Childhoods end

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Chapter eight

The strange old lady

Lily sat in the hotel garden relaxing after the busy holiday. The old lady who had been staying at the hotel came over to where Lily was sat, “can I join you?” She asked. Lily smiled “yes be my guest” she replied.

“You must be tired,” the old lady said,” “I’ve watched you all week with the children, you never stop”.

“Well” said Lily “its hard work but good fun, the children are great and I get a buzz being with them”.

The old lady smiled gently, Lily looked at her eyes, they were deep blue and Lily felt there was something familiar about them. “I feel I’ve met you before somehow,” she said.

“Oh I get around quite a bit” the old lady chuckled. “You have a way with children don’t you” she continued. Lily looked at the old lady’s face deeply now. “Yes, I always have had, children come and talk to me in the street or in shops, it’s strange, I’ve never really understood it. I can just talk to children as though I am a child myself”.

The old lady put her head on one side and looked beyond Lily, gazing into the distance. “Well” she said, “perhaps you kept a bit of your childhood back”. Lily looked puzzled “I don’t follow you” she said.

The old lady’s eyes became misty, “where I come from there are those who believe in the Childhood Fairy, she comes – so they say – in the middle of the night and takes children’s child hoods. When they awake next day, they are children no more”.

Lily laughed “It’s a strange tale I will say that” she said, “but why would she steal the children’s childhood”?

“Well” the old lady lowered her voice to a whisper, “we all have to grow up sometime, but ask yourself, how do we loose our childhood?”

“Miss Sellars, Miss Sellars, over here” the children shouted. Lily looked around, “In a minute” she said. She turned back towards the old lady, “where do you come fro…” Lily stopped mid word, the old lady had disappeared!

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