Lizzie wanted the biggest ice cream they had, but that’s not what she got. Instead of the magical, Mickey-shaped, cold, creamy deliciousness -she had-instead- a lumpy tuna sandwich. Her mum had made it in the morning, and as she sliced it in half she felt clever at cutting any unnecessary cost out their day. Lizzie hadn’t felt the least bit clever as she watched a mop haired boy with blue eyes devour his ice cream. Still she ate it anyway. Lizzie gazed blindly ahead in a daze, while a Frozen song called ‘Let it Go’ played through the wind, at least she could go on the tea cups. Her parents had the entire day planned out and she was sure she wouldn’t miss out on going on the only ride she had come for. Right? Wrong.
Oh they went on rides all right. They went on coasters that looped and ships that travelled through the depths of London’s night sky, they even shot from Buzz’s laser guns. But no tea cups. Past carriages of Dumbos, Mary Poppins Carousel and Peter Pan’s Flight they went over to a big sign that read, “It’s a Small World”.
Lizzie had had enough. She was so small that no one could hear. She spoke louder but they just wouldn’t listen. While on the ride this song played over and over. Lizzie thought they had sung it a million time because they did it in most languages. She lost count but she could have sworn they had been in there for hours! Her Mum quietly hummed along with the song. Her Dad tapped at the side of the boat. Lizzie stood up and without permission she stepped into the shallow water and ran through the displays. Her parents’ voices were loud but she was too far away to hear.
She weaved through props and puppets and giggled as families spotted her. She thought them delighted to see a little girl amongst the singing puppets. They most certainly were not! Mothers gasped and try to call out to her. Fathers shouted warnings. But Lizzie was exploring and singing and far too busy to notice. You might say she was in a small world of her own as she jumped and skipped up different platforms, oblivious to anything else.
Eventually Lizzie made her way through to the exit. She had seen the tea cups on the way to “It’s a Small World” but no one had listened to her before. She lined up and as soon as it was her turn to go she ran.
Lizzie ran to get the pink one. She had to have it, she was a girl you know.
It circled, it spun, it was just a lot of fun!
A siren indicated it was the end of the ride. She felt mad like a Hatter. Like the Hatter!
Her parents found her giggling. She would not come out of the cup. Her mother sighed crossly. Her dad shook his head but he was rather impressed that she had got her way. And he said “Princess Lizzie, do you want to watch the fireworks” and she said yes and up, up onto his shoulders she sat.
Her Mum sighed because it wasn’t possible to be any more angry than what she was. She gave Lizzie a, we will talk about this later, look.
The park almost fell quiet until those first few sparks set the dark sky alight. They crashed and fizzled and crackled in the air-causing much delight. Children and parents and adults were turned to just girls and boys. The promise of childhood and laughter sprung in the air and there wasn’t an adult in sight; just a child-like air.