We were flying home after spending several enchanting days in San Jose, Costa Rica, a tiny republic just north of the Panama Canal and south of Mexico, where the climate is never hot and never cold, always delightful. We were there to attend a family wedding. Our party consisted of my wife, our three lovely young daughters, and myself.
In the midst of our return flight, somewhere over Florida, my middle child, Andrea aged six, needed to use the bathroom. I volunteered for escort duty and stationed myself outside the lavatory, just in case she might need me or had trouble locking or unlocking the door.
After a few minutes of silence, I heard a timorous voice, "Daddy....Dad...dy...?"
"What is it, sweetie? Daddy is right here."
"Are you all right, love?"
I was alarmed and ready to tear down the door with my bare hands to rescue my little princess from whatever was threatening her.
The door slowly opened and there stood my little darling with tears streaming down her face, apparently unharmed, unhappily bemoaning: "My...mari..po...sa." She held out her trembling left hand.
I was relieved. We had bought the girls silver rings from a local silversmith as souvenirs to commemorate their first international trip, each girl selecting her own present. Andrea had chosen a delicate butterfly ring with wings inlaid with blue stones. I searched carefully in the tiny bathroom. It was not there. Then I looked in the commode. There it was, of course, partially hidden by toilet tissue.
I gazed into Andrea’s baby blue eyes, the same color as her mariposa...and reached all the way down to retrieve her ring.
Milt Montague was born and raised in New York City, survived The Great Depression, the school system, World War II, college, marriage, business, and helped raise three lovely daughters. Now at 90 plus he has been writing for five years and publishing for under three years.