The Dwarfish Old Man and Mrs. Rosemary...
by Tzu-Wei (William) FU
Jane Heartily stared out the window of her room while the voices of her parents erupt continuously from downstairs. She couldn't understand why mom and dad had to get so mad all the time.
"Why?" she thought as she stared at an old-lonely house upon a wooded hill outside,
"Why does mom and dad always have to fight, and never though about why I disappeared out of site?"
There came a door SLAM outside her room, and Jane leapt into bed with her blanket over her head. It was dark and quiet all of a sudden, but the door to her room suddenly opened with a soft creak.
"Who could it be?" she wondered, "Is it mom or dad?" But she shut her eyes and held her breath.
Then a hand came resting gently upon Jane's potbelly, while tears began rolling down her drowsy tired eyes. The blanket on her face went sliding off slowly, as Jane kept herself cautiously and quietly still.
"Mommy is it you? Or is it daddy who's here that's looking down at me?" she thought as she waited while keeping her eyes tightly closed.
But there was no voice, and suddenly the figure stood up and gently walked away. The door creaked opened while a soft orange light entered the room and as Jane opened her eyes just a bit, she noticed a man was walking out the door way.
As she watched him disappear with the door closing behind, Jane looked on from behind and asked, "Daddy where are you going?" But the light went out and darkness fell, except the tears on her cheeks was left glittering beneath the pale moonlight. She turned to the window and curled up into a ball, and while she could see the stars glowing in the dark blue sky, she prayed for someone to tell her why.
She asked again and again, but there was no reply, then she clutched onto her teddy bear and fell asleep.
That night, Jane had the most peculiar dream, of waking up beneath a giant oak tree. As she sat up and turned to see, she noticed that she's surrounded by a sea of giant green trees. The sunlight descended through the leaves, and turned the grass into glittering gold underneath her feet. Everywhere the birds are singing, and through the trees, she saw a woodland dear running.
"A dear!" she cried with joy and breaks for a chase, but suddenly came upon a little old man clad in robe with a hairy white face, who's giving the dear a drink with his shiny silver vase.
Jane stood still in awe and asked the old man, "Where are you from?"
"Nowhere," the dwarfish old man smiled and said, while a blue jay came down and perched on top of his head. But just when Jane began to approach, the dwarfish old man leapt onto the dear, without a word or two, soon he sped away.
"Wait!" Jane cried, but the old man vanished without a site, as suddenly a RUMBLING RINGING came bursting on her side, and finally she began to open eyes.
"Wake up Jane it's time for school," Mrs. Heartily said as she gave Jane a warm and gentle look. But as soon as Jane saw her mom, she quickly stood up and grabbed her arm.
"Mommy mommy guess what strange place I just dreamt!" she exclaimed with joy while the bed swayed and squeaked, as Mrs. Heartily looked into Jane's twinkling eyes.
"There was a little old man, who's shorter than Peter Pan, but he leapt onto a dear that ran so fast, like the wind it goes and disappeared so sudden like a ghost!"
Mrs. Heartily smiled and said to Jane, "Well did you ask for his name?"
"No I forgot," and Jane suddenly came to a pause, "But he did say where he's from!"
"And so where is this little old man from?"
"Nowhere!" Jane exclaimed while leaving her mom dazed and lame.
"Come on darling it's time to get ready for school," Mrs. Heartily called and Jane hops out of bed as she pulled her clothes over her head. She brushed her teeth and tied her hair, and then with a speed of a hare, she raced downstairs.
"Where's daddy?" Jane looked around, but the chair where daddy used to sit had now been empty, then she noticed Mrs. Heartily was standing alone quietly. But suddenly she approached before Jane and began to speak to her softly.
"Jane," Mrs. Heartily got down to her knees, and pleaded for Jane to listen carefully. "If mommy and daddy are to live separately, who do you want to live with so you could feel happy?" but Jane just sat there and looked down silently. Then she replied,
"Do mommy and daddy still love me?" then Mrs. Heartily held her close and said,
"Of course mommy still loves you," she answers softly while
looking at Jane who's eyes now glittered tearfully.
"So why do mommy and daddy have to leave?" tears are now rolling down her cheeks and Mrs. Heartily was lost in speech. She won't say clearly since Jane is only ten, but Jane kept on asking until Mrs. Heartily had finally got mad.
"You're still too young to understand!" Mrs. Heartily yelled and Jane ran out the door leaving her lunch box on the floor. Mrs. Heartily called for Jane, but Jane ran so fast while bursting in tears, and vanished down the lane nowhere to be seen.
Jane ran through the streets, but didn't know which way she's going. Mrs. Heartily's words had remained by her ear, and then she sat down in front of an old lady's flower shop drowning in tears. But there was a sign on the door that says, "FREE DELIVERY SERVICE WITHIN 60 SECONDS!"
Mrs. Rosemary was working on her flowers bunch, until she saw Jane crying outside her shop. Then she wobbled out slowly wearing her flowery and colorful hat, as her white silver hair in a ponytail dangled behind her back. Then she looked down with her glasses and eyes squinting tightly with a smile that shined brightly.
"Oh dear dear what have we here?" she said while Jane looked up wiping her tears, "Aren't you suppose to be at school at this hour?" she asked, but Jane remained still as she finally stopped her crying.
"Is something troubling you my dear sweet child?" Mrs. Rosemary asked and Jane finally replies as the old lady listens to her plead,
"Why do mommy and daddy have to leave?"
Then Mrs. Rosemary led out a deep sigh, and slowly began to sit down by her side. She lowered her thigh gently and landed her bottom softly next to Jane, while she led out another tiring sigh, at last she turned to Jane and smiled.
"You look just like me when I was your age," Mrs. Rosemary began to speak, with a gentle cranky voice that sounded shaky, "But I too don't understand grownups what they say. They told me I would grow up and understand some day, but still I don't understand with somethings they do and things they say." And Jane looked at Mrs. Rosemary with a pondering face.
"Sometimes I feel sad and cried, but I always kept on trying," Mrs. Rosemary leaned close to Jane with her glasses gleaming while a sparkle danced in her eyes.
"What did you do?" Jane suddenly asked as Mrs. Rosemary came chuckling back.
"Oh I don't mean trying to make problems!" she laughed at herself, "I try to let my parents know how much I love and care for them, but whenever they argued, they always shouted and I was very frightened indeed. What's your name my dear sweet child?"
"Jane," she replied as she rubbed her eyes, then Mrs. Rosemary handed her a handkerchief with a jasmine scent. Jane held it close as she noticed a flower's scent, and she inhaled it deeply as Mrs. Rosemary began to speak softly.
"Now Jane, no matter what happens or how sad you are, it is in your heart that you can see what you must do."
"My heart?" Jane asked as Mrs. Rosemary went on.
"Yes sweetheart, it is where the answers to your questions lie and if you look into it closely each day, you will know exactly which way you must go."
"But when will mom and dad ever stop fighting?" Jane asked.
"Now my child," Mrs. Rosemary added, "Don't be afraid, sometimes grownups have their own unhappy problems, but all you need to do is look inside yourself and know what you must do."
Suddenly the coo-coo clock in the store began to coo, as Mrs. Rosemary looks at her watch, "Good gracious me! I forgot you need to get to school, it always happens when I talk too much that I become such an old fool!"
"I don't want to go to school!" Jane called out,
"Oh but you must! Don't let the bad days get in your way, or else you may never find your way! Do what you have to do, but always look inside yourself!" then Mrs. Rosemary dashed into her shop, and suddenly came out riding on her little red scooter.
Mrs. Rosemary's got her lightning red helmet on, and a pair of pilot goggles attached to her eyes, "Come my dear Jane! I've got some flowers I must deliver away, it may just be as convenient for me to give you a ride!"
"It's all the way down, just straight ahead!" and as Jane hops onto the red scooter behind Mrs. Rosemary, suddenly she turned around and gave Jane a smiling wink.
"Hang on dear! We'll be there less than 60 seconds!" and Mrs. Rosemary changes into her delivery mode as her scooter SHOOTS out down the hill with full speed ahead.