This literally just happened right about 5:30 PM or so, tonight.
It may be the first week of March, but here Mother Nature has not gotten the memo and our temps haven't reached above freezing. Right now it's 28 F which, compared to what it has been, is down right balmy.
I was walking over to the store, about four blocks away, when I saw a young boy out in the snow. He couldn't have been more than five or six, but what struck me is he had on no coat, just a thin T-shirt and pajama pants. He didn't appear to be playing, just standing there. Of course I could not just keep going.
I took a few steps in his direction. "Hi," I said softly, not wanting to scare him. He stared at me with dark eyes large, as if unsure of what he was seeing. "Do you live around here?" I came closer, he cocked his head as if not understanding me. From his coloration, I thought he was Hispanic, so I tried that, "Hola. Soy Val. Como su nombre?" (Hi. I'm Val. What's your name?) Nothing. That's when I noticed he was also barefooted.
I began to unzip my coat, with the intention of wrapping this poor kid in it and carrying him to the store where he could get warm, while we waited for the cops. Let whomever was suppose to be caring for him explain it all to them! Oh, I was having some very not nice thoughts about them, who ever 'they' were. But, first I wanted to get the boy out of the cold.
About midway down my zipper jammed, and I glanced down at it. By now, I was only a few inches from him, and I had been nattering away in Spanglish hoping to illicit some response. I tugged it free and shrugging my coat off, went to wrap it about him, only he was gone! Just gone!
I spun in a circle, but he was nowhere to be seen. Slowly, I pulled back on my coat. Already, I was chilled from the wind. Except for my own, there were no fresh prints in the snow, just old churned up spots from dogs and the like, filled with an icy crust. Still, I began to walk about the yard looking for the boy until I was satisfied he was nowhere to be found.
Thinking about it, he hadn't looked cold, and all I had felt from him was total surprise at seeing me. So, now I wonder... Do you suppose that somewhere a small boy is trying to convince his Mama that he saw a spirit?