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November 12, 2019

#YEG: Gayleen Froese

Where everything is just right.

Illustration Michael Byers

Once upon a time there was a Canadian author who, for the next 300 words or so, will be known as Goldilocks.

Goldilocks was looking for the perfect place to live.

She tried the biggest city in all the land. It was vast and glittering. There were many things to see and traveling artists visited from faraway places.

But it was nearly impossible to get tickets to see these artists; and, even if you did, you’d have to go all the way across town.

The people of the glittering city were so eager to live there that they rented closets with three other people who left dirty socks on the living room floor.

“This city is too big,” Goldilocks thought.

Goldilocks moved to a tiny city on the edge of a great forest. The woods were very beautiful and had many fine lakes. Everything in this city was easily found and there was always parking. Goldilocks had a house so big that three bears could have moved in and she wouldn’t have noticed.

But the people of this city refused to give directions to anyone, as they could not imagine not knowing one’s way. They sold guns at garage sales and shot at any buses brave enough to venture out after dark. There was only one theatre troupe, and it was lousy.

“This city is too small,” Goldilocks thought. “And kind of messed up, besides.”

So Goldilocks moved to Edmonton.

She bought a pretty little house in a neighbourhood that had knife fights but also good bakeries. She saw artists from faraway places who weren’t always quite as magical as the ones in the glittering city. They were wondrous anyway. There wasn’t always parking but she could take the bus, even at night.

She had a yard for her dogs and a good job. She could write books in the evenings, because she didn’t have to commute to some other kingdom every day.

The drivers were more frightening than angry trolls, but Goldilocks made her peace with that.

“Nothing is perfect,” she thought. “But, for me, this city is just right.”

Gayleen Froese is the author of Grayling Cross, out now through NeWest Press.

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