Ode to Amy-Leigh De Jager

Amy-Leigh is a little 6-year old girl that was abducted by four men in front of her school, right next to her mother, in front of her horrified brother of 5. She was bundled into a Toyota Fortuner, and taken to an unknown location. She spent an agonizing 18 hours with these vile men. Thankfully she was dropped off close to the Police Station and was taken there by a couple who heard her frantic screams. I cannot even begin to imagine what these parents went through. I wrote this piece when Amy-Leigh was still missing, but what happened to her is a very real threat to every single little girl in South Africa, so I feel it is still relevant:

ODE TO AMY-LEIGH DE JAGER (Nicci Coertze)

“Little six-year old girls should be hopping and skipping to a parent’s car after a day filled with loving and learning at school.
Little six-year old girls should leave sticky fingerprints on the family car’s window.
Little six-year old girls should be fighting with their brothers and pretending they are Princess Sofia on the carpet in front of the TV.
Little six-year old girls should be blowing bubbles in a soapy bath tonight.
Little six-year old girls should try to feed their peas to their trusty dog, hiding underneath the table at dinnertime.
Little six-year old girls should give their dads hugs and butterfly kisses and badly drawn pictures of a happy stick family.
Little six-year old girls should be snuggling in their mother’s laps for one last story before bedtime.
Little six-year old girls should fight to stay up a bit later and ask for water a hundred times before their tired eyelids force their eyes to close.
Little six-year old girls should be safe in a warm, comfy bed in a house filled with love and giggles.
Little six-year old girls should clutch their teddies and fall asleep to lullabies and love and soft light…
They shouldn’t be scared and hurt and lonely and terrified of the dark night and quiver in fear in front of cruel strangers with dark thoughts and even darker hearts.
They shouldn’t be ripped from their mother’s arms whilst their brother watches helplessly in silent horror at the nightmare unfolding right in front of his eyes.
They shouldn’t be wondering if they will ever see their mommy and daddy and brother again.
They shouldn’t be prayed for and cried over on a continent that has become a war zone.
They shouldn’t be the reason that other six-year old girls are scared to leave their own rooms, let alone go to school tomorrow.
They shouldn’t be petrified and hungry and tired and lost.
They shouldn’t be the innocent, helpless victims of violent abductions in a country crippled with crime.
Little six-year old girls should be safe and be free to be… Little six-year old girls.”

May God help us in South Africa.

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