The village by the river.

I decided to get an early start this morning, so I made sure I was up before the crack of dawn. After breaking camp, I nervously returned to the trail that took me to the frightening sight I witnessed yesterday. And there it was. The village by the river, inhabited by children wearing colorful costumes. When I saw them yesterday, they were singing and dancing but not this time. They were now standing right there in the dark while completely motionless. Nearby stood an unusual assortment of animals consisting of geese, monkeys and even an elephant. None of them were moving either. I worked up the courage to walk up to the village for a closer view, cautiously shining my flashlight around while taking care not to disturb the children. But they still didn’t move.

Then I realized I was close to the river, only I didn’t hear the water flowing. When I shone my flashlight on the water, I was startled to see it still as glass.

Just when I began to fathom these unexplainable events, everything changed in an instant. The river began to flow as multiple lights in the sky began to illuminate the village. When I turned around to see the sights behind me, I nearly dropped my flashlight. The children were once again singing and dancing with the nearby animals joining in with their heads swaying in time to the music that came from nowhere.

And then the boats came, an endless line of boats filled with spectators with their cameras at the ready to capture the moments during their visit to this mysterious village. I had to hide behind the nearby bushes to avoid being seen.

Then, for the first time since my arrival here, I could understand the words to the song the children were singing nonstop for hours on end. Now the mystery had deepened to the point where it may never be solved. The only thing I had accomplished thus far was feel my insanity increase to uncomfortable levels. No longer was I curious about this village and its peculiar residents, I just had to leave, and quickly.

And so I did, miraculously completing my escape unnoticed as I returned to civilization but with the words “It’s a small world” forever ringing inside my head.

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