When I was five, my family made a trip to an old mining site located near my hometown. There was an interactive museum created inside the old mining caves where we could learn the history of the mine itself and people’s life who used to work there.
On our way to the museum, I got so excited upon hearing the term “cave” that I jumped up and down inside the car telling my parents that I couldn’t wait to visit the place. I had always read about caves in my story books, but this was going to be my first time to actually see one. As soon as we got to the museum, I shot out of the car to the ticket office, and once we all bought the tickets, I started walking ahead of everybody into the mining cave.
There was a gift shop at the entrance of the cave, and next to it stood three human-sized dolls of men in the miner costumes. Upon seeing the dolls, my merry mood faded. It disturbed me that these three dolls looked very real. Moreover, they were nodding their heads, making them look even more real and alive.
“Why aren’t you walking, sweetie?”
My parents caught up with me and asked. Still deeply rooted, I answered.
“What is there to be scared of?” Both my parents laughed. “They are just dolls, saying hello to you!”
Suddenly becoming very cautious, I walked closely behind my parents. They were eager to start their learning journey in this mining cave, and my little brother was being piggybacked on my father, not disturbed by anything at all. I didn’t understand why they could all remain so calm when there might be a chance that those three dolls came to life and started chasing us like ghosts.
As we moved toward the first display of the museum, I found more dolls in the cave. Actually, these dolls were part of the display designed so that the visitors could have a better idea of how the miners actually worked in the cave. Some of them were static, but some of them moved when we pressed the explanation buttons. They horrified me.
“I’m scared, I’m scared!”
My fear of the dolls only grew bigger. As I followed my parents from one room to another, I tried not to look at anything, and whenever my mother tried to press an explanation button, I screamed.
“Don’t press it, don’t press it! They are going to move!”
Finally, my parents had enough of this. My little brother was transferred to my mother’s back, and I was piggybacked on my father. As soon as I settled on my father’s back, I shut my eyes and ears. I didn’t want to see or hear anything while we were in the cave.
Some time passed, and my mother tapped my shoulder and told me to open my eyes. When I refused to open my eyes, she scolded.
“We are in the gift shop! There are no dolls anymore.”
I opened my eyes. Yes, it was indeed a gift shop. We were out of the cave.
As we walked back to the car, my parents told me how much I had missed.
“Even your little brother was having fun toward the end when he saw dinosaurs. But you didn’t see anything.”
I didn’t understand how dinosaurs could appear in the mining cave, but they must have been part of the decoration irrelevant of the main exhibition. Whatever I might have missed, I was so happy that I didn’t have to see any more dolls and that I was back to my ordinary life.