WHITE HORSES AND SCOTTY DOGS
It was a very pretty room. Sunlight streamed in through white shutters to lighten the room in a wash of golden light. Yet this did nothing to awaken the lady asleep on her bed so quietly Willow could hardly hear her breathing.
Climbing up onto a sturdy chair, Willow reached up to pull back a small, blue velvet curtain that had been carefully hung to conceal the contents placed on one shelf of the tall, dark brown bookshelf. Willow’s fingers reached in to grasp the neck of one or another bottle that she knew for certain was there. Withdrawing what she sought Willow found herself rewarded by a prize of two tiny plastic dogs – one black, one white – tethered to this bottle. Placing it carefully at her feet, Willow reached up again to claim her second prize – a white horse dancing from a plastic tag attached to the neck. The other bottles were just glass. Short and fat, taller and thinner, one coloured slightly differently to the other, some with faint tinges of green, others simply plain clear glass bottles, all were decorated only with ugly orange or brown labels slapped on them. These bottles were of no value to Willow, but she took them down anyway.
Proceeding in haste to the kitchen, Willow delighted in emptying the contents of each of these bottles down into a vast silver sink that was swiftly becoming Willow’s best friend. Removing the dogs, horses and a few strands of what appeared to be golden netting from one or all of these bottles Willow returned them to their bookshelf empty. Drawing the blue velvet curtain softly back across the shelf, Willow glanced across the room at the woman who lay sleeping on a small single bed there, glad she was asleep and careful not to breathe so as not to disturb her. Later, Willow would place these little plastic animals in a special shoe box she had in which she was collecting her prizes. One day she would make a farm out of this box and build stables especially for the white horses.
Pulling on her purple hoody, Willow bust out of the house and ran down the long garden, climbed over the locked gate and out into the road. Heading for the meadow, Willow passed the great Oak tree calling hello to Jay as she headed straight for the fountain which she knew would be there on this very special day.
Today the fountain was particularly strong, surging higher than usual up into the sky. Preferring not to jump into the water, and most especially not quite feeling like she wanted to be thrown into the air, Willow sat down on the soft grass for a while watching dragonflies chase each other through colourful drops of water that were sprayed all around her with each burst of the fountain. In her pocket Willow’s fingers clasped a tiny white plastic horse and two little dogs that she had brought with her especially to show Jay on her way back home later.
It was such a lovely day, it was so good to be sitting here in her meadow. Gazing across the long, soft grass Willow noticed bluebells were beginning to appear. This made her smile. Bluebell season was Willow’s favourite time of the year. Soon she would be chasing all creatures great and small across this meadow and before long it would be hot enough to swim again.
Pausing only to sip water from the fountain, Willow quickly headed back across the meadow to Jay. On reaching the door to the Oak tree Willow paused. Swirls of cloudy green’s and blue’s appeared to moving across the doorknob today! This is what I mean, thought Willow, and she resolved immediately to ask Jay about the doorknob again. This is not an ordinary doorknob! Look! Today the jade is so deep – deep as the deepest shades of jade one might see looking out across the Atlantic Ocean! Where is the moon? Today is one of those days on which I can quite clearly see a bright golden sun here! What does this mean, she wondered.
Finding Jay at her desk, Willow proudly withdrew her hand from the pocket of her jacket to present her with the tiny, pure white plastic horse!
“Look what I have, Jay!” She declared, waiting for the warm smile she had come to know so well.
“It’s a small plastic horse, isn’t it dear.” Jay replied sensibly, without smiling. “Don’t try to eat it.”
“And these!” announced Willow, proudly producing the two little dogs from her other pocket.
“The Queen of England has dogs, you know. She has corgis.” said Jay, without smiling. “She loves her dogs”
No smiles to be found here today, Willow realised. It was an altogether very odd sort of day. Feeling suddenly very sleepy, Willow wandered through the archway towards the huge white rug at the foot of Jay’s bed.
“I’m ever so tired, Jay.”she announced. “I’m going to sleep for a while.” Willow sank down into the welcoming embrace of the softest, warmest white rug in the whole world.
“You do that, dear.” smiled Jay. “You sleep.”
You smiled! Willow noted.
That was the last thing Willow knew until later, much later she awoke and very reluctantly withdrew herself from the rug. Jay was still at her desk, reading and writing by the light of a soft lantern lit at the side of her desk.
“Oh, my little white horse! My little dogs! I must have dropped them!” cried Willow.
“What little white horse? Which dogs, dear? You must have been dreaming.”
Perhaps so. Perhaps she had indeed been dreaming. No matter – it was time to go!
Bidding Jay a fond farewell, Willow opened the door and stepped out of the tree and into the twilight. I’d better run, she thought. It is going to be dark soon.
But no. There would be no need to run at all. There before her stood a small white pony. Pure white. White as the driven snow, as Jay would say.
Barking for joy and chasing it’s own tail around in circles, a little white Scotty dog was in hot persuit of a little black Scotty dog as they raced around Willow’s legs.
How did that happen? Wondered Willow, as she pulled herself up onto the little white pony and headed for home.