by - June 7, 2012

You never expect it - to get shot in the dark with a big slap of "welcome to the real world!"  I have dressed myself in some cozy bedtime story spilling happily-ever-afters along the margin of my existence and to see it challenged is like grabbing that first edition Anne of Green Gables and tearing it down the middle.

The poor boy.  He's a bit listless as the query furrows his brow.  "Have you seen my bike?"  And I had seen it - right where he dumped in on the carport asphalt when got home from school the day before.  But now the bike is gone from it's dropping and he swings his helmet and scrunches his face and asks, "Why would someone steal my bike?"

I believe in the general integrity of people.  That we are born with more goodness than evil.  That grace is extended more then hate is spilled.  That we are a people of light and hope and humanity.  I also believe in trolls.

And somewhere, just north of my porch, beneath the rusted bridge under which the Saugeen runs wicked - he lurks with that poor old bike, spinning it's rusty spokes and dancing green fingers along it's tired handle bars, slurring into the wind...I can just hear him now..."My precious...."

The bike was worth nothing.  It was old - a decrepit piece of metal that has seen six hundred adventures....But it was his.  It was freedom.  It was a slip away sleek in the mornings with a churning internal mantra: Thank God Almighty, I'm free at last!...

"I guess I have to walk to school then."  And he trudges off - a little heavy with the thought that someone would burden him with such drudgery.

But his heart wasn't broken.  His faith isn't fouled.  What he's really thinking is, "Cool!  Now I can get a new bike!"  And what I'm thinking is how lovely it would be to take a walk to the bridge and throw a few well-aimed stones at the river trolls.
It wasn't much to look at, but he really did love it!

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© Alanna Rusnak