My & his escapades

Isn’t it wonderful that the boy has been found, safe and sound!!

Hubbie and I were sitting at one of the outside tables at Look Mum No Hands on Old Street…

While we waited for our lunch, we discussed about the news of the 7 years old Japanese boy who went missing for the past 6 days. ‘It is pretty remarkable that a 7 years old child can be so resilient and resourceful in such a sticky situation!’ We both marvelled at the turn of the event. Obviously, the boy was fortunate to come across in his path a shelter with a working tap which protected him from the elements and kept him hydrated – two most important factors for his survival. And also, a team of soldiers who were happened to be on site for training that day. The outcome could have easily been a tragic one if he was found too late. 

‘Did I ever tell you that I also ran away from home when I was three?’

Yes, I did run away from home when I was three years old. Even though, it lasted only for five hours, not six days, my escapade caused more than consternation to my poor parents and the people who joined a search for me. 

‘How did it happened? Why did you do it?’ Hubbie asked me as our plates of Frittata and salad were brought to the table…

Ok, I was a very independent minded girl (or very wilful) and one day, I took off when I found my mum’s behaviour unreasonable. 

One afternoon, I forgot to put away my toys after I finished playing with them and mum reprimanded me for it. She threatened me that she would throw them out if I didn’t tidy up as I was told. I remember thinking ‘Oh, that’s a bit extreme!’ So, I stuffed my little case with favourite toys and left home without telling her that I was moving in with my gramma in Tokyo!

Soon, my mum noticed my absence and realised that I ran away. She called my dad at work and also alerted our neighbours. My dad went straight to a local police station to report about me missing, and the rest of the search party spread to all directions to look for me. Apparently, my panic-stricken mum stumbled while she was trotting in her mules and grazed her shin badly, and she is still left with a scar to this day – Sorry, mum! 

While all the grown-ups got lost amid the pandemonium, I was standing at the gate of my local zoo. I knew then, as any three years old child, that a train would take me to Tokyo, where my gramma resided. There was a mini monorail at the zoo and I believed it would take me there. However, the zoo was closed at 5pm and the gate was shut. ‘Oh no, what do I do now?’ I remember me being aghast while looking at the immovable monorail through the iron gate. Then, someone called my name, ‘Kaori? Is that you?’ I turned around and saw a police officer and his push bike. ‘What are you doing in here? Your mum and dad are very worried about you’. The way the long shadow of him and his bike being casted over the Tarmac, I can still visualise vividly. The sun was setting and all the things around me were in different tones of amber. As we walked back to the police station in where my dad awaited anxiously, I explained to the officer why I ran away and went to the zoo. I heard from dad years later that the officer found my reasoning pretty impressive for a three years old (!) The last thing I remember was how euphoric the people were when I got home. I was very worried about being told off about the incident, but no one chastised me. Instead, I found myself in the middle of  the mini party to celebrate my safe return.

I am so happy to see his cheeky smile…

I am sure he missed his parents a lot during his sojourn in the forest…

Kaori by Kaori Okumura

2 thoughts on “My & his escapades

    • I know! It made sense to me at the time but I must have scared the hell out of my poor parents. We all can laugh about it now because it ended well. One thing for sure is kids don’t always behave as their parents expect…😅

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