I was on the phone to my sister. She was talking about prams. The girls were talking to me. I heard them say they were going to fetch L's newspaper; L is away.
I heard a door close. I heard a door open. I finished the call to my sister. I thought the girls were home.
The girls weren't home. It doesn't take ten minutes to fetch the papers from across the road. I thought they'd be out chatting to the neighbours. I put on some shoes and went out to see.
The girls weren't there. The girls weren't in L's front yard.
This is the point in the narrative where a good free ranger would think to herself: I wonder ? Perhaps they've walked down to the park ? I'll wander down and take a look
Instead, high on sudden adrenalin, I thought: They're gone. Someone has taken them. The default position of fear.
C went to look. They were in the park. I yelled, they cried.
Where were you ??
We told you - we were going to get L's paper and go to the park!!!
I didn't hear them. I missed that part of the message. I was listening to my sister describe her pram. I heard them say they were going to fetch L's paper. That's all. Nothing happened.
But my heart races like it did.
As Arwen would say, it's a fail. An epic free range fail.