The Little Footprints

When I was about seven, a new bookstore opened near my house. In the suburb where we lived, we didn’t have many bookstores, most of which were secondhand, so, the news of a new firsthand bookstore sparked interest in all of us.

One weekend afternoon, shortly after the store opened, my family made our first visit. As we got off the car, I saw a large one-story building with plenty of windows. That’s a bookstore? I’d never seen such a big one before.

As we walked through the entrance, the smell of new books tingled my nose. But before I could say anything about it, my father drew my attention.

“Sweetie, look here,” he said, pointing to the floor. “What do you see?”

I thought it was strange to look at a floor inside a bookstore, but I did as he requested. On the dark brown floor, I spotted tiny yellow footprints. Footprints that looked like those of toddlers. Starting from where we stood, they seemed to continue further into the store.

“I see footprints.” I replied, my furrows pinching with confusion. “But why are there footprints?”

“Why don’t we find out?” My father grinned. “Let’s follow these footprints!”

Though still confused, nudged by my father, I started following the footprints while my father walked behind me. The yellow footprints rounded corners a few times, then eventually led to a carpeted area where they disappeared.

“They’re gone!” I looked up. The shock of losing the footprints was quickly replaced by delight. “Children’s books!”

“Now you see what these footprints are for,” said my father standing next to me. “Whenever you come here, you just need to follow these yellow footprints to find children’s books!”

It didn’t take me long to remember the passage to the children’s books section. The store had a spacious design and wasn’t too complicated after all. Despite that, every time I went to the store, I liked to purposefully focus my attention on the floor and follow the yellow footprints. The surprise that waited at the end always reminded me of the first visit.