Childish fascination

On the way to work, I saw a little boy standing outside a building, presumably waiting for a parent or the school bus. He was wrapped up warmly against the cool morning air, and kicking absently at the golden leaves on the ground.

Suddenly, he stopped, and froze with his hand outstretched, staring ahead. I looked, but saw nothing. Curiously, I observed him as he slowly raised his hand and then lowered it again, a look of deep concentration on his face. Next, he extended one finger… then another… another, until his all fingers were fanned out in front of him. Still he stared in fascination, and I actually stopped to watch. He wiggled them, and a hint of a satisfied grin played at the corners of his mouth.

Suddenly, he began punching the air. Before I had time to become concerned for his mental health, he had morphed from a martial arts hero into a butterfly, his hands interlocked and fluttering as he ‘chased’ them.

That’s when I saw how the morning sunshine streaming through the gaps in the buildings had created the perfect shadow puppet theatre for him. He saw his shadow on the ground, and he put it to good use as a playmate and source of entertainment. He was captivated. And the adults? We just walk on by those puppet theatres every day, without even  noticing them.

Childish fascination. It just makes me happy.

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