Standing in front of the yellow room’s open door, Alexa is sipping from her bottle, Néné cradled in her other hand. She is rubbing its long ear with her index finger, it’s soft. She takes the bottle out of her mouth and brings the rabbit’s ear to her nose, rubbing it a little and breathes in the familiar smell. Reassured, she resumes drinking her milk and staring into the room.
She’s never been in that room even if she’s been in all the other rooms of grandpa’s house. She likes the one with the big windows best, where she can look outside as she plays at the table that is just the right height for her. She knows the kitchen where mamie puts her food in her favourite blue dish. She’s been in mamie and grandpa’s bedroom where she liked to hide until she noticed a big dark thing on the ceiling that scares her when it turns. Justin likes to switch it on and make her dash out of the room, screaming. There is also another room with a big white bed where she sleeps sometimes. She likes to race down the corridor, testing how fast she can go and play hide and seek around the corners.
But she always stayed away from this room, only giving it a quick glance when she walked by. There is a tall narrow window at the back of it and from where she stands, she can only see the top of a tree and part of a house. Curious, she wants to get closer to take a better look.
But inside the door, to her left, there are huge green ribbon-like things much taller than her 31 inches. It smells like earth and she knows it is a big plant, and that she is not supposed to touch it. Mommy told her often not to touch the plants that line the low window and patio door of their kitchen.
If she enters, she’ll have to walk close to this big plant, then between the large desk and a dark cabinet in front of which are extending more long green leaves. They look ominous like big tentacles hanging from the pot and will surely reach for her hair and pull her if she walks by. Can she manage all these obstacles before getting to the window? Probably not…
Defeated, she turns away.
Justin picks up a rock. He just loves rocks, all their different colors, shapes, weight, how they feel in his hand, textures smooth or rough, all the edges, all special. He has found them fascinating as soon as he could walk outside with daddy.
Now at four, he knows a lot about rocks. He knows he’ll get in trouble if he throws one at his sister, he knows if he sees a special one, he must pick it up right away, because he might not see another one like this again. And he knows if he throws one in the water, it will splash and sink to the bottom. He loves to see how the water moves up and around as soon as the rock hits it. All the splashes are different, higher, wider, always a surprise and so much fun!
Now as he’s picking this one up, he thinks it is perfect! He has not thrown a rock in water since last summer at the other faraway lake. He is excited to test how strong his arm has become since then. Even if he is wearing winter gloves and his arm is not as free in the bulky coat, he knows he can throw this one very far into the lake and it will make a big splash.
He gets really close to the edge, stones and pebbles crunching under his boots and throws the rock as hard as he can. To his amazement, it skips twice then settles on top of the water, stopped by a thin layer of immersed transparent ice he cannot see! A rock that floats!
Look grandpa! It’s magic! I want to find another magic rock!
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