The dog's story reminded me of a couple others I meant to share.
|(photo unrelated to story: Me, Ridge and Cannon in Feb 2004)|
Our first month here, when the sky was still light way into the evening, I went outside to call the kids in for bedtime. As we were cleaning up the toys, moving them from the front yard to the garage, a little girl with a big bike walked up, put the bike down, and started playing with the mini piano the kids had brought outside so they could play rock stars. I let her play for a minute or two then told her she was welcome to come back and play at our house again but right now we were going inside. She shrugged and didn't really say anything and picked up her bike. I was still putting things away, Massimo on my hip, and I watched the girl get on the bike and promply crash into the bush by our house as she tried to ride this way-too-big bike down the big hill. I ran to help her, she wasn't hurt. I told her that maybe she should walk the bike down the hill but she could barely push it. I offered to help her. I told the kids to go inside and get their pjs on and I asked the girl where she lived. She wasn't very good at talking but I understood that she lived, "up the hill and over there." So we walked up the hill. I hadn't ever seen this child before, none of us had.
Thirty minutes later, we finally found out where she belonged. We walked up the hill and then down and I asked with every set of townhomes, "Is this your house?" And I asked every kid we saw on the way if they knew this little girl. It turns out I was calling her by the wrong name but she didn't correct me. I thought I understood what she was telling me but I was not even close to her real name. We got to a grassy corner and there were a bunch of kids playing, and at this point the little girl said, "Oh no. I lost again!" But she didn't look upset. She just ran over to play with the kids.
I asked the oldest girl there, she looked about 13, if she recognized this girl I had with me. Remember, I was holding Massi and pushing a bike along and it was time for me to get home to my own kids. This older girl recognized her but didn't know her name and the girl couldn't tell us her last name.
Since we're in Utah, there are a lot of church members in our neighborhood. Our ward, neighborhood section, goes to church worship at 9am but just up the street from us, the next set of townhouses, starts another ward area. These kids and this little girl were from the ward that meets at 11am. I asked the older girl, someone who was finally helpful, if she knew the primary president. We had to find where this child belonged! Older girl called the primary president who didn't recognize the girl's name but volunteered to drive up and see if she knew where she belonged. She did, thank goodness. And she knew the girl's real name and knew the girl enough to shake her head knowingly at her antics. The little girl's parents hadn't missed her yet. They thought she was still out playing in the front of the house. I haven't seen her since so maybe they got her a leash.
And one more story...
|(also unrelated photo from 11/06)|
Also a couple of months ago. It was mid-morning. Massimo was down for his morning nap. Sommer was watching Netflix downstairs. I was at the computer in the kitchen and I heard the front door open. It was too early to be the kids home from school, I knew it wasn't Sommer. I walked over to see what made my door open and two little girls walked in, both wearing nightgowns and smiling at me. They might have been twins, but not identical. I smiled back and said hi and asked their names. The braver of the little girls talked to me in words I didn't understand and peeked around me into the living room. She spotted the piano and walked around me so she could go play it. Her sister gave me a shy smile then joined in a duet. About this time I saw a neighbor walk by and I stopped her and asked if she knew the girls. They gave the neighbor the same friendly smile and spoke the same sweet, unintelligble language to her when she asked their names. She didn't know them. So I yelled to Sommer to up the stairs. She did and was surprised to see two little girls, just about her size, in the house with me. We coaxed the girls outside and started walking them up the hill. There is a steep grassy hill on the other side of the townhouses just up the street from us. When we got to this point we saw a skateboarder speeding down the road at the bottom of the hill. He glanced our way, jumped off his board and stalked up the hill to meet us. These little girls were his sisters and they had escaped the house under his watch. He wasn't very conversational and he was very annoyed with his younger siblings. At least he knew they were missing, gotta give the teenage babysitter some credit. I haven't seen them again either.