It’s a beautiful summer day and Noortje is musing on her swing. She hasn’t dreamed about the crow for a while. Still, she doesn’t know if it was a dream or that it really happened.
Droef, the dog is lying on his back. He has spread his legs so that the sun can warm his pink belly.
‘Droef, stop that. Soon you will burn your belly and you’ll cry all night,’ yells Noortje at him.
She jumps off the swing and gives the dog a push so that he rolls on his side.
‘So, that’s better. It’s not a nice face, how you lay there,’ and she gives him a kiss on the nose.
He looks at her as if he wants to say. Well, where are you interfering with? It is certainly my belly.
Noortje has not turned yet, or he simply turns on his back and enjoys the warmth that the sun gives him.
‘Well, then you have to know it for yourself. If your belly is burnt, you will stay all night sleeping outside in your loft. Foolish dog.’
Noortje is bored. maybe the crow is nearby, and her eyes are searching the area. In one way or another, she missed him. Maybe I discover him anyway.
Her eyes gaze to the tree and she’s wondering whether her mother is nearby.
Sneaky she goes to the tree and looks, but she cannot see the top of the tree.
‘Shall I try to climb into the tree,’ she mumbles softly
‘No, don’t do it,’ she answers herself
But the adventure beckons her and she begins to climb into the tree. She feels the tension in her little body, but she is so curious, so she climbs further up.
‘Noortje,’ she hears mother calling? ‘Noortje, where are you? We are going to eat.’
‘Up here mom, in the tree,’ Noortje replies. She wants to climb down, but she doesn’t succeed.
‘Well, there you are again,’ says a witch with a broom in her hand. ‘Come on, give me your hand and I shall help you.’
Noortje doesn’t want that, but she doesn’t dare to go down either.
She becomes a little dizzy when she looks down. The witch takes her hand and helps her.
‘I’ll just wake up again,’ she asks the witch
The witch starts tot laughs loudly and flies away on her broom.
Noortje shrugs her shoulders. Strange the last time she climbed into the tree, she had seen an enormous sea of flowers. What she saw now was only sand, and where is everyone?
She collected all the courage and strength to climb down again.
Suddenly she saw a little man with a strange hat and in his hand, he has a strange curved stick.
‘So, Noortje. Now, you really have a problem. That’s going to be a whole climb down,’ says the little man.
Noortje looks at him and answers: ‘I can see that too, but I’m not afraid. Soon I’ll be wake up again. It’s only just a dream, just like the previous times. But then there were beautiful flowers and dancing animals, now there’s only sand,’ Noortje answers.
‘Come along with me. I will prove that this is not a dream,’ the little man says and together they look down. She sees that mom and dad are still looking for her.
‘Noortje, Noortje,’ she hears Mommy calling.
‘You see that you aren’t dreaming,’ says the little man.
Noortje stares down and feels a little guilty because mom and dad are so worried about her.
‘I really have to go down now,’ she says, but the little man begs her to stay.
‘I really can’t let you go. You’ll fall and hurt yourself seriously. Maybe we can make a promise?
‘Why…, I do want to go to my parents,’ she answers and wants to drop herself to the branch below her.
She feels a little bit light in her head and now she understands that the little man won’t let her go
‘What do you want from me,’ she asks.
‘You can make one wish. You must think about that carefully. Look around you, all desert,’ The little man replies.
‘Yes, I can see that too, where are all the animals and where is Snow White,’ Noortje responding.
‘Snow White was so weak that she decided to stay in her glass box. The parents of Tom Thumb were so hungry that they didn’t even have the strength to take the children to the forest. Hansel and Gretel were so hungry that they ate the whole house of the witch. That is why the witch has now locked them both in the cage. So, you see, only you can lift that curse.
It is up to you or your wishes that everything becomes normal, but if you decide to go back to your mom and dad then …’
She is confused. What should she do? Make sure that all fairy-tale characters and nature recovers, or does she choose to go back to Mom and Dad. Children need fairy tales to grow up. No…, he can’t ask that from her. Giving up Mom and Dad, that’s not an option.
‘May I think about this,’ she asks.
The little man takes off his hat and makes a deep bow. ‘Of course, but not too long,’ he replies, and the little man disappears behind a large branch.
‘Well, now he leaves me all alone, what a weird man.’
She doesn’t understand it. Is this again one of my dreams. Just like the other with the crow.
Noortje looks around and still sees that enormous emptiness. How different this was the last time she climbed into the tree. When she closes her eyes, she sees that beautiful sea of flowers again. And all those fairy-tale characters and the animals that cheerfully danced around in the field. I can’t abandon them, can I, she wonders?
Above her head appear big black clouds and suddenly it starts to rain brutally.
Flashes of light and thunder make’s her little body shaken.
‘Noortje, wake up!’
She opens her eyes and sees that mom and dad are standing next to her.
My dear, there you are. We have looked everywhere for you.’
Noortje rubs her eyes and sees that she is lying between the legs of Droef.
‘I was …,’ but remains silent. She knows that mommy wouldn’t believe her.
‘Come let us go quickly. In a moment the thunderstorm will break loose in all his intensity,’ says dad. He takes her in his arms and quickly he brings her into the living room. Happily, runs Droef along with them into the house. I will not stay alone outside in this weather, he thinks.
Noortje sits in front of her bedroom window and looks at the tree. Did she climb it or not, she wonders? Strange, now she can see the top of the tree, but farther she sees nothing else. The storm bursts out in all its intensity when she looks at the garden, she sees the little man with his strange stick, waving at her.
She calls her mother. ‘What’s wrong sweetheart,’ ask her mother.
‘There, do you see that little man. I saw him this afternoon. He wanted me to make a wish to.
The rain is splashing against the window and the little man is no longer visible.
‘Yes, it’s okay. Stop whit those fantasy stories. In the future, you stay in the garden. Otherwise, I will have to put you on a chain just like Droef,’ mommy answers.
‘Sleep well darling,’ mommy says.
She kisses Noortje on her head and leaves the bedroom whit a smile.