„The boy is stubborn and never listens,“ said the father.
„Oh, he’s only dreaming,“ said his mother.
„But that’s why he can hear what is said to him,“ the father replied angrily.
„He’s in his own world. It’s hard for words to get through,“ the mother tried to appease.
„It’s going to be bad again,“ the father grumbled, but the reassurance had had an effect. Florian actually didn’t hear anything about the conversation, although he was sitting at the same table, but the five-year-old was absorbed in his favorite picture book, the one about donkeys, and nobody reached him. Nobody bothered him either. Until he felt something. It was his mother’s warm, soft hand that gently stroked his cheek. Finally, he returned and looked at her with wide eyes.
„Listen, my rabbit,“ she said when she was sure of his attention, „I have to go into town, but Bine will take care of you. She promised to go to the park with you. You like that, don’t you?“ „Great,“ Florian acknowledged the prospect of being able to go outside, because there was always so much to see in the park. Bine, his big sister with the weird boyfriend, didn’t enjoy it at all. Florian didn’t understand that at all. But how is a five-year-old supposed to understand a fifteen-year-old who at times was a mystery to herself.
A few minutes later they trudged off. Florian full of anticipation. I’m hugging her boyfriend. They sat down under the first tree that came along and immediately started kissing. Florian thought that was disgusting. But all boys his age think so. The only advantage was that his sister was so engrossed that she didn’t pay any more attention to Florian. He set out to explore the park. Every time he was here, he had made a great new discovery. This time it was a butterfly that demanded his full attention. Florian had never seen one like this before. He was glowing red, and his wings were edged with black. So, he flew from flower to flower and Florian followed him. On and on he flew. Florian followed him further and further, past trees and bushes, across meadows and fields, never taking his eyes off the butterfly. But then he had escaped him after all. Florian started to turn back, but he couldn’t find the way, he was so focused on the red moth. He was standing in the middle of a meadow and had no idea where to turn. It was already noon and the August sun beat down on him relentlessly. Only now did he notice how thirsty he was. He felt like he was drying out from the inside. Never in his young life had he felt so lost and abandoned.
But he wasn’t completely abandoned. A four-legged friend had noticed, one with shaggy fur and good-natured eyes. He slowly trotted towards Florian.
„That the two-legged can’t look after their children,“ thought the shaggy donkey and stood next to Florian. The boy cautiously approached the animal, which put up with being stroked and cuddled without hesitation. Then he got going and Florian went with him.
„In any case, the little ones understand a lot more than the big ones,“ thought the donkey, and led Florian to the edge of the park. His sister was already running towards him there.
„Where have you been?“ she said angrily, unable to prevent the relief she felt at having found him resonating.
„I ran after a butterfly, a bright red one, and then a donkey brought me back,“ Florian explained breathlessly.
„What nonsense,“ his sister admonished, „what you always think up. Where is there supposed to be a donkey?” Florian looked around and the donkey had actually trotted back.
„Tall people don’t understand that after all,“ the donkey had thought to himself as he left, „but the little ones do. It’s actually a shame for them that they’re all growing up.“