Last night I looked outside and noticed a police car in front of our house. This in itself isn't a big deal. Cops routinely park their cars on the street in the summer as it's one of the few streets in this small town with trees large enough to provide a small degree of shade. However I noticed the police officer wasn't in his vehicle so I looked down the street and noticed two other police cars parked nearby. Now three police cars on any one street in this town at the same time is very unusual. Something was up.
I moved to the living room window where I noticed the police officers were talking to a frantic woman. She looked like she was crying but I couldn't be sure. Two of the cops were talking into their radios and stopping the occasional car that drove down the road and talked to the drivers.
Then I noticed it. A blue plastic tricycle with large red wheels was in the middle of the sidewalk. No one went near it. Amid all the people on the sidewalk, no one touched it. Everyone walked in wide circles around it. Then it hit me. There was a missing child.
A few cars drove up. A man wearing a baseball cap emerged from one of the cars and ran over to the woman and hugged her. He was crying too.
Then a black sedan pulled up. A blond haired three year old girl emerged from the back seat and ran over to the man and woman. The look on the woman's face was priceless. She hugged the girl and said "I love you. I love you." over and over again. The parents apparently knew the person who found her. He pointed to a far corner of the neighborhood telling them where he found her. The girl said something and everyone, including the police officers, laughed. Then she walked over to the blue plastic tricycle and started to pedal down the sidewalk. Mom wasn't about to loose her daughter again. She gently picked her up and held her in her arms and put her in the back seat of their car. The dad put the tricycle in the trunk and the family drove home.
Within minutes the street was back to normal. The only sound was the occasional yell of encouragement from a coach watching his soccer team practicing in the park across the street.