Once upon a time there was a little boy. He had found a little dirt cave, all his own. It wasn’t that he didn’t like others, he just needed a secret. Every day when no one was watching, he would run to his secret place.
At first just being there was enough. He liked to be alone with his thoughts, his feelings…it was nice with no big sisters to bother him, and no one asking him questions or wanting him to do stuff. He grew to like the silence. To want it.
As time went on though, he became bored with his tiny space and he started digging out the walls to make it bigger. It wasn’t that hard to do. The dirt was soft. It got into his fingernails though, and that part was hard to scrub out, but with time he became used to the dirt. It stopped bothering him.
The hole did bother him though. He had made it bigger, but it still seemed to make him feel cramped. He realized that maybe if he cleared out a little more, it would feel alright, so he scraped the walls and clawed the dirt away.
Each day he still went home when playtime was over. He was a good boy. Just a little dirty and a little tired after all his digging. His sister stopped bothering him so much. She said that he was mean, but he didn’t care. He wanted her to leave him alone. His mom and dad wished he would stop getting so messy, but he tried to get clean. At least clean enough so they wouldn’t be mad.
Then he would wait. Wait and think about his secret. He thought about it a lot. When he was at school he wished he could go there. When he was helping his mom in the garden, he thought about how the dirt from the cave felt under his fingers. Sometimes he wondered if he should try finding a new hole. The one he had, was starting to get more comfortable though, in a still cramped way.
One day he went to the cave after school. He thought it was looking big. Maybe big enough, but if he added just a little more space…so, he dug. He clawed at the dirt on the walls, and he clawed at the dirt he could still reach on the ceiling. He felt a little fall down on him, but he didn’t mind. He was too focussed on digging.
While he was digging at the ceiling near the door, some of the dirt from the back started falling down. It happened quickly, but the boy didn’t notice until clumps of dirt started breaking off in his fingers and he was struggling to breathe. Everything around him had caved in. His head and arm had been near the entrance to the cave, so he could see the sky and he could move his arm. He gasped for air as the pressure squeezed him. He closed his eyes…and he started digging…