Modern Pied Piper

As I’m studying intently for an upcoming math exam and straining my eyes on trigonometric formulas, I hear a faint tune in the distance. Hey, I know that song, I think to myself, wondering where I’ve heard it. Eventually realizing that the infernal formulas won’t memorize themselves, I reluctantly return to my work. But after a few moments, the tune is much louder, essentially forcing me to divert my attention.

What could it be? What could it be?  I impatiently tap a pencil tip to my lips. Hah! I’ve got it! When the Saints Go Marching in! I begin to hum along to the catchy ditty. Oh when the saints go marching in! Oh when the saints go marching in! 

Only when I’m through with the second verse of the song do I actually stop to wonder about the source of the music and look out the window.

Blaring the upbeat tunes of my childhood, the ice cream truck rolls down the street. Large, white, and tattooed with the colorful images of ice cream flavors and popsicles on the sides, it’s pretty hard to miss.

As I stare out into the distance, a wave of childhood nostalgia washes over me, and suddenly I’m six years old. It’s a warm, summery day outside. The kind of day that practically screams for ice cream. Seeing that it’s a Saturday afternoon, my mother and I are at the park.

After physically exerting myself on every brightly colored challenge, from the swings to the slides to the monkey bars to the jungle gym, I collapse on a nearby bench, sweating from the heat and exhaustion. My mother sits besides me reading a magazine with an avid interest.

And just as I am about to tug at her sleeve and nag her for something cold and sweet, I hear a distinctive jingle coming from a distance. My ears prick up a little. Is that twinkle, twinkle little star? The song seems to be getting louder with each passing second. And just like me, swarms of excited and wide-eyed infants are being drawn to that same enchanting melody.

Soon, a glorious, musical, white truck comes into view, finally stopping a few feet in front of me. Sensing that it is finally time, I look at my mother with pleading eyes that make most parents protectively clutch their wallets. But not one to miss the chime of childhood, my mother smiles resignedly, stands, and walks over to the van.

When I’ve finally gotten the rainbow Popsicle in one hand, I squeeze my mother’s side affectionately with the other. My lips are already a bright, sticky red from the cherry flavor on top, and I can’t wait to get to the orange. And sitting there with my mother, while messily licking a rainbow Popsicle , I realize that I couldn’t be any happier.

I suddenly return from my vivid daydream to find myself staring longingly at the ice cream truck. At the enticing sound of the music, dozens of children have already crowded around the main window, holding fistfuls of dollar-bills in the air. Oh, the ice cream truck, a modern Pied Piper if there ever was one.
Through the Window


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