Hailey’s Big Sister


One of the parents along my bus route always greeted her 5-year-old daughter, Hailey, at the foot of the driveway where I dropped her off. One day, we arrived a little early so I wasn’t surprised that the mom was not yet outside. But after a few minutes, she had still not come out so I sent Hailey up to ring the doorbell. Nobody came to the door. This, in itself, was not unusual but what happened next was pretty unique.

Hailey peeked in the side window and said she could see her big sister, Emily, in the hallway. I yelled to her to ring the doorbell again and she did, but there was still no response. I had other kids on the bus so there was protocol to follow rather than simply going to the door myself. I radioed the station to have them call the house. They did, and as the phone was ringing, I asked Hailey, “What is your sister doing?” She said, “Just laying on the floor.” I relayed this information to the station. I asked Hailey if she was moving and she said she wasn’t. She said, “It looks like she’s sleeping.”

At this point, I began to grow alarmed, as did those at the station. I asked Hailey how old her sister was and she said she “thinks she’s seven.” I was just about to secure the bus when I noticed the mother driving up the street. At the same time, Hailey said Emily was coming to the door. Still wondering why a 7-year-old was left home alone, I asked Hailey why her sister wasn’t in school. She laughed and said, “She doesn’t go to school…she’s just a dog. I just call her my sister!”

“Never mind station.”

(photo courtesy of Olivier Le Queinec/Dreamstime.com)