Every day in the spring there was this little girl in the field sprinkling glitter over the same patches of dirt and for days on, nothing would grow. The old man, who was a farmer that lived next door, would watch her sprinkle glitter every day at the same hour but would act as if he did not see her. Until one rainy day, the little girl did not show up. Concerned that something had happened, the old man went next door to where she lived and found her sitting on her front porch with her head between her knees. The older man, with one foot on the step and his cane holding the remainder of his weight, sat down next to her. In silence, the trickling of the rain filled the void. Instantaneously, the little girl lifted her head to find that the older man was watching the rain droplets hit the ground one after the other.
“Can I ask you a question?” asked the little girl as she swatted a mosquito away.
The old man simply nodded.
“Why don’t you plant corn anymore? Momma would always talk about the days she would play in your corn when she was little and you would yell at her to get out. You even told her that you were going to cut her ear off if you found her!”
The old man let out a chuckle which soon faded into the same straight face he arrived with. Turning towards the little girl, he replied with a question of his own.
“Why is it that every day for the past two months you have been in my garden sprinkling glitter on the same patches of dirt? That dirt has not been able to support life for the last fifteen years. And do not go on and tell me that you have not been in my garden because I can see you from my front porch.”
The little girl as bashful as she can be, cleared her throat and answered straight away.
“For two months, Papa has not been home. Momma told me he left for an important job. I thought Momma would be very happy for Papa but she has been very sad and has been sleeping almost all day since he went. Nana just tells me that she is really tired but that Nana and Momma loves me very much. So I thought sprinkling magic dust in your garden would bring back the corn and it would make Momma happy again.”
The old man was speechless. Magic dust? Perhaps no one has bothered to tell the little girl that glitter and magic dust were not the same, that there was no such thing as magic dust. But the old man kept quiet and allowed the little girl to keep her belief in the magic dust. He had no idea that his corn had brought out more abundance than what he intended to. For the past thirty years, the old man has been living on his own and it was not until fifteen years ago that he fell ill and was not able to take care of the farm on his own. During his recovery, no one attended the farm and the crops one by one withered away. With that being said, the old man no longer had the motivation to continue growing crops even with the help of his sons and grandsons. What remained of his farm were patches of uneven dirt.
“Hey mister! Now it is your turn to answer my question!”
The old man nods and began to speak.
“I guess I just ran out of magic dust. Do you think you can share with me some of your magic dust?”
Just like that the little girl excitedly ran inside her house and pulled out a red wagon filled with assorted containers of glitter labeled in magic marker as “magic dust” and before she headed down the stairs of her front porch, she grabbed a small vile of magic dust and handed it to the old man.
“Sometimes I like to carry a little bit of magic dust around with me just in case.” smiled the little girl.
Everybody needs a little bit of magic dust in their life to keep their sparkle.