Monday, February 11, 2013


The little girl had so been looking forward to her very special birthday party.  She was about to turn seven, and already she knew how to hold a pencil properly, and to make rounded and appealing marks.  Now she was old enough to write up the invitations herself, which she did, individually, for each of her friends;  and very pretty little missives they were, too.  She placed each into a cream-colored envelope, and carefully imprinted it with the friend’s first name.  (This, she had been given to understand, was all that was needed.)   Then,  satisfied with her handiwork, she tied the letters into a neat bundle with a pink ribbon, and placed them into the hollow of an old tree, for pickup and delivery.


Well!  The great day came at last, and what a day it was.  The sun shone brightly, and the air was sweet.  The table in the playroom had been laid for herself and twelve friends.  Bunting decked the walls, and mobiles of special animals   hung from the ceiling.  And so she sat, hands folded in her lap, to await the arrival of her guests.

Time passed.
The birthday girl sat patiently, wondering what presents she might receive.  How pretty she looked, in her party dress! 
Time passed.  The shadow of a cat slunk swiftly past the entryway, winking instantly into existence and then vanishing.   The clock itself  said nothing.
Time passed.


The sun’s rays slanted more obliquely now.
Surely by now it was time for her friends to have arrived?  Yet no feet pattered up the flagstoned path;  no carriages  drew up to the gate.
And as she waited alone, in the silence of the room, her little feet, in white stockings and Mary Janes, dangled short of the floor, back and forth, back and forth, like the pendulum in the grandfather clock that stood solemnly marking the minutes in the hall.

The afternoon faded to sunset, then dimmed to dark.  Almost was she ready to lose heart -- when then,  without a sound, the cabinet-door of the great clock  swung open, and out trooped the elves, one by one  in single file,  holding their finger to their lips.  Their green eyes glittered, and they bore gifts of gold.


Later, no-one could figure out  where the little girl had gone.


It was her best birthday ever, and her last.

For another, exceedingly strange story,
and not unrelated in theme,
try this:


The enigma of a woman’s heart,
finally espied  by a Private Eye,
for less than the price  of a Valentine …
This Rose
[Kindle]  [Nook]

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