i was eight years old and had just moved to new plymouth. it was the beginning of the year and we were all handed these wrapping papers to sell as a fundraiser for the school. it's not compulsory to sell them but it was my first month there and i didn't want to lose face. thinking back would an eight year old even know about face? i ask my parents to buy some but they decline, and suggest i try selling it to the neighbours. thinking back what parents let their child go door knocking sans halloween? so i go out and start door knocking asking whether people wanted wrapping paper.
i walked and walked door to door, before you know it i'm down some green valley with no direction of where i am. i knock on the door of a very nice house and an old lady opens up and greets me with her wrinkly smile, she asks me what i'm doing and i tell her i'm selling wrapping paper for my school, she chuckles and asks me to come in and i do. but i regretted doing so as soon as i stepped in. she gently shuts the door, then heads down the hall way while asking me whether i'd like some tea or coffee, i have no idea what they are so i reply 'no thank you', but she says, 'surely you must sit down' or something along those lines, words that invite you to their kitchen.
i look around and the house is so very nicely decorated, so lovely was the interior my mind starts to twist. i use to read all these fables of the west when i was growing up and one of them was about two siblings who get captured and fed by this evil old lady who plans to eat them. i start panicking and i didn't move from my spot near the door, i thought about rushing out, but she might be really fast or have a broomstick. so i freeze, just standing there while creating this elaborate tale of how i might die in my mind. she comes back down the hallway with her smile and keeps trying to shuffle me in the house more, i don't move a muscle because i'm scared.
she looks a little upset and goes away and comes back with her purse. she asks me how much for the wrapping papers and i tell her. she buys the whole lot and hands me the money. i say thank you and she opens the door for me, i walk out slowly but i start running as soon as i pass the front gates. thinking back the old lady was probably lonely and i wish i had stayed for a little while. funny how when you are a child your mind can run so far off the map.