Out of Sight

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                Once upon a time, there was a little girl who had a faithful dog. The little girl took her dog with her everywhere, so that she would never be alone. The dog was the little girl’s best friend, and always helped her out when she needed it most. The little girl loved her dog very much, and she knew that her furry little friend felt the same way.

                One day, the little girl went for a walk with her dog. The city bustled and thrived with life, and the little girl felt the warm sunlight on her skin as they walked. It was a beautiful, sunny day, a perfect day for a walk! But then she felt someone bump into her, and the familiar weight of her handbag on her shoulder suddenly disappeared! Before she could register what to do next, the brave dog charged after the bag thief, taking the little girl with it as she clung to his leash.

                The little girl cried out, trying to get her friend to slow down, when suddenly bam! She winced and whimpered, having run into a wall of some sort, losing the dog’s leash in the frenzy. She called out her friend’s name, kneeling down onto her knees. Wherever could her faithful friend have gone, she wondered? The little girl was beginning to feel overwhelmed by all that was happening on this sunny day.

                She felt cool air brush against her knees, gently ruffling the hem of her dress. As the little girl leaned in closer, she felt a hole in the wall she had run into – she realized it was a fence, not a wall, now that she was inspecting it closer. The cool air was still flowing out, sounding like a deep, soft sigh to the little girl. There could have been no other place for her friend to have gone, she concluded, so the little girl mustered up her courage and slowly crawled into the hole in the fence.

                It was dark and spooky past the hole in the fence, and the little girl was feeling very small and alone without her friend beside her. She stepped carefully, cautiously, calling out her friend’s name again into the deep darkness ahead of her. It was so silent, the little girl jumped as her shoe brushed against something on the ground. How strange, she thought, kneeling down to feel for the object in the dark. What could be here? The object was long and thin, with a small forked end.

                Somewhere in the darkness, the little girl heard a faint drip… drip… With the skinny object in her hand, she wandered toward the source of the sound. Ding! The object in her hand had tapped against something – the bars of a small garden beneath the window, and for a moment, the little girl could see everything around her, as if the little clang of sound had banished the shadows. Aha, she thought! This must be a magic wand! And indeed it was, for when the little girl tapped it gently against her head, her clothes transformed into a little black dress, her shoes into pointed little boots, and her hat into a tall, pointed witch’s hat! She smiling to herself, feeling her new witch’s clothes, when she heard a familiar barking in the distance.

                Turning toward the sound, the little girl called out for her dog. She began to walk, keeping a hand against the wall so that she wouldn’t get lost in the dark. She could see a brilliant light ahead of her, and continued, picking up her pace into a run—

                “Oof!” Again, the little girl had run into something… A thin tree, she concluded, and started on her way again. She waved her wand in front of her, hearing a musical ding, like a note hit on a xylophone. She laughed, letting her wand tap against a metal fence as she walked; it clinged and clanged in such a beautiful way, a scale of simple notes that were so pleasant to the little girl’s ears. It only stopped when she came to a brick wall. With a look of wonder, the little girl tapped her wand against it, tap tap tap. A window appeared, and the little girl wandered over to inspect it further. A familiar scent wafted into her nostrils, and the little girl breathed deep: freshly baked bread and donuts… What a delicious smell. “Mmm…” It must be a bakery, she thought to herself. Or maybe the bread shop… The little girl turned when she heard a door creak open, the soft clicking of heeled boots passing her by. A customer, she thought, for she smelled the familiar scent of bread as the heels click-click-clicked on by her, safely nestled in a softly crinkling bag. Again, in the distance, she heard her friend’s barking. He must be nearby! Calling out his name again, the little girl walked along the wall, following the taps of her wand.

                She stopped when she heard the sound of high heels click-click-clicking on the sidewalk. The little girl caught the scent of flowers and perfume as they passed by… A beautiful young woman, perhaps, with a lovely perfume that smelled like fresh flowers… The little girl sighed and smiled at the luxurious scent, until her nose was filled with thick smoke. Yuck! She coughed as the heavy steps of an older man passed by her, carrying the clouds of smoke with it. A pipe, maybe? She followed them for a moment, stopping when she heard the steps go from tmp tmp tmp to crunch crunch crunch. The older man had wandered down the gravel path of an alleyway.

                A loud bang made the little girl jump again. She side stepped along the tiny little footfalls she heard on the gravel, similar to her dog’s whenever they would walk down alleyways. Could it be him? She squatted, waiting for the soft little footfalls to come toward her.

                “Meow.” It was an alley cat! The little girl grinned, letting the cat rub against her with velvety purrs. Before she could reach out to pet it, she heard it again. “Arf! Arf!” It was louder and closer, scaring the poor alley cat away. But the little girl called out her friend’s name in excitement, standing up once more and marching toward the sound. Out of the alley onto the street on the other side she went, tap-tapping her wand on the walls. She could hear the hustle and bustle of the city around her: the construction on the road like a woodpecker on a tree, the church bell chiming the time, the cars rushing by on the streets like fish swimming in the ocean, the whistle and honking horn of a bus as it stopped to pick up is passengers. Above her, the little girl could heard a distant, shrill whistle of air being pushed out – a plane, she thought! As big as a whale, if whales could fly. She imagined it for a moment, a great big whale slowly floating past the clouds, steam puffing out of its blowhole as hundreds of tiny little wings worked to keep it afloat… Like little flippers if it were in the water. The little girl sighed happily, letting her imagination take flight with the whale-plane for a moment.

                “Arf, arf!” The little girl gasped happily, calling out her friend’s name once more as the dog leapt into her arms. The wand was flung from her hands, clattering onto the ground as it became a simple stick once more. The little girl was no longer in her witch outfit, but that didn’t matter: she laughed and hugged her furry companion close, vowing to never part with him like that ever again. Her hands brushed against her handbag, clutched safely in her dog’s mouth. What a good boy, she thought, shouldering it once more.

With a gentle but firm command, her trusty dog picked up his leash and nudged it into her hands. It had been a long day for them both, but as the little blind girl and her seeing-eye dog began their walk home, the little girl didn’t regret going on her adventure that day one little bit.