Friday, January 6, 2012
Two hours later, Sheriff Mendenhall came upon Paw's buckboard which had flipped over on a curve throwing Paw out and killing him on impact.
Girl woke up and saw that Paw and the buckboard were gone. She gave the loveable puppy a hug and started walking down the street.
She walked by Warm Hearth Bakery and there was a plate of the most wonderful looking treats on a plate. She knew she shouldn't steal but she was so hungry and those round things looked so good and smelled so wonderful. She took one off the plate and gingerly walked away.
She walked a little further down the street and came upon Nichol's Market. Outside of the market she saw apples. There was an apple tree behind her home but they didn't smell as good as these. She helped herself to an apple.
She didn't feel so hungry anymore and wanted to visit with her new spotted friend again so she walked back to the big red building. The dalmatian saw her coming and came up to her licking her hand. Iris followed the dog into the building and saw she had her own pallet and was offering to share with her.
They sat together for a little while when someone called “Come here Girl”.
Both the dog and Girl went running.
“Well, who have we here?” said Joe.
“My name is Girl, my Paw is taking us to find gold”
Joe asked where her Paw was and Girl told him she came over to say hello to the dog and Paw wasn't there anymore. Joe was just getting off duty at the fire station and was meeting Diana at the bakery.
He took hold of Girl's hand and walked the short distance to the bakery. Diana was just coming out of the store to pick up the empty plate the children had their snacks on. Girl's eyes were wide as she saw the empty plate.
“I didn't take all of them” she said. “I only took one and I'm sorry I stole it.” Her little chin was quivering and Diana and Joe fell in love with this angel who called herself Girl.
Diana closed the shop and insisted they take the child home, clean her up and feed her a good meal before they visited the sheriff.
Under all the grime and dirt was a beautiful little face with curly auburn hair. She was way too thin but Diana knew she would be able change that in no time. Diana had some clothes she kept for the times her nieces visited and was able to find a pretty dress that fit the little girl perfectly.
Girl looked in the mirror and smiled. She thought she looked fancy like the people she saw on the streets of Camden Corners.
Girl had never had a meal as wonderful as the one Diana prepared that evening. They even had more treats called brownies. Her tummy felt happy and so did her heart. She didn't want to think about riding in the buckboard again so she just didn't think about it.
Joe suggested it might be best if he went to talk to the sheriff alone while Diana stayed at home with Girl
“Diana” Joe whispered on his way out the door We can't just call her Girl, the child must have a name.”
An hour later, Joe came home with Sheriff Mendenhall who was carrying a package of books he had found on the buckboard. Girl was excited to see her books and looked around gingerly for Paw since he didn't know she had them. They told Girl what had happened to her Paw.
She didn't cry, she didn't feel sad like she did when her grandmother didn't wake up. She climb up on Diana's lap and asked her if she could look at her books.
Sheriff Mendenhall was usually a pretty tough fellow but he could feel his eyes begin to sting. He thought it would be a great thing if the child could stay with the Taylor's for the night.
Tomorrow they would investigate to see if there were any next of kin. He hoped there weren't. Diana opened the first book. A well worn piece of paper slipped out of the book.
In a very weak handwriting it said “I love you my Iris”. From that moment on, Iris had a name and she knew that her mother's spirit lived on in her. The next morning Diana felt a little queasy but she thought it was the excitement of the day before. It didn't take long before the courts determined Iris was without blood relatives and the adoption of Iris Taylor took place.
By the time the family of three was official, they were well on their way to becoming a family of four and Iris was about to become a big sister.