The World May Never Know
Although Sarah was fully 15, had reached her full height, and was filling
out quite nicely, she had yet to leave her childish ways behind her. She
felt no shame, and was in fact not the slightest bit self-conscious, to be
wandering the park in a frilly white dress worn over jeans and grubby
tennis shoes. She divided her attention between the red leather-bound play
she was memorizing and her shaggy dog, paying no attention at all to the
people passing by. Those people, in turn, paid little attention to her,
giving her only quick glances before going on about their business. Seeing
the unusual was usual to New Yorkers.
There was something more unusual in the park that day then an foolishly
dressed young woman loudly reciting lines of romantic fantasy to her shaggy
dog, and that was the snowy white owl. The owl itself wouldn't have seemed
too out of place in the park except that it was the middle of the day and
the owl was showing not the slightest unease at being so close to a noisy
girl and her large canine. It was so close to this pair that it eventually
caught the girl's eye.
*Now this will be amusing,* Jareth mused, for this snowy white owl was in
fact the Goblin King from the very play the girl was memorizing. *Maybe
she will recite lines of my own play to me instead of to her dog.*
Sarah did in fact approach the owl, who had settled himself on the seat of
a park bench and was clawing lazily at the chipped green paint. She pulled
her skirt up in a very unladylike fashion, fumbling for something in her
jeans pocket, before she smoothed down the skirt and knelt in front of the
owl on the park bench. Jareth fluffed his feathers in anticipation of an
event he had been looking forward to for some time.
"Mr. Owl," she said, addressing him politely before dropping her gaze to
something she held in her hands. She fumbled with a paper wrapper, and
then raised her gaze back to the bird, grinning as she thrust the unwrapped
lollipop into the bird's face. "How many licks does it take to get to the
Tootsie roll center of a Tootsie pop?"
Startled by the sudden movement, the owl flew off, disappearing in the
branches of a nearby tree. Annoyed at his very owl-like reaction to Sarah,
he opened a portal to the underground, determined to come back another day
when his ego wasn't quite so bruised. As he slipped into the portal, he
heard Sarah mutter, "The world may never know."