The painting was intentionally blurred. Although the subject was clear, the meaning was hard to discern. They knew that the girl had something to tell them and they all wanted to be the first to solve the puzzle.
When a child wanders into your house like a stray cat, cannot speak and will not go away, there has to be a way to allow them to “wander” back to their home. But this child had no desire to leave, never cried or whimpered and when they tried to get some sign she would not nod her head. They knew it was illegal to keep her and they knew also that they were no match for the law. Still a heart does ache, they said, when such a beautiful child needs a home.
Living in the country near the highway had always frightened the family. It was not their choice but they had inherited the house from an aunt. The aunt, a very old lady, was buried in the family plot behind the house. They had needed the house at the time. So they stayed on and on. It seems they just forgot to leave when they could. Then the little girl came. A sister of sorts for their daughter. What were they to do? She somehow let them see the house for what it was…a wonderful old family treasure.
Then one day she was gone and in her place there was a doll. A beautiful blond doll in a satin dress with a purple collar that stood up at her neck. There was no note or even a sign that she had been there. But when they visited the cemetery in the back of the house they found their Aunt’s grave cleared of weeds. And leaning against the stone was the painting, now very clear, of a family that smiled. The youngest daughter stood with a beautiful doll in her arms. They were looking at themselves. And there was no fear in their eyes.