Two weeks had passed and Miss Stewart returned to the orphanage.

“Good news Alexander,” said Miss Stewart as she approached him while he was painting. Skilful in painting, Ma had always seen to it that Alexander had blank paper, brushes and paint.

“I’ve got you new foster parents, they live on a farm though I’m sure this won’t be a problem for you,” mentioned Miss Stewart. She began observing his painting – she got an ominous feeling as she saw it. The painting depicted a monster as a puppeteer and a young boy as the puppet. The overall atmosphere of the painting was filled with misery and depression.

“Sorry Ma, could I please see more paintings of Alexander?” asked Miss Stewart. Ma fetched the paintings which were too numerous to count. Miss Stewart looked at each painting; every painting exhibited a depressed theme with the prevalent monster featuring in many forms. At times the monster was in the form of the sun, trees, a horse, a dog, or a human being. Miss Stewart critically analysed each painting, believing subconsciously there was a message Alexander was trying to tell with the monster, somehow linked to the whole story.

Believing this to be a figment of imagination, Miss Stewart brushed her thoughts aside and focused solely on Alexander. The drive to his new foster parents was far. A twinkle in his eyes suggested that the scenery of country life he would love. Having said his farewells to Ma, Alexander eagerly awaited his arrival at his new home.

“Alexander, meet your new foster parents, the Irving family,” said Miss Stewart as she introduced him to them. Shy at first, Alexander gradually got used to them. The prospect of farm life filled the horizon of his mind. Milking of cows, collecting of chicken eggs, feeding of pigs, riding of horses and hunting brought a broad smile on his face.

Miss Stewart seldom saw him smile but an occasions when he did parade his marvellous smile she was certain he was happy. After being told of Alexander’s past, Mrs Irving was inclined to shedding tears. Sympathy was all they felt for Alexander as they saw him now playing with the farm dogs.

Mentioning that she will soon be leaving, Miss Stewart told Alexander that she will visit him on a monthly basis. Miss Stewart noticed in the rear-view of her car, in the dust it left behind, Alexander waving good-bye and running behind her.

“Alexander dear would you love some muffins?” asked Mrs Irving as she and her husband approached Alexander.

“Yes Miss Irving,” said Alexander as he held the hands of Mr and Mrs Irving.

“Not ‘Miss Irving’ call me mum,” mentioned Miss Irving as they playfully picked Alexander up into the air.

While he finished eating the muffins Mr Irving and Alexander played soccer. Their day ended happily as a family and young Alexander was haunted by his past memories no more.


Tell us what you think: What do you think the monster in Alexander’s paintings means?