Sally

Sally was precocious as six year old girls go, and curious. She loved to watch the sunrise, and was particularly pleased that the window in her room faced the dawn.

This particular morning she stretched her feet out under the comforter liking the feeling of the clean sheets on her toes, and pulled the warm cover up to her chin and listened. She could hear the ducks in the pond and a woodpecker. She could hear a rabbit rustling and squirrels playing in the yard. She could even hear the tulips pushing their way up through the nearly frozen ground, reaching for the sun that seemed to be bringing life to everything it touched.

Sally did love the dawn! She could listen for a while and think about what adventures the day the day might have in store for her.

Today for example, she could start the garden, see where the tomatoes would go, and the corn. It was important to get it so they had enough space. And she could go talk with Henrietta and Abigail, crusty old Jasper, the ducks, and brush the horses’ tails until they flowed like sunlight. She could read stories and she could write some letters. She had wanted to write her Aunt to thank her for her birthday doll, and her friend Christi, just because she liked to write her, and the Boogie Man, who she had been getting to know. He was funny. It turned out that his name was Boogie from the way he danced. It was short for Boogie Woogie. The letters he wrote were fun, they didn’t make much sense, or have much to do with anything, but they were fun. And his feelings got dented if she didn’t write him something. Sometimes she would just write “phttt”, and that was it. It was a game and she was a busy girl! Being precocious had its responsibilities and she liked them.
Well, enough of that! She was a busy girl, and with the day all planned, it was time to get on with it!

-2-

Jasper and Boogie were sitting on the hill beyond the pond enjoying the spring night. It was finally spring! Cool, starlit, with the promise of summer’s heat; the moon was full, with high clouds drifting across it. There was the restlessness of spring mixed with the smell of fresh turned soil on the breeze.

“What do you think?” Jasper asked.

“What? Oh, I’m sorry. I wasn’t listening”, replied Boogie.

“I was saying that Henrietta and Abigail think it is time to head north, but I kind of feel like hanging around here this summer. Why is it every fall we come south, and every spring we go north? I like it here. Why not just stay?”

“I know what you mean. That is what I was just thinking about myself. Well not about you flying north, but about doing the expected. Like, I’m the ‘Boogie Man’, but I just kind of fell into wandering around children’s dreams. It seems like when it started, I could just tip toe into their dreams with a 5/4 this, or a 13/8 that, and it was cool. They’d be sleeping and then they’d be laughing in their sleep.

“Things started changing, and 5/4 stopped being so cool, like it didn’t fit, and they would fuss. These days, what with all is on the television about what is cool, video games and the lies they are taught in school, the drugs from the schools and their friends, with their attitudes, it’s kind of feedback loop, some chunk chunk mechanical kind thing they call entertainment, and that scares ME. And they call me a bad dream! What happened to fun? I don’t even want to go there anymore! I never wanted to scare anybody, I loved it when they laughed, like a horn section would blow!!!

“So, now I’m the Boogie Man, just because, like you, I flew north every spring and south every fall, and no, it just isn’t cool anymore!”

“Wow man, that’s deep”, said Jasper, “but I do know what you’re saying. It’s something! What do you think will happen if we change it, hum… how do you think we could we change it?”

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