Friend OR Foe?

The park was alive with the enthusiastic laughter of the overzealous children and the chattering of their parents after weeks of rainy days and nights. The park ground was wet with rain, the pond in the middle of the park filled to brink with water, the lovely, white ducklings swimming in it. The flowers bloomed around the path and happy families sat chatting under sheds or on stone benches, enjoying the watery sun.

She stood to the side, under a handsome oak tree; looking at the park scene through the eyes of a stranger. This life, this freedom, this pretty picture entranced her. This was a life she had never experienced. Her eyes grew misty at her helplessness. Suddenly, she felt a tingling feeling at the back of her neck. She turned around and nearly bumped into a child of four years old. She smiled at the young child, “Miss!” He pointed to the tree above her head. She turned and looked upwards and saw a green colored kite stuck in the trees. She looked at the expectant eyes of the four year old kid, glanced around her at the expectant faces of the other children who had gathered around her and were waiting for her next step. She swung her leg over the lowest branch and climbed up the tree. When she reached the kite, she broke it free from the branch it was entangled in and turned around, looking at the excited children gathered around the base. She turned and almost went to feel when she collided with a pair of strong hands. He took her by the waist and dropped to the ground with the ease of a person who had done that repeatedly.

Once on level ground, she held out the kite to the four year old and saw such happiness in his smile, she smiled despite herself. She turned to her rescuer, her smile frozen on her lips and eyes wide with shock.


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