The Little Girl at Dove Park
There was a little girl in Dove park today, and that tiny fellow had all my attention. She sat beside a dusty walkway, and people moved about without throwing her a single glance. But I noticed her from the moment I stepped into the park. Even among the crowd, there was a sad halo around her that was hard to ignore.
“Poor child,” I said when curiosity drew me closer, “Are you lost?”
The little girl raised her head slowly in a robot-like movement, and when I gazed upon her face, I saw a face too old for a child.
“I can never get lost,” she said, “But thank you lady for asking.”
When the girl dropped her head back to what had stolen her entire attention, I followed her gaze. On the floor in front of her lay two dolls—exactly alike.
“Is there a problem?” I asked.
The girl moved her eyes from the dolls to my face. “Mama said I can’t have two similar dolls at home. I have to throw one away.”
And you came all the way to Dove park to do this? I thought, strange little lady.
“Then pick one already,” I said, trying to be helpful.
“I love them both.”
A small smile crept into the corner of my left lip. “Sometimes, little woman, the best way to make decisions is to not make decisions.”
A funny look appeared on the girl’s face as though she thought I was mad, so I shrugged and walked back to my chair. From that position, I watched as she deliberated on which doll to pick.
When she made her decision, she stood up with sadness in her eyes and walked towards a woman who held a wailing child. Without the woman’s knowledge, she dropped the two dolls into the woman’s unzipped bag.
As I watched her leave the square, I wondered what the woman’s decision would be when she saw the two strange dolls in her bag.
Anyway, it was her own burden now, not mine—nor the strange child’s.