Having your child escape from the house in the middle of the night might just be every parent’s worst nightmare. With busy roads, bad places to be, and strangers that are definitely dangerous, no one ever wants to think their children are anywhere but safe and sound in their beds late at night.
But that’s exactly what happened to a family in Washington State, whose child was returned by a kind stranger.
Marc Breckenridge and his fiancée had been at a casino until late at night. As they were driving home, a chocolate lab suddenly dashed into the road. Breckenridge pounded on his brakes and was shocked to see the dog followed by a little colored light.
They couldn’t believe their eyes: behind the dog were two little girls. One of them was Paislee, age 5. With her was a friend, who was 6. Both girls were far too young to be out on their own, much less wandering around a busy highway.
Breckenridge parked the car as quickly as he could and grabbed the little girls by the hand, dragging them off the road and out of traffic.
As he got the girls to the shoulder, a car sped past them, narrowly missing them all.
“I asked the girls, I said, ‘What are you doing? Where are you going?’” said Breckenridge. “And the girls said, ‘We’re going to the store. We’re gonna get some treats and buy some toys.’”
The girls had waited until Paislee’s parents were in bed.
Then they snuck out of the house and set off on their way to the country store. It was a quarter mile away across a bridge, over a river, and a dangerous highway.
Their plan was to go buy some fun things at the store, guided only by a colored light at the end of Paislee’s toy. She described it as the light that was guiding them on their adventure.
Breckenridge and his fiancée were still stunned.
So, he took the girls’ hands and brought them back home, walking a quarter mile to knock on Paislee’s front door. By the time he delivered the girls safely home, it was close to midnight — long past the time when both little girls should have been in bed.
Her parents were shocked, relieved, and grateful.
They didn’t even know the girls were not safely tucked in bed. Breckenridge said that their eyes bugged out of their skulls in shock, hardly believing what they were seeing.
“So many things were flooding my mind at that moment,” said Paislee’s mother. “They could have been hit by a car. The little bridge they crossed — they could have easily fallen in the river. Somebody could have picked them up. A drunk driver could have hit them.”
Paislee’s mother and father were intensely grateful that their daughter and her friend were safely back at home.
But Breckenridge says that he saw it as his responsibility to make sure the little girls — and their dog — returned home safely.
“You protect little kids,” said Breckenridge. “That’s what you do.”
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