“Dean, be a good boy – tell Mummy!”
Seven year old Dean Thomas couldn’t figure out what he’d done wrong, but it must be bad because Miss Field had kept him back after school to talk to his Mum. Both were looking down at him with peculiar expressions. Dean just grinned.
“Tell Mummy! What happened to the picture?”
Dean looked down at his picture – he was rather proud of this one; the sky was a perfect shade of blue and the grass was really nicely coloured. These new pencil crayons were fantastic; they didn’t leave funny marks or smudge like his other ones. The lead didn’t break when you dropped them, and he hadn’t had to sharpen the brown one all afternoon, even though he’d been using it a lot to colour the house in the middle.
Miss Field shook her head. “Mrs Thomas, I hope you believe me. I’m telling you exactly what I saw. That picture had people on it – a man, a woman and a child. Look.”
She pointed and Mrs Thomas saw that there were, indeed, three slightly darker patches of shadow – perfect shadows of a man, a woman and a child.
“But - ” she spluttered.
Dean cracked another grin and both women glanced down at him.
“Dean,” said his mother. “Did you throw away the first picture and draw another one?”
Dean shook his head.
“Did you rub the people out?”
Dean shook his head again.
“Mrs Thomas, that’s not all – the people didn’t just disappear, I swear that I saw them walk off the picture!”
Dean’s mother shook her head disbelievingly. “You mean they started moving? Like a film or something? Ridiculous!”
“That’s what I thought – but I saw them. I did!”
Both women turned to Dean again, who by now was getting rather bored. He had chosen another sheet of paper – blue this time (so he wouldn’t have to draw the sky). He doodled with a black felt tip pen, his hand held steady in concentration. This picture was going to be the sea, maybe with cliffs and a beach and lots of seagulls.
“Dean, are you listening to us? This is very serious. Tell Mummy, what happened to the people? Where did they go?”
Dean was drawing little wings for the seagulls now, high in the sky.
His mother tapped the desk with her fingers. “People on the drawing can’t just walk away or move. They don’t just disappear! What did you do to them?”
Dean shrugged again, ignoring them. How was he meant to know what had happened to the people in his drawing? Perhaps they just fancied a walk.
He finished drawing the seagulls and smiled in satisfaction.
One by one, the birds began to flutter about, flitting across the page with freedom. Dean grinned.
He was still grinning when Miss Field gasped in shock. He was still grinning as his mother uttered a forced apology and dragged him out of the classroom.
He liked pictures that moved.