As the haggard man wept with both joy and horror I fell back on my hands unable to do more than stare at the young woman who had been pulled from the bowels my backyard. After a moment I tore my eyes away from her and her father. I blinked through the driving rain and watched as the new hole in my yard continued to fill. The man’s bitter sobs were all I could hear through the rain.

The young woman’s soft, ragged breathing slowly grew stronger until her eyes flickered open. At first they were dull, filled with confusion, but the reality of what had just happened hit her like a bolt from the sky and horror bloomed across her face for an instant before she started crying hysterically. The man, her father I presumed, held her tightly, whispering in her ear. Even through his tears, he did what he could to calm the girl. He gave me a plaintive look, no more than a glance really, but I understood immediately.

After running to my house to get a large blanket for her, we carefully led the still sobbing child inside.

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