Running Away

1972 PuneJean stood by the window peeping from the side of the curtains.

“She’s actually doing it!  Should we run out and stop her?”

Her husband Tom opened a corner of the curtains on the other side of the window and looked out over the front driveway.

His little four years old was struggling down the driveway with her doll suitcase.

He looked at Jean.  “What on earth does she have in that suitcase?”

Jean gave a giggle.  “She has her favourite doll and a potato!”

“A potato!” Tom looked at Jean and they both laughed.

“What bought this on?” Tom turned his attention back to his daughter to see what would happen when she neared the front gate.

He was not too disturbed at this point in time because they lived in the residential quarter of a college campus. Everything was everyone’s business here and the campus was secure from any potential dangers as a consequence.  However little Missy had been instructed not to leave the house unaccompanied and Tom wanted to see if this rule would be obeyed before striding out to retrieve his daughter and bring her back to the full security of the house.

“What brought this on?” Tom repeated the question.

“Well Missy has been out of sorts for some time.  She’s been teased by the campus kids and is unhappy with me because I want her to clean her room.  She packed her suitcase and told me she was going to leave home.”

“I asked her what the potato was for and she told me it was for her lunch on the way.”  Jean giggled again, but kept a watchful eye as Missy reached the front gate.

Missy stood at the front gate and glanced back at the house but did not see her parents peeping out the window.  She felt quite alone.

Then with an agonized cry Missy dropped her suitcase.  Tears flowed as she bawled at the top of her voice.

Jean was by her child’s side in seconds.  She folded the little girl in her arms and rocked her gently.  Tom was close behind and reached out to hug them both.

“No one stopped me from going away,” wailed Missy.  “No one loves me!”

“Off course we love you Missy,” whispered Jean.  “We were watching you from that window through the curtains to see you didn’t come to any harm, and we were right beside you when you started to cry.”

Missy stared at the window. “You were watching me all the time?”

“All the time,” said Tom.

“Why didn’t you stop me from running away?” sniffed Missy.

“Well we want you to stay with us because you want to, not because you have to,” said Jean winking at Tom.

“Do you want to stay with us?  We hope you say yes!” Jean wiped the tears away from Missy’s face with a handkerchief as she asked the question.

“I want to stay with you,” whimpered Missy.

Tom picked up the suitcase and Jean picked up Missy.

“We’re glad you decided to stay with us,’ said Tom.  It would have been a sad house without you Missy!

“I’m glad too,” lisped Missy. “I really didn’t want to go.

Missy snuggled happily into the warmth of Jean’s embrace.  Now she was certain she was loved.


“© Copyright Ian Grice 2014. All rights reserved


19 thoughts on “Running Away

  1. Wonderful! Reminds me of our younger grandson who before threatening to leave home at all of four years, requests his mother for a family portrait with a tearful…. “to look at when I miss all of you”! He is the drama king of the family 😀


    1. Oh that’s a good one. Children are so precious. What a privilege to have them with us for those few short years. Unfortunately our grand kids all live in the US and we live in Australia. For health reasons we don’t travel any more but through the marvel of Facetime and Skype we can still watch them grow up.


  2. I bet I know someone who knows that little Missy and loves her very much. Missy found she was loved but not in the way she expected. There are many ways to show someone they are loved. I really enjoyed this story it brought back memories when a couple of my little ones packed and have short-lived plans of leaving home. Hugs


    1. Yes it’s not a unique story is it? Kids all have little frustrations they have to work out within a safe environment and parents need to deal with these precious jewels in a careful way so they are prepared to make good choices later on.


  3. Hello Ian,

    I don’t usually reply to a reply but feel compelled to.

    You are kind but really, I don’t think I can write this genre.

    I notice that you can take a simple event and turn it into a lovely story. I can just imagine that, even in this day and age of electronic distractions, you probably can pull off magnetic bedtime and fireside tales to an enthralled and cherubic audience.

    You and Jane Stansfeld always impress with your choice of words and phrases – if I can only do likewise, sigh!

    You read Jane’s romance – An Unanswered Letter – gawd, now that’s talent. It is the first ever romance story I read – and loved it for its poignancy and reality.

    It’s Chinese New Year today – Year of the Horse – and I’m sure it holds many fond memories of your time spent here in Singapore.

    I wish you and your loved ones a Healthy, Happy and Prosperous New Year.

    – Eric –


  4. The picture rather was a dead give away. So well told, and so real for Missy. So much more meaning in the story too.


  5. A sweet story and I’m glad that Tom and Jean were able to convince Missy that she was loved. Their spontaneous words were obviously just right. I agree with Eric in suspecting that there is a true story lurking below the surface which, I think, makes it more poignant.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.