She took the key ring down off the hook and fumbled frantically looking for the right key. Why do I always get myself into these messes? She asked herself over and over while she kept one eye on the door and the other on the set of keys. She could hear their voices down below in the kitchen. She regretted her decision to come here. If only she hadn’t opened the door. Why didn’t she just stay on the path?
She dropped the keys and they landed with a loud thud on the hardwood floor. She knelt down to retrieve them and saw movement out of the corner of her eye. She could feel her heartbeat in her throat but she determined she must be brave. She slowly stood to her full height and stared at the girl with the large hazel eyes staring back at her. Unconsciously, she reached up and brushed away a stray lock of her hair. Her golden tresses were tangled and her clothes were as wrinkled as grandfather’s well-used handkerchief.
She heard a crash on the floor below and their voices were growing louder. She brought her attention once again to the keys in her dainty hand. Her tiny frame and small features would suggest she was five instead of eight. She knew her grandmother would be very angry if she found out what she done. Again.
Finally she found the key and unlocked the window. She could easily climb out the window and onto the limb of the huge oak tree and make her way safely to the ground before they reached the door. If only the window weren’t stuck. She clasped the handle with both of her tiny fists and braced her foot against the wall. But it would not budge. In desperation she tried the key again and found that it was only partly turned in the keyhole and therefore, only partly unlocked. She made certain that this time it was entirely unlocked and she pulled the shutter open and carefully placed one leg outside the window.
She could make out their words now and knew they had reached the hall outside the door. She tossed the keys to the floor and swung her second leg out the window. She leaned over and grabbed onto a limb just as a strong gust of wind blew, but she managed somehow to catch the limb and crawl to the center of the tree. She heard shouting behind her and glanced up to see three brown heads sticking out of the window where she had been only moments before.
By the time they spotted her she was already to the ground and running through the forest straight to her grandmother’s house where the aroma of warm oatmeal cookies met her at the door. But her tummy was full so she gave her grandma a hug before sitting on the floor by the fire where she picked up her favorite doll and began to sing her a song.
Written for Magpie Tales.