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The Seven Year Old Girl who is my Hero

by Sally Willbanks
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The Seven Year Old Girl who is my Hero

Today I’m going to tell you a story about a little girl called Scarlet, and what she did for my son Bear.

 This story begins about 18 months ago. Bear’s older sister Boo was a Joey’s Scout, and they had an outing to Funland, a nearby arcade. Siblings were invited, so I took Bear along too. There are lots of loud noises and flashing lights at Funland, and Bear, being autistic, is easily overwhelmed. He was sticking to me like glue, when this lovely blond-haired girl came up and asked him if he wanted to play the arcade games with her. He was 5 at the time, and she was 7, and he was totally chuffed. She made his day, and afterwards, Scarlet was all Bear could talk about.

 About a month later we attended the Scouts Family Christmas Picnic, and Bear was really excited because he knew he would see Scarlet again. Once we got there, he was incredibly shy, and needed me to introduce him again and stand by offering support. Scarlet warmed up to him quickly and all was right in Bear’s world.

 Half an hour in, the Scout leaders grouped all the Scouts together and told them they were taking a walk around the headland. So, off they went, leaving the families, myself, and Bear behind. He was absolutely crushed. He was sobbing in my arms, and there was no consoling him. He felt abandoned and alone, and nothing I said could make him stop crying. I was holding him on my lap, when way off in the distance I saw this little blond girl emerge from the trees, and walk alone back in the direction of the park. It took her a good five minutes, but she walked right up to us, took Bear by the hand and asked him if he’d like to join her on their walk. Bear wiped his tears and off they went together, holding hands. I felt so much joy, and shed so many tears watching them walk off together. I could not believe so much empathy and kindness was inside that little girl. It turns out that she got in trouble when she separated from the Scout group, but she told them she didn’t care, that Bear was more important than their rules. And off she went! To this day I am amazed that Scarlet had the insight to know that Bear would have been upset to not be included, and had the strength to stand up to the Scout leaders, and leave the group to come find a heartbroken little boy.

That’s how little Scarlet, age 7, became my hero. And Bear’s too.

by Sally Willbanks


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