The Gift

May 15, 2008
By Diana Bouhassira, Hastings On Hudson, NY

In the thick dusty heat of a late August afternoon, a moth sat on a slowly decaying log at the brink of the woods. It waited imperiously. A little girl with dark brown hair clustered in sweaty ringlets dangling around her face and serious chocolate colored eyes gazed at it. Carefully, curiously, calculating. It delicately rustled its wings; painted eyes peering imposingly back at the child. Creeping closer as silently as a young girl in an oversized strawberry print dress possibly can, she reached the log. Painstakingly, she lifted the empty preserve jar she had been carrying and brought it down over the moth. A small smile flitted across her face, but her eyes stayed serious. With a deliberate gesture she flipped the jar over and slipped on the lid.

Carefully, she inspected the moth, bringing the jar up to her nose. The two looked at each other for a moment before she nodded, satisfied, and turned towards the red brick building twenty feet away. In short determined steps, dress swishing about her ankles like a wedding gown, she walked back to the asphalt playground and stopped in front of a little boy. Handing him the jar she smiled that same small smile, her eyes still serious. She paused and then marched on, leaving the little boy watching after her.

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