by Julie Kane
She was no longer a child when they gave her the dollhouse she had always coveted in childhood: three stories high, with the front wall shorn off so that she could see into every room at once. Right away she began furnishing it with tiny books of fairy tales and nursery rhymes. In one room she put some northern woods with slender birch and crab apple trees, a field of Queen Anne’s lace, and a pond with ice crackling around its edges. She chose her grandmother’s pale green bird-patterned wallpaper for the dining room and her aunt’s wringer washing machine for the kitchen. She set a frowning mother doll in the living room and lay a handsome father doll down on the Harvest Gold sofa. In the den she placed a tin ceiling, a rainbow-colored jukebox, and a honky-tonk piano. Behind the bar she propped a boy doll with the sun’s corona for a head. “Hurry up,” said a voice. Quickly, she planted a sweet olive bush outside the kitchen door. She buried the bones of her favorite cat by the patio and was just about to sprinkle some morning glory seeds when the voice said, “Time’s up.” “Wait a sec,” she said. “I still need to add these morning glories, and Vilnius in winter, and two blue parakeets, and of course, love . . .” Then suddenly she understood, without having to be told, that it was time for her to move in.