“are you ready? let’s see how much farther you can make it this time!”, teased the ground. “But you are not being fair, I can’t find my next step, and I don’t understand why I am laughing, it feels nice and look there…”, Dorothy tried to distract the ground while she tried to take off for what seemed to be a hundredth time (maybe more, but she didn’t care!).
“One…two…three…and you fall”, the ground roared with laughter as Dorothy fell face down. “Stop doing that, you are sliding me out, stop shaking so much, I want to run faster”, Dorothy imagined screaming through the park and stomping all over the ground that was teasing her. “I will run fast and stomp all over you and make you stand still…”
“Ooookay Doro…one…two…three……….ten….and here you come fall fall fall”, the ground put a small shrub on the way which the little Dorothy didn’t notice and she stumbled face down in the grass one more time. “It feels funny, and look at my parents, they are just clapping away at my tricks, I want them to learn to run like me, now what is that wagging ball of white, ground?”, Dorothy clutched a few blades of green as she tried to position herself for yet another lunge. “…that’s pumpkin, a pup that belongs to Danny boy, he should be somewhere around, its a naughty pup Doro, don’t chase it”, the ground smiled. But Dorothy didn’t listen and darted out after the wagging tail, “I will stomp stomp stomp, if you can just stay still ground, why do you sway so much, my feet are getting confused…”, little Dorothy did a quick tip tap on the green grass before she fell again.
“Where did the wagging tail disappear? now what is this”, Dorothy picked up a dark mushy thingy on the ground. “Yuck yuck! throw it away, your mom won’t be happy, that came out of pumpkin”, the ground tried to warn.
“Nooooooooooooo Dorothy, drop it right now!”, came the voice of mom, “Why doesn’t Danny clean up after his pup dirties the park? here show me your hands”, mom poured some water to clean Dorothy’s palm. A frown passed Dorothy’s pink face as she surveyed the ground for the little ball of wagging white.
“My mom is distracting me, ground where is it”, Dorothy asked. “now wait, what is that tiny orange fluttering there”, Dorothy did a few quick baby steps on all fours, towards what appeared like an alien object struggling to land on the ground like herself. “its a butterfly and you can’t catch it Doro”, the ground laughed. Dorothy fell thrice before she could move few paces in the direction of the butterfly and almost got angry with the ground for making it so difficult. The butterfly gently hopped to a nearby flower as Doro approached it.
Dorothy tried to stand up, and as if the ground pushed her from behind, she lost balance and fell again, “stop rolling me around, I want to run fast”, little Dorothy picked herself up with grass all over her face and slapped the ground. “I am enjoying it”, the ground waved in happiness as a gentle breeze blew few stray blades of grass off little Doro’s face.
“Ok, I think my mom wants to take me home now, I will come back tomorrow ground and we will play again. I will catch the little ball of white and the orange flutter, I think we can be friends”, Dorothy said with determination. “See you tomorrow child, I will be ready to roll you around”, the ground replied lovingly.
“Sam, I feel so bad, Dorothy is 12 months old and she is still unable to walk steadily, do you remember at what age you started walking?”, asked Dorothy’s mom full of concern as she watched other kids in the park intently. “I don’t know”, he shrugged, “look at the Douglas’ kid, he seem to run fast, but fall anyway”, Sam smiled as he saw a kid running in the park and crashing down on the grass. “I guess the kids are falling around all the time in this park, aren’t they?”, Sam smiled with content at the sight of children of all ages playing in the park. “don’t worry dear, Doro is a strong baby”, Sam replied winking at little Doro who was still searching for that white pup.
“I am not falling mama, it’s the ground that is shaky and doesn’t stand still, you try running, you will know”, Dorothy said, but apparently mama didn’t understand her language. “It’s okay, I will run faster tomorrow and steady the ground”, Dorothy told herself.
“If only we could wake up the child in us to run on unsteady grounds and enjoy the fall as much as the run”, Dorothy thought she heard her papa saying this, but she could have imagined it. “you should try it papa, it’s fun”, she told him as he took her from her mother’s arms into his own.