Photo by  Tracy Rees

Photo by Tracy Rees

What if the woman who will change the world was that little girl sitting on the fallen tree? What would you have said to her, had you known? What would you have said to her as she sat there on that log, not looking at you? Something about the forest, the vastness of it, how the thick grass was growing? Do you think that would have gotten her attention?

Or would you have commented on her dress and the hundreds of little flowers in its pattern? The gray and white stripes of her tights and how they were quite the fashion statement? Maybe her pink cowgirl boots?

If you’d mentioned the boots, that would have gotten you a look. A look, and a correction. “Cowboy boots,” she would have told you, and then looked away again.

What she really wanted you to ask her—and I know because I asked, and because she told me—was about the deer she was trying to find, the one who’d visited her so many times before the day her father and uncle went out in their orange jackets, with their rifles hoisted over their shoulders. That’s what she would have talked to you about.

That, or Iron Man. The third one, where a girl got to wear the suit. “That’s my favorite,” she would have told you.

If you’d asked.

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