Charlene stood on a raised root of a large oak tree, holding her new friend, Bubba, on a white cotton leash.  She brushed away from her face a mass of tangled yellow hair, which the breeze had been playing with ever since her rubber band had snapped.  Despite being engulfed in a leafy shadow, she shaded her eyes as she searched for her father in the throng before her.

The air was filled with fire, peppermint, and brass song.  Soldiers marched to a staccato drum; women twirled silk scarves; children shrieked across grass and pavement alike.  A colossal king rolled past on a great throne, followed by a rose blossom larger than an elephant.  Behind this came a great crescent moon ridden by a fairy, who smiled and waved to everyone she saw.  Charlene could not see her father anywhere, and jumped down from her root.  Bubba remained behind only a split second before clumsily following in her path.  Together they ran out from under the tree toward an enormous orange dinosaur who flew low to the ground.

"Charlie!" she heard from her left.  Startled, she tripped on a raised edge of the broken sidewalk, opened both hands and put out her arms to catch herself.  Bubba instantly shot into the air, and Charlene quickly stood to try to catch him.  The leash was already out of her reach, and a pang of fear and regret shot through her rapidly beating chest.  Just then a giant, with impossibly long legs clothed in flowing, star-speckled trousers, rose up in her sight.  The giant reached into the sky and snatched Bubba out of the air.  He then held onto the brim of his tall blue top-hat, leaned as far down as he could without bending his knees, and returned the string to Charlene's outstretched hand.  She looked into the giant's half-white, half-yellow face, and her eyes widened.  

"Daddy!" she said, "How did you get so tall?!"

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