The Little Girl

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When do you accept that life’s taking a turn for the worse?

I was wandering around at Agfest yesterday, just minding my own business, when I saw this flash of movement out of the corner of my eye. Even as my eyes were drawn down to process the movement, I felt the slightest touch on my front foot and the next thing I saw was a poor little girl, no more than 4 or 5 years old, catapulting forward into the thick mud that had settled on the side of the road after the nights heavy rain.

I later processed that she’d been on the other side of the path, seen something in a stall that excited her and, as kids do, leapt off to go and have a look and this had occurred just as my right foot stretched out to take another step…

Time stopped as I heard a childlike sob emanate from her. I tried to simultaneously help her up and locate her parents, but she wanted nothing to do with a stranger, so I had to wait until her mum arrived on the scene and helped her to her feet.

She was wearing a beautiful pink jacket, a fairy dress skirt and warm, white stockings … and it was all caked thickly in mud. Her entire face was caked in mud. I knew then that that families day at Agfest was at an end, and it was only because I was there.

As it does, a gap had formed in the crowd around me … Me and the poor child and her mother. I know it wasn’t my fault, even her mother acknowledged that, but the eyes looking at me from the crowd didn’t believe that, and ultimately there was nothing I could do but apologise repeatedly and slink off into the crowd, my tail between my legs.

There were other warning signs … All smaller than the first, but worrying nonetheless … Was my luck turning?

We got up at 3.30 this morning to catch our flight to Darwin, and all was going well until we went to check onto our Melbourne to Canberra leg and our tickets scanned red.

A visit back to the lounge ticket counter to get our seats changed soon revealed that it wasn’t a simple seat change, but that we were being pulled off our flight and put onto a later Jet-star Flight.

We were given two very different reasons for this … Firstly in the lounge we were told that it was their error and we were supposed to have been rerouted through Sydney, then when we got back to the main ticket counter, it was firstly our fault for turning up late for our flight, then when we pointed out that we had flown up from Hobart with them and been sitting in the lounge for the last 45 minutes, suddenly it was a fog problem in Canberra and they were worried we wouldn’t make the connection, so they’d put us on the Jetstar flight for our own good. Of course it was then all an ‘act of god’ and only covered by travel insurance … If we had it?

Just for the record the qantas flight did land in Canberra on time, and we would have made our connection, and somehow they weren’t worried about our bags reaching Darwin before us, despite being on that Canberra flight. If I was a cynic, I’d think maybe it was an act of the Qantas gods, not anyone else’s.

So now we’re stuck in Melbourne airport for five hours, we’ll miss picking up our camper today as their pickup closes at 4.30pm and we now only arrive at 4.50pm, which also means we won’t be able to head down to the water front tonight as planned.

Karma for inadvertently plunging that little girl into the mud? a more serious turning of my luck, or perhaps and perchance just a small hiccup along the path of life?

Important thing is that in the scheme of life, it’s currently only a hiccup, not a disaster, and we’ll carry on with only a minor inconvenience to deal with.

I wonder how that little girls day went after I stepped into the crowd and out of her life?

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