In this scene from The Healing Horse, Karen and Mama go to the local elementary school treasure hunt. Karen hopes to find gold and jewels. Of course, she does not, but in an upcoming scene, she finds much more.
In her dream, Karen recalled a Saturday morning when Mama had taken her to help run errands. As they drove past the neighborhood elementary school in Mama’s 1952 Chevy Styleline Deluxe, they saw a banner advertising a school treasure hunt stretched across the street. The school was a short walk from their house, and the hunt began at ten o’clock, the next Saturday morning.
Karen asked, “May I go, Mama? And would you like to come with me?”
“Sure! I think that would be great fun for the two of us. We would have a blast! A day full of frivolity, right?”
“Right!” Karen repeated.
The week seemed to take forever to pass, but at last Saturday came. They both got up early and could hardly wait to walk to the school. They danced around the kitchen to the AM radio, and at nine-thirty, they danced out the door and down the sidewalk to the school. Through the chain link fence around the playground, they saw hundreds of children running and playing, scurrying here and there across the grassy playground. Passing through the gate, Mama and Kitten headed toward a white shed that was surrounded by parents and teachers.
Mrs. Proctor, the school principal, stood at the center. A tall, blond woman who wore a suit to work, today she wore black flats and a short-sleeved navy and white checked dress with a mandarin collar. Kitten and Mama knew her from earlier events. Even though Karen attended a special school several miles away, she was a regular at the neighborhood school’s carnivals and other events.
“Hello, Mrs. Hershstein and Karen,” Mrs. Proctor said, as she bent forward to focus on Kitten. “It’s so nice to see you at another of our events. Are you ready to find the big treasure?”
“I sure am! I’m ready to find all the gold and jewels!” Kitten replied in a serious tone.
“We’re about to start. I’m going to use the bullhorn to call the children, now. Maybe you ought to get into position, near the edge of the asphalt. I’m going to have the children line up in rows on the hardtop and then race across the lawn.”
“Thanks, Mrs. Proctor,” Mama replied, her voice rising over the children’s chatter. “I’ll get Karen in place.”
Original Text ©2021, Karen Lynn-Chlup. All rights reserved.
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