Every day I take a walk about a mile down the road to visit our neighbors. They have a girl about my age, but is confined to a wheelchair. They have lived here for the last eight years.

Thier daughter's name is Mindy. When I go there, Mindy and I play word games, video games, or somethimes just sit and talk. She is home schooled. We can do homework together because we are pretty close to having the same lessons.

I feel sorry for her. Her parents both work all day and the housekeeper is the only one she has to talk to before and after her tutor is there. I try to get there as soon as possible so she won't get to lonely. A lot of times we talk about what we would really like to do when we grow up.

I want to be a pilot and want to break some records. I want to be famous someday. Mindy gets so sad somethime. She says her dreams are shattered because the doctors say she probably will never walk again. Her dream to become a ballerina is gone.

She was in an accident three years before and the doctors said there was very much damage to her back and only a miracle would enable her to walk again. She has undergone many surgeries and does a lot of therapy to help strengthen her back. It is very painfull and it takes a lot out of her. She is also very brave.

Tomorrow is Saturday and my mother and I are going to garage sales. I really don't care to to, but mom usually needs help. She buys a lot of other peoples junk which she considers treasures. Early in the morning we left to go on one big treasure hunt.

It was crowded everywhere we went. Three of the places we went to had a special sale. You get either a whole bag or box for one dollar each. This little hunting trip took a total of five hours.

We stopped to eat lunch on the way home. That way mom could get right into sorting things out. She was quite pleased with herself to get such bargains. I left her to call Mindy for a quick hello and to tell her I'd see her later.

When I returned, mom asked me to carry a box of treasurers to the basement. When I got there I stepped on one of the dog's toys and lost my balance. I tried to keep my balance but it was hard and I lost my grip on the box. It spilled out onto the floor. "Oh Great!", I said. Now I had to pick it all up.

As I was picking it up I noticed a shoe box. The lid did not come off. The reason the lid did not fall off was because the box was tied with pink ribbons. As soon as I had a chance I looked inside the box

I had to pull tissue paper away from the contents. It revealed a brand new pair of ballerina slippers. They were pink, the same color as the ribboms on the box. For some reason or other I became very excited. Of course the first thing I thought of was how Mindy would like to see them.

I took them to my mother and showed them to her. I asked if I could give them to Mindy. She didn't know how Mindy would take them. If it would maker her happy or sad and suggested I talk it over with her parents before I did anything with them. I agreed.

I called Mindy's parents to tell them I wanted to talk to them without Mindy knowing I was going there. They said that would be fine. I arrived at their house about an hour later. I had the box all tied up with the pink ribbons. I explained to them what the mystery was all about. After I explained, Mindy's mom opened the box.

She was suprized to see what good condition the slippers were in and commented thay looked like they had never been worn and wondered why. Both Mindy's parents saw nothing wrong with giving them to Mindy. Her mom thought they would probably make her a little happier.

We all went in together to give them to her. Her mother handed her the box. She asked what it was. Her mom just smiled and told her to open it. She sat with it in her lap for a few seconds, then gently untied the pink ribbons. Whe she sawWhat was under all the tissue paper, she just stared at them for a split second then very gently lifted them out of the box.

Her mother asked if she would like to try them on. Mindy said not now. She just wanted to hold them and feel the softness of them and stroked the satin ribbons with her fingers.

After a few minutes her mom and dad left the room, leaving Mindy and me to visit for a while. I asked her if she wanted to play games or if she wanted me to take her outside. She said no. We talked for a while. She didn't seem to be interested in anything except holding the slippers. It seemed as if she wanted to be alone so I left shortly after trying to get her to do something.

The next few days were very strange. Every day I called to Mindy's house I was told she was sleeping or not feeling well, or just did not feel like having company. This went on for almost two weeks. Finally I took a chance and just went down to her house without calling first.

Her mom let me in. When I went to Mindy's room she was surprized to see me, but did not refuse to talk to me and even said she was glad to see me. Her mom stayed for a few minutes, then left. As soon as she left Mindy changed back to the old Mindy I knew. She said she had something very important to tell me.

She asked me to sit. As I watched, she bent over and put the ballerina slippers on. Then she got up from her chair and walked to me. You could have knocked me over with a feather. I believe I just witnessed a miracle. I felt that she might fall so I jumped up to help her. She said "No. Just watch"

She then turned on some music and began to dance. She was so beautiful and graceful. How did she know what to do without taking lessons?

She danced for me for twenty minutes, then sat back down in her chair. I had a lot of questions to ask her. How could this be? When did it happen? Did her parents know? She laughe and told me to slow down.

When we both settled down she explained evrything to me. Number one: her parents did not know yet. And this all started the day I gave her the slippers. She said from the minute she saw and touched them she knew they had to be magic. As many times as she's worn them they never wear or get dirty. They stay like brand new all the time.

The first time she put them on it was like getting a shot of warm feeling all through her body. It felt good and comforting. It made her feel like she could do anything. She left her chair and started walking. She had no pain, only good feelings. She turned on her music and just started dancing. It just came automatically to her, to know what to do.

I asked if she could walk without them. She looked at the floor and said "No". I asked when she was going to tell her parents. She didn't know for sure but wanted me to be there when she did. We discussed telling them on her twelfth birthday, about six weeks away. I went there everyday to check on her and to make sure I wasn't dreaming.

I told my mom what was going on and swore he to secrecy. The reason I told my mom was because I wanted to surprise Mindy with a tutu that my mom agreed to look for. I believe that would make Mindy's dream come true. To have the slippers and tutu to wear when she danced for her parents.

Just two days before Mindy's birthday my mom found the tutu. It was pink to match her slippers. I couldn't wait until her birthday to give it to her, so I left right away and gave it to Mindy. She was so happy to get it she cired. My parents and I were invited to go to the party for Mindy. It was just us and Mindy's parents.

When we arrived her parents said Mindy would be down in a few minutes.We were there about twenty minutes when Mindy called for her mom and asked everybody to go to her room. We did.

As we approached the door we could hear music. I recognized it as her dancing music. The door was partly open. Mindy told us to come in. When we did, she was all dressed in her tutu and slippers and had the pink ribbons from the box in her hair.

She was dancing and twirling to the music. Her mother almost fainted. Her dad was schocked. My parents looked in awe. I of course was delighted. Her parents wanted her to stop. They were afraid for her. I told them she would be alright because she had been doing it for weeks.

Again her parents were shocked. But just by watching her and seeing how happy she was they let her continue. When the music was over, Mindy returned to her chair. So happy and still wearing that beautiful glow she had whenever she wore those slippers. Her mom and dad cried they were so happy.

Mindy said this was the best birthday she ever had. Of course her parents wanted to take her to the doctor right away, but Mindy wanted ice cream and cake. She wanted to celebrate this miracle. She said she felt good and the doctor could wait until tomorrow. She was to happy to spoil this time in her life. We knew Mindy and her parents had a lot to talk about, so shortly after we had ice cream and cake we left.

The next day was a visit to the doctor. Needless to say, everyone was shocked at what had happened. The doctor ran all kinds of tests and said nothing had changed to Mindy's body. They were not convinced about the story they were told, but Mindy took her slippers with her. She put them on and got out of her chair and danced for them.

When she was done they examined her again. Still no change. They had no explanation for the miracle they witnessed and came to the conclusion the dancing did not hurt her. Although they couldn't understand why she could not walk without her slippers.

They wanted to run a bunch of tests and have other doctors look at her. She and her parents all said no. It would appear that if Mindy wanted to walk she would always have to wear her slippers. That was fine with her. Her parents worried the slippers would wear out, but Mindy convinced them they would not. She said she knew they were magic.

All our lives seemed to go on the same as before except everyone was much happier. Mindy and I still see each other all the time. We talk more now about what we want to be when we are full grown. I think the only records I'll break when I'm a pilot will be when I have to go somewhere to see Mindy dance.

I know deep in my heart she will be a famous dancer some day. She wants to go to Paris and be the best ballerina dancer in the world.

I know she will be.

Marie D. Weis
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