Emily and the Runaway Wall


A little girl was walking down the street when she noticed a wall approaching. This was no ordinary wall, like the kind made of brick or stone which stands firmly in place to keep people from going straight ahead. This was an inside-the-house kind of wall that seemed to have gotten outside the house and was now heading straight towards her.

Image courtesy of pamsclipart.com

Image: pamsclipart.com

How odd, thought the little girl. I’ve never seen a wall walking down the street before. I think I shall find out what is going on. 

She waited until the wall got close enough to have a conversation. She had once heard that walls have ears, so it seemed reasonable to assume they had mouths, too.

“Excuse me, Mr. Wall,” she said. “But may I ask what you are doing walking down the street?”

The wall stopped, then looked over his shoulder to be sure it was he who was being addressed.

“Yes, you!” said the little girl.

The wall studied her carefully before he spoke.

“I suppose that if you really must know,” he said, “I needed to buy some paint.”

Sure enough, the wall was carrying a can of paint and some paint brushes, the little girl noticed.

“I see,” she said, although she didn’t.  She furrowed her brows, doing her best to look quizzical. “For what?”

“Well, I seem to have developed some worn out patches that need a touch up, and there are some spots on me where there is crayon, if you can imagine that.”

“You don’t say!” said the little girl.

“I do say. In fact, I just did say.”

“May I see?”

“Of course.”

The wall turned around, bent where his knees might be if he had them, and stuck his bottom out. Sure enough, he had a big circle of pink crayon on him, and inside the circle was a big pink splotch.

“Hey, that’s my sister Keilan, “ said the little girl .

“How interesting,” said the wall. “I thought that was just a big pink splotch. Keilan, you say? I think I’ve heard that name before. I wonder, is your name Emily?”

“Yes, how did you – ?” Emily, who was very smart, put her hands on her hips, and tilted her head. “Are you the wall from my bedroom?”

“Hmm,” said the wall, looking very thoughtful for a wall. “You do look familiar. You are about the same size and shape as the little girl who draws on me with pink crayon and puts her feet on me when she lays the wrong way in bed.” The wall bent down and looked at her face very closely. “But how can we be sure?”

“Hmm,” said the little girl, looking very thoughtful for a little girl. “Well, if you are the wall from my bedroom, you have marks on you that show how tall I am getting!”

“I am not sure I see how that would help us solve this puzzle,” said the wall.

“If the top of my head lines up with the highest mark on you, then you are my bedroom wall.”

“Ah, that’s very clever,” said the wall. “I do have some marks on me that I was intending to paint over. Stand up against them and we shall see where they fall in relation to the top of your head.”

Emily stood up against the wall. Sure enough, the top mark matched up exactly with the top of her head.

“I am the wall from your bedroom!” said the wall.

“Hooray!” said Emily, and she and the wall clasped hands and did a little dance together to celebrate. And for a moment she was very happy. But then she stopped dancing and became very sad all of a sudden.

“If you are out here getting paint, Mr. Wall, who is holding up the ceiling in my bedroom?”

“Goodness! I wouldn’t know. I suppose no one.”

“And who is separating my room from my sister’s room?”

“Gracious! I wouldn’t know that either. No one again, I suppose.”

“Mr. Wall, this is a very big problem.”

“Then it’s a good thing problems can be solved, Emily,” said the wall, getting down on one knee, or at least doing a good impression of it for someone with no knees, or even legs. “How can we solve this one?”

“Well, next time, if you need to be painted, you should tell me. I will get the paint myself and paint you.”

“That sounds fair.  Though I would say that to save yourself the trouble of having to paint me, you could use your crayons on one of your coloring books, as opposed to me, and also lay with your feet in the bed, not on me.”

“That sounds fair,” said Emily. “Now let’s get back to our house before the ceiling falls.”

The wall agreed, and off they went. As they headed for home, hand in hand, Emily had one last question.

“Mr. Wall, if we paint your other spots that need painting, can we keep the marks that show how tall I’m getting?”

“Why of course!” said the wall.

He was a pretty good wall for a little girl to have in her bedroom, and Emily told him so. This made them both very happy.

34 thoughts on “Emily and the Runaway Wall

    • And a double thank you to you for reading it on the first time around!

      I will write more children’s stories, I’m sure. I have to wait for the mood to come round again. I’m rather moody that way.

      But I think you’ve been working on some children’s stories too? How is that coming?

      Liked by 1 person

      • You are welcome! and yes I hear you about mood and writing. I switch genres sometimes and go back and forth. I ‘am working on some books at the moment..It’s going well. It needs a little structure and am slowly working on it. I work full time so unfortunately only have a narrow window of time that allows me to write. I also intend on illustrating my books, that takes up the majority of my time-it will take a while but it will get done.


  1. When I was at high school I auditioned for the school play, A Midsummer Night’s Dream. With high hopes of landing Oberon (“Ill met by moonlight, proud Titania”), I actually ended up (as usual) with the tiny comic role of the Wall. It’s good to see that you are both keeping up the proud tradition of masonry in literature!


  2. What a lovely magical story, Walt. Thanks for reposting it for us that were not followers when you first published it. I find doing reposts always work really well.
    I hope we hear and read more stories from your daughter and you soon.


    • Thanks, Hugh! I think most people don’t dig too far backwards into blogs after they discover them. Surely some do, but by and large I think most of us “follow forward” from the point of discovery, if you take my meaning. Which means that great posts can languish in obscurity.

      I’ve also noticed that on themes that allow for featured content, resetting an old post as featured, or in other words moving it front and center onto the home page, doesn’t help much for calling readers’ attention to it. Only reposting seems to work. That’s been my experience, anyway.


      • Yes, I know exactly where you are coming from on that, Walt. That is why I usually dig deep at weekends and repost old posts from my early days. It’s surprising how well some of them do and more comments come in and debate is reborn again.
        I’ve never reset an old post on my front page, perhaps the theme I use does not allow it, but I think many visitors read the most recent post first and then just maybe will read a couple before then, but it’s very rare. That’s why I always say there is absolutely nothing wrong in reposting older posts.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Walt my friend , you continue to surprise me. You find story that emit joy from the simplest things, like her in this innocent conversation between a little girl and her bedroom wall.
    Sometimes when I feel the walls are closing in, our world is becoming inhabitable and destined doomed because of all the violence and diseases around us, I log into WordPress and read one of your posts. If ever you decide to publish a book of all these stories, do let me know, I’ll be the first one to buy and promote them.


  4. Would think children would really enjoy this type of story – the imagination, the gentle thinking about what walls do ( or what bad walls don’t)….very sweet.


    • He acted a bit selfishly didn’t he? He’s a bit vain, too. All about appearances. But he meant well, I think. And so did she. Teamwork, you see.

      Thank you for your kind thoughts. 🙂


  5. Pingback: In which I rip off more great writing. | waltbox

  6. Great story! I really enjoyed it. Perhaps tonight I’ll talk to my wall and ask how he is doing and if he minds when my bulldog leans against him. Perhaps he has a favorite picture I’ve hung on him; I wonder if the picture hanging nails hurt like getting an injection? Happy children’s fiction is a real gift!


    • Hi Cara! My daughter used to like it when we made up stories at bedtime and this was one of my favorites. She asked for a story about a girl and a wall (??) and this is what came out of it. Thanks for reading! Hope you are doing well.



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