I remember as a kid my brothers and I found treasure in my dad’s closet. Slips and slips of paper, each with his signature on and rubberstamps and more zeros than we could imagine after the ones, twos and threes. We took them. They weren’t safe in the closet. Better to bury them in the backyard. Maybe we’ll find our loot years later and it might be worth even more.
I don’t know when our loot became checkbooks. Maybe it was when dad came home and found they were gone and that we had buried them and that he needed them to do his taxes.
I think he made us dig up the treasure.
And so ended our fantastic adventure and so too did the loot became checks.
My eldest daughter, who is going on seven and wants an MP3 player for her birthday, is on the border between fantasy and reality.
I took her and the younger kids and four-ton, our big dog, on a walk this morning in the forest behind our house, along a sandy lane. I said, “We’d better be careful of the witch.” For there before us was a small brick structure. But it wasn’t just any brick structure. It was the witch’s house. And the witch, my six-year-old daughter has told me, comes out at night when the bats fly through the forest so we mustn’t venture out here when it’s dark.
Today she looked at me and said, “Maybe it’s a building for machines, for the telephones.”
Indeed, it is a power substation, with a smattering of graffiti and a blotch of white paint on the locked metal door from when some kids lobbed a can of paint at it. There is a sign warning of danger and telling us to keep away.
I like the idea of the witch better.
I looked at my daughter and thought that things are changing, the world of fantasy may be shrinking and reality taking over.
Then the wind blew and with it came a speck of white fluff and then another and another. They floated by and her mind switched. She said that that is fairy dust and she ran and caught one and said she wants to be a princess.