In the first shop they bought a packet of dogseed , because Doreen had always wanted to grow her own dog. This may seem like a frivolous statement but in the little town of Pemberly such unlikely events really were quite commonplace. In fact nearly anything you wished for was possible as long as you believed in it enough. And Doreen had always believed passionately in the things her furtive little imagination came up with.
Doreen’s “creativity” in fact had started to become a bit of a problem and her mother had even taken the step of subtly rescheduling Doreen’s dairy intake – making sure to restrict that part of her diet to long before bedtime.
On too many mornings now her poor mother had come into Doreen’s room to wake her for school only to catch a fleeting glimpse of a horned claw or slimy tentacle disappearing into the darkness beneath her bed. Speaking confidentially to Doctor Collins she had been somewhat relieved to hear that such occurrences were in fact very common in children of her age in Pemberly, and that one way of coping during this “transitional” period seemed to be a strict no cheese after lunchtime rule – which was a real shame as Doreen really loved cheese!
With dogseed in hand they moved onto the hardware store three doors down where they bought a shiny tin windowbox.
“Mum, we need to buy some compost as well!” fretted Doreen.
“Never mind about that dear, we’ll pop in to Grandpa Albert’s and get some soil from his herb garden on the way home. You know how well everything grows in that! Now, here, pay the nice gentleman for the windowbox….”
Doreen was pleased as she loved her Grandpa Albert and they left the shop and headed up the high street towards Cheshire Lane.
“Let me see the packet dear.”
Doreen handed the dogseed to her Grandpa Albert. They were both sitting on the ornate white metal bench in the garden at the back of his house. It was a sunny day and they had found him there when they had arrived.
“Aah, Winklestone’s – a good brand. Well chosen!”
“It was Mummy’s choice.”
“I’m glad she listened to some of the things her father told her.”
“Don’t worry Beatrice I’m just pulling your leg! Now Doreen, go down the back there behind the potatoes and fill your box up. Here, take this trowel with you. And….”
“Remember to watch out for the grumpleskeets!”
Doreen laughed and ran off down the garden.
“Dad I really wish you wouldn’t…she’s got an overactive imagination as it is…”
“And that’s a bad thing?”
“It’s starting to be! It’s not natural for young girls to be conjuring monsters from their dreams!”
“Well yes! It’s downright scary!”
“Beatrice, you’ve been on your own with Doreen for a while now. Can you honestly tell me real life isn’t scary?”
“Of course it is, but this is different…”
“Is it? The things we conjure from our dreams are always a mix of our hopes and our fears. Facing them at this age means you can safely learn how to deal with them later in life. You were a dreamer too Beatrice. Or have you forgotten that?”
“Things changed Dad, Doreen came along and…”
“Yes! your greatest creation so far!”
“Dad, I’m a widow, struggling to bring up my daughter the best I can…”
“And doing a fantastic job of it too! And I know she’s grateful for it. But isn’t it time to start dreaming again – for yourself? It’s been a long time. I’m sure there’s a Prince Charming somewhere out there still searching for you – you just have to believe in him!”
“Dad! Look at me…”
“I still see you as my little princess….”
“Grandpa! Is this enough?”
“Come here darling. Oh yes, that’s fantastic! Now use your little finger to poke a row of small holes to put the seeds in…..about this deep…..that’s great…..now put one seed in each hole…..when we’ve done that would you like some Alsatian grass to protect the puppies while they grow?”
“Oh yes please Grandpa!”
“What kind of puppies are you hoping for anyway?”
“I was hoping for some Beagles but Mummy thinks we should hope for Chihuahuas on account of them being smaller and the space and all.”
“Oh dear Doreen, you really do have to start teaching your mother how to dream again!”