"You are in a corn field, with your dog, when all of a sudden, a plastic..."
...heart lands at my feet with a soft thud. I begin to panic, so surreal is the experience of finding myself standing in a corn field, that it doesn't seem unlikely that this is my own heart fallen from my chest with the shock of the loss of all I know.
The little dog looks up at me with such an air of expectation that I know he must be mine. We exchange one of those looks filled with unspoken questions. Then his sharp little face breaks into a 'yap'. He grabs the heart and begins to shake it, growling with pathetic small dog menace. It is then I hear someone, or something, barrelling through the corn.
The dog pauses in his work, then takes off into the corn as a shiny man breaks through, glances sideways at me, tips his funnel hat, then follows close on the dog's trail.
"Toto! Toto!" I call urgently, although I cannot tell you why. I stand amongst the great stalks, wondering what I should do as a violent yapping erupts some distance away.
It seems only a minute ago, I was in Munchkinland playing canasta with the mayor, his wife and my sister. Suddenly a great wind blew, scattering the cards and enveloping us in a cloud of dust. There was screaming and I distinctly heard a woman's voice call, "Dorothy! Dorothy!" and then all was quiet once more and I found myself standing in a corn field with the dog I did not have just a minute ago. My dog.
Toto reappears from amongst the stalks. The heart is gone, but he carries a small, dented oil can by the handle, struggling a little with the weight of it.
I lean down to scratch behind his ears the way he likes. "We're not in Oz any more, Toto," I sigh, "but I've learned something from this." The dog looks up at me quizzically as if waiting to hear my new found wisdom. "There's no place like home, Toto. There really is no place like home. No place like home..."
Before I have even finished speaking, I find myself once more in the midst of a great wind and my dog is gone. "Toto! Toto!" I call, reaching for him through the blinding dust.