Thursday, October 13, 2011

Road trip

Driving along one of Wellington's narrow winding roads with a footpath on one side I saw a child standing on the other side smiling at me. A blond, tousle haired, wee boy who looked about two. There was no one around. I pulled over, thinking an adult would pop out of a car or up from a path any moment. No one except the child on the side of the road standing between the yellow lines and a fence.

I hopped out of the car and started across the road. Huge smile. Still no one else around and I'm thinking that he's probably been told to stand right there while they deal with a baby or something like that. I ask: "Hello, what are you up to?", "Is your mum around?" "Where do you live?" but don't get any answers. After a bit he points down the hill at a house. "Is that your house?". No reply.

The house has toys visible and an open door. It is not obvious how to get there from here. There must be a path but it isn't the closest one. I keep chatting, hoping someone will hear me and appear. We smile at each other a lot. I think he has escaped and is very pleased with himself.

Finally I hear a person in the house below talking as if to a child. I call out "Hello?" and woman appears. "Is this your little one?" Her face is a combination of relief and horror.