Betty Dances


Betty Dances (291 Words)

Five years old and Betty was as much a mystery to her mother as she was the day she was born. The little girl seemed so serious, straightening her hair with pudgy fingers, watching not her hair but her own frowning face in the mirror.

“I never wanted to be a ballerina when I was her age either,” said a man’s quiet, teasing voice.

Anne nudged her husband’s ribs. “Hush, Jack. You’re not helping.”

Jack sighed. They had been waiting on their little girl for almost twenty minutes. But Betty seemed so determined to do this for them, pulling them into her bedroom and making her parents sit side by side on her bed.

“Remind me what the occasion is,” murmured Anne.

Before Jack could reply, Betty picked up her bear and faced her parents. Her little round face was grim.

“Mommy, Daddy, Bibby and me do it now,” she said.

“Beautiful,” said Jack.

Anne glared at him. She could see their daughter was shy. When Betty started dancing, the little girl wasn’t really dancing. The suggestion of movement was there, her lips pursed and her face puckered with concentration. It was all done as only a child could do it, awkward imitation and careful learning. Anne had never seen anything more perfect.

When Betty finished she and Bibby bowed.

“Oh baby that was wonderful”—and at last that serious little girl’s face broke out in a smile. She ran to her parents, holding out her arms for a hug. Anne kissed the little girl’s hair. Her eyes met her husband’s and she saw her own feeling on his face, all softness and warmth.

There didn’t need to be an occasion to celebrate the most beautiful miracle in the whole world.


Written in response to Steve O’Connell’s beautiful little painting, “Take Your Partners III.” Check it out and support the artist!

Image (c)

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