[i]They embraced, and he tucked her back in again before exiting the room and leaving the door slightly cracked. She looked up at the mobile that was quietly playing a silly little tune. With her earthworm stuffed animal in one arm. She curled up; ready to return to a place she could only visit in her dreams….The Countryside.
She closed her eyes and drifted off the sleep……
To be continued…[/i]
[b]Lilly awoke in her crib. She sat up and looked around. “Mr. Woody?” she quietly called out.
Mr. Woody appeared at the window.
“At your service, Lilly Girl,” he said as he hopped down onto the floor and let down the side of her crib for her to climb out. “We have a journey to make, and as I promised, I will show you the greatest treasure in all the countryside. Are you ready to go?”
“Can Daddy come with us?” she asked.
“Who? Do you mean that giant guy?” Mr. Woody asked.
“He’s not a giant. He’s only six feet tall,” she said with a laugh.
“I’m only six inches tall. He’s a giant to me,” Mr. Woody replied. “But he’s not a child at heart. So he can’t come with us.”
She grabbed her teddy bear and her blanket, and out the nursery window they went. She was wearing a nightie (with a pacifier attached to it) and her diaper. They leapt onto the grass, ran across field, and stopped at the edge of the moonlit lake.
“Now, stare at the surface of the water,” Mr. Woody instructed.
“Why?” Lilly asked.
“You will see the reflection of the greatest treasure of the countryside,” he replied.
“Can’t you just show me the treasure?” she inquired.
“I wish I could, Sweetheart, but humans can’t see the treasure, only it’s reflection in the lake,” he explained.
She looks in water, sees the nighttime sky, and the moon cascading its light down onto the hill behind her. And there running up that side of the hill to its summit were two pure white unicorns with long white manes. They danced and played with each other.
She clapped her hands, and bounced up and down as she watched them.
“These two unicorns were here before any of us. One is a male and one is a female. They never get older,” Mr. Woody said.
“What are their names?” Lilly asked.
“They don’t have names,” he answered, and after a pause continued. “Would you like to name them, Lilly Girl?”
“Can I?” she asked with surprise.
“Yes,” he replied. “What would you like their names to be?”
Lilly sat there and watched their reflections in the water. For a time, she sat there and didn’t make a sound or a movement. The noises of a light breeze and crickets are all that could be heard. Finally, she broke the silence.
“I think I’ll name the male one ‘Magic’, and the female one ‘Moonbeam’. How about those names?” she asked as she looked over at Mr. Woody, who had fallen asleep by the edge of the lake.
She laid her teddy bear by his side and covered them both with her blanket. She looked at the unicorn’s reflection in the water one more time before leaving.
Thank you, Mr. Woody," she said. “They’re beautiful. They really are the greatest treasure.”
She kissed him on the forehead, and dashed back to the house as best as she could while wearing a diaper. Crawling through the window, she tip-toed back to her crib, and crawled back in on the open side. She raised the side of the crib, and lay back down amongst the sea of stuffed animals and blankets. Putting the pacifier back in her mouth, she covered herself with a blanket and lay down on her tummy. The moment her face touched the pillow she fell asleep.[/b]
A while later she awoke with a knot of pain in her stomach. Opening her eyes, she saw a light in the room that she hadn’t before. It was a night light across the room plugged into the outlet by the bookshelf. She got up onto her knees and peered through the crib bars. Now she could clearly make out what the design was in front of it. It was a plastic covering with a picture of two white unicorns on it.
The knot in her stomach gave way and she wet her diaper. It was such a relief that she lay back down to return to sleep, but first she looked over at the night light again. Smiling, she realized that the light behind those unicorns made them look exactly like the ones she saw in the lake’s surface.
She closed her eyes to sleep, but still had pain in her stomach. Getting frustrated, she squinted her eyes harder to fall asleep, but it didn’t happen. She refused to cry, but had no choice. Tears began to form in her eyes, and all she wanted was to go to sleep, but no matter what she tried, she couldn’t.
Just then, appearing in the nursery doorway like a saving grace was Zeke. He walked in, and seeing she was awake and upset, lowered the side of the crib. He knelt down next to her and stroked her cheeks while wiping the tears away from her eyes.
“What’s wrong, Lilly?” he asked. “Bad dream?”
She shook her head no while reaching out and touching his face lightly. She drew her fingertips along his jaw line and traced the outline of his eyes and nose. He reached down between her legs, feeling her wet diaper.
“That’s what it is,” he said while standing up.
She raised her arms up and he lifted her out of the crib, carrying her over to the changing table. He eased her down onto the mat, and she relaxed her body as he unfastened her diaper tapes. She gently sucked on her pacifier while gazing up at him. His hair was mess. He had no shirt on, and obviously had just woken up seconds before he entered the nursery.
She smiled behind her pacifier at him. He gave her a wink and raised her bottom and legs into the air while sliding her wet diaper to the side and wiping her clean. She closed her eyes and giggle. Sometimes the feeling of the wipe on her bottom tickled her.
Out of the corner of her eye, she saw the night light again. She looked over at it. She could hear the rustling of her new diaper being placed beneath her on the changing mat, but kept looking at the glow of the night light. The scent of powder filled the air and he eased her bottom down onto the diaper. She felt him putting the diaper into place around her waist, and she heard the tapes being fastened.
She kept her eyes and attention on the night light as he lifted her into his arms.
“Do you like that light?” he asked. “I forgot I had bought it. So when I found it, I snuck in here a few hours ago and put it in that outlet.”
He carried her out into the kitchen, and poured warm water into a baby bottle of formula. He began shaking it up. Then Lilly took it out of his hands and began to shake it up herself.
He guided the nipple to her lips, and she took it in. She leaned her head on his chest as she began to drink the formula.
“When I was a baby, I had colic stomach pain,” he said. “Basically, my stomach hurt.”
He began walking around the living room, and very lightly bouncing her as he continued talking.
“A cramping formed in my stomach,” he said as he stroked her hair. “It woke me up at night, and I couldn’t get back to sleep. All it took was a little formula to make that stomach pain go away. At least, that’s what my mother told me.”
He kept walking around and bouncing her up and down until she was down with the bottle. He placed the bottle on the table behind the couch, and gave her a hug while patting her back. She let out a few tiny burps and then sighed. The pain was gone.
He put her pacifier back into her mouth, and carried her back into the nursery. Her eyes caught the night light again.
“You are mesmerized by this night light,” he said while kneeling down.
She climbed down from his arms to the floor and crawled over to it. She traced the horns on the unicorns’ heads. Then she noticed the words beneath each horse. “Magic and Moonbeam” were written there. She leaned back and yawned.
“Do you want to sleep in my bed?” he asked.
She nodded yes as he lifted her up into his arms. He carried her out of the room, and then carried her back into the room to pull the night light out of the wall so they could take it with them. He carried her into his bedroom, and placed her on the bed.
Walking over to the outlet and putting the night light in it, he said: “It’ll be dawn in a few hours. You’re gonna love what the sunrise looks like.”
He stood up and turned back to her on the bed. She was already on her back and asleep. Zeke smiled, and crawled into bed next to her. He covered them both, and closed his eyes. She rolled over on top of half of his body, curled up and went to sleep.
Dawn would soon be upon them.
To be concluded…