Lilly & the Day of Exploring the Neighborhood

One day Lilly decided to explore the neighborhood. Mostly, she felt safer staying indoors, or spending time in the park across the street; some days she almost felt safe at school, but the adults there took care of her so she didn’t need to worry about things. Mostly. At home, Mom and Dad looked out for her. So, stepping out on her own, without her parents, was a pretty big deal, big enough that she didn’t tell her parents.

Still, she was only so strong, and decided it would be best to keep her eyes closed and explore only with her other senses. Perhaps, she thought, the world would be easier if she only had to contend with sound and smell and touch. No seeing, and she certainly wasn’t going to taste anything, so three out of five felt manageable.

She knew the feel of the cool iron hand-rail and the sound of her shoes as she stepped down the front stairs to the red flagstone sidewalk. This part of the neighborhood she knew with all of her senses and felt confident using only three. Usually the pink and purple of the pansies caught her eye, but now their floral scent came to her. She felt a little disappointed that she couldn’t tell them apart.

Another smell came to her, this one made her feel hungry. Fresh bread. There was a bakery just down the street, and as she followed the smell, she imagined creamy butter and the warmth of fresh rolls in her hand made her wish she could taste the bread.

The bell over the door dinged when she entered the shop. She knew the counter displaying all of the baked goods would be to her right, and the small tables where people might enjoy their pastries or baked goods would be to her left. The kitchen where the smells were coming from, would be straight ahead. She stepped into the middle of the room to avoid any customers who might be coming or going. The door dinged again.

Lilly raised her nose to follow the wonderful smell, stood up on her tiptoes to get even closer. She caught a trace of raisins, could see them in her mind, the dark nuggets of sweet fruits.

A hand rested on her shoulder and she settled back down to the floor on her feet. The hand felt warm and reassuring. “It’s okay mom. I’m strong today.” The hand left her shoulder, and Lilly listened to the steps that followed her all the way home; the rustle of a paper bag from the bakery in her mother’s hand, a loaf of raisin bread safely carried home.

Lilly Misses the Sun

Lilly loved listening to the rain. If the wind blew right, from off the lake, which it often did, there would come a tapping against her window pane. She loved lifting her window and sniffing in the smell of the rain and feel the cold drops splash against her face, but she always kept her eyes closed. She did not wish to offend the rain or clouds if she should happen to look a little nervous if she couldn’t see the sun up in the sky. She loves bed the rain, but she knew she needed the sun, too.

Lilly Missed a Step

The next day, Lilly missed a step. She wanted to go back and try again, but time twisted and tomorrow became today and yesterday became tomorrow, which left today as the missing step. She looked for it when she walked to school, but the day was extra dark making it difficult to find things that went missing. Later, or earlier, when she went to bed, she had a difficult time falling asleep owing to the brightness of the night filling her room with invitations to get up even though she knew she should be sleepy. She missed her dreams that night, almost as much as she missed her today.

Lilly Loved the Rain

One day it rained. Lilly loved the rain. She loved the expanding circles the drops made in puddles and in the pond in the park across the street. She loved watching the long worms stretch along the wet sidewalk. She loved the plinking noise the rain made on her umbrella. Best of all she loved how the clouds came low to cover the tops of the skyscrapers making the city a little smaller. Sometimes the city was too big for Lilly, filled with too many busy people, other times it felt like she was the only one and she had the city to herself. The rain made her feel that way, and she enjoyed splishing and splashing through the puddles in her yellow wellies and squishing the worms.

Lilly and the Frog

One day, Lilly found a frog in the park across the street. It was a small green frog with big eyes, sticky feet to help it cling to trees, and stark red marks along its back.

“Good morning,” said Lilly to the frog.

“And to you as well,” replied the frog to Lilly.

“Are you a poison dart frog?” she asked.

“I have never poisoned a dart,” said the frog, “but yes, your kind call me by that name.”

“I thought you only lived in the rain forest. What are you doing all the way up here in the big city?”

The frog licked its eyes and turned to seemingly get a better look at Lilly. “The rain forest is a dangerous place for frogs. We have many predators although many leave me alone because, well, poisonous, although sometimes we still get stepped on, and besides, the tree where I grew up was cut down and burned up by a farmer. I though that if the city is going to swallow up the whole world, then I should go to the city and learn to live there.”

“That is a very long story for such a short frog,” said Lilly. “How do you like living in the city?”

“Well, there aren’t many large animals to step on me, unless you count the people and some of the dogs that the people walk. So many people.” The frog stopped to cough.

“Oh dear, are you catching a cold?” asked Lilly.

“No, I’m afraid it is much serious than that. I’m certain I’ve contracted a climate change. It is good that you found me today, because I’m not sure I will be here tomorrow,” said the frog.

“Oh, then I am fortunate indeed to find you,” said Lilly. “I shall be sad and miss you tomorrow.”

“Thank you for your kindness,” said the frog, who licked its eyes again, then hopped away into the higher branches of the tree.

“Farewell,” said Lilly. She waved goodby to the frog and spent much of the rest of the day trying to figure out how to lick her own eyes, but decided her tongue wasn’t nearly long enough.