Little Red

My daughter stumbled back from horse camp so tired she keeps bumping into walls. She’s had a wonderful time, three nights overnight with no parents around. Her whole class went. She rode a horse called Hershey, I’m guessing chocolate brown. She was one of the few city kids who had ridden a horse without the help of a big person before – thanks to Uncle Ed. She was very proud of that. We walked home.

maxresdefaultWe’ve been holding hands since just after three when we passed a significant police blockade at the park up our street. I overheard an eyewitness say something about a child being abducted at the playground. “What does abducted mean, Mom?” “Something like kidnapping.” “Someone took a child?!” “Sounds like it.”

We pass the Plan Canada pushers on the street corner, “Because I am a Girl” sponsorship program. We stop to talk to a ginger man with no bread, a sunburn, and unfortunate teeth. His eyes light up with excitement when we actually don’t blow him off. I let him tell us about the program and as soon as I can politely interject I say, “thank you for what you do. We sponsor a little girl in India named Priyanka.” He smiles. “Thank you.” He then bends down to Nora and says, “Will you write to her? Will you tell her about your day at school?” She nods.

All day I’ve been in rehearsals with Big Bad, a show based on Little Red Riding Hood with Boca del Lupo – we’re doing it at the children’s festival. All day it’s been a little girl hunted by a leather clad wolf. All day I’ve had my throat grabbed. All day I’ve been eaten. Cautionary tale.


UnknownMy girl can barely keep her eyes open and she wants to go to bed right away. I implore her to have a shower first and ask her to stay up until six at least, after she’s had a bite to eat. She cries in the shower simply because she doesn’t have the energy for anything else. I chuckle to myself, knowing the feeling. She manages to turn off the water. I hold out her big fluffy towel and pat her dry, noticing how long her legs have grown since the last time I did this. With every pat of her perfect little child’s body she closes her eyes, feeling safe and warm and loved. With every pat of her little perfect body I pray silently, “keep her safe, Lord, keep her safe, keep her safe Lord, keep her safe.” Knowing full well she won’t always be.

We order pizza and the guy actually doesn’t get lost. (This is a first even though we’ve been ordering from Pizza Garden for two years straight now) We munch happily, snuggled up, watching Akeelah and the Bee. After she’s tucked into bed and soundly fallen asleep I search the internet for any news of what I saw today. Nothing. It’s all about Edge falling off the edge at the U2 concert last night. He’s playing again tonight, so I guess he’s fine. I’m glad. I love that band. My sister is right at the rail tonight, singing along. I close my eyes and fantasize that she throws her new CD on their stage and they listen to it, amazed, and have her open for the next leg of their tour. To be completely honest with you, it’s that good. I smile. Now there’s a Little Red who’s sliced herself out of more than one wolf. You can hear it in her voice and that’s part of what makes it so powerful.Unknown-1

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