“What is your name?”
“I am a girl,” brightly proud. “And I like to eat fish soup. What are you?” A child’s harmless question.
“I’m lost from the sea,” lolling lightly with the buoyant saltiness of the thick fractured marine.
Shifting for comfort, soles of her knee-high skin boots crunching and shaping white crystals, “Do you know any songs?”
But the crack and split thunder of breaking ice interrupted, plates and saucers smacking the hardwood surface of the Scots Pine table.
“Soon she’ll be calling, I don’t want you to go.” Concern and conflict replacing her joy.
“Go there it is time and I will come back to you soon.” With that the strange creature slipped from the surface and back into the sea.
“Maarit, please come down, dinner is warm and it’s just on the table.” Maarit’s mother calling.
Passing around the planed edge and wide swing of her bedroom door the savory sensation of rye and rice from karjalan pies met Maarit’s nose. Descending a crooked stair, thoughts no more about her new friend, her mother gathering Maarit’s tiny fingers in the palm of her hand, heading to the wide-open warmth of the dining space. Helping Maarit onto the hard cushion of a high-back wooden chair,
“Oh little girl your hands are ice, how is that?”
“My new friend, he is waiting for me and he can’t find his home.”
“Your friend must be blue?” spoken with a smile in her eyes.
“Yes, well I think so, no, I don’t know,” looking thoughtfully now at the smooth creamy potato and fish swirls in her bowl.
“Does your friend have a name?” Dropping her head to meet Maarit eye to eye.
“I think he is a fish or maybe from space?”
“Well that’s very nice, maybe you can take him some pie when we are done with the dishes?”
With bed-time upon her, stepping high and back up the same crooked stair that leads to and from her bedroom.
“Oh no, you are really gone,” the whispering sigh of a child’s disappointment and putting the pie on her lonely nightstand.
Orange and blue bands of the warm woolen raanu tucked up under her chin, staring at the ceiling that she could see right through to that place, Maarit lay wondering what worlds lay beyond the sea and within the stars and not knowing his name,
“I will call you Nuuk,” and that made her smile.
This time she wore big-fat red woolen mittens so her mother would not know and from the edge of the hole that had formed in the ice she observed him approaching displacing the slush. Rolling right over onto his left-side showing grey spots and a depth to his black-eye.
“It’s time for me to leave the lapland and search for my home.”
Maarit, closing her eyes tight, sealing the little girl’s wish beyond doubt, “Oh please take me with you I’m going me too!”