• Mathura Hawley

giraffe

Updated: Aug 2, 2021


My friends the inflatable animals are stuck in the pool, vulnerable to the wind and rain and lightening. I cant bear it. "

I am a child and my family has a pool you can see into from our back windows, as the yard is down a slight hill. We swim and play in it all summer without much awareness except for my Mom, who chlorinates the water each day. For me it is a pond, and I jump in and out all hours of the day and night, when mom will let me swim naked. In our “pond” are inflatable animals to float on and play with, a big giraffe, a frog, and other members of my menagerie. I love storms, even at a young age, always hoping for the skies to open up dramatically. It is an unexpected movie that briefly takes over everything, and the sights and sounds of flashing and booming excite me. Except for one problem: my friends the inflatable animals are stuck in the pool, vulnerable to the wind and rain and lightening. I cant bear it. When my mom yells “Close the windows!” as the storm approaches, my stomach clenches and my anxiety rises quickly to a near panic. I look out the window as the wind begins to swirl them in circles and they knock heads. I have to save them. My heart literally breaks and I cry at the idea that they are afraid, or feel helpless. I only have seconds because my mother won’t let me leave the house once she yells for the windows down. I sneak out the sliding back door and down to the pool. I run along the deck, side to side, trying to reach them. I grab them one by one, rain pelting all of us. I take them, as many as I can at a time, down the yard and under the pool where they can huddle together until it passes. I run back up the stairs and into the house and do a final check. I tell no one of this, but I feel it so strongly. They were real to me, and life has only confirmed that I did the right thing. Sometimes what looks like a happy blow-up giraffe is actually a creature in terrible danger, floating in circles and hoping that someone with the vision, love and empathy of a child will run out and grab them and get them safely under the deck before the storm.


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