It could all be one big misunderstanding, a case of mistaken identity. The other day at work, we were all discussing the whereabouts of Maddie, Europe’s latest all encompassing news story. One of my co-workers told me the real life story of some friends of friends of his on vacation in Amsterdam a few years back. What do a group of Spaniards in Amsterdam, seven dwarfs, and a missing kid have in common?
A group of young Spaniards were all on vacation in Amsterdam. Yes, Amsterdam in the Netherlands, that city known for liberal narcotics laws, coffee houses, and the lowlands. Like most young Europeans who spend a few days in Amsterdam, these guys decided to experience the city and experiment with their minds.
They formed their own little excursion to a city park and took that excursion one step further with a little help from hallucinogenic aids. After consuming some magic mushrooms, the leader of the pack (we’ll call Carlos) decided to take a head count just to make sure no one had lost their way. And as it were, (let’s call her) Snow White was missing.
The most likely scenario was that Snow White, taking into account it was her first experience with shrooms, had probably had a bad trip and decided to return to the hotel. The logical thing to do was to retrace her steps to the hotel, just in case Snow White had gotten lost on the way back.
So far the coast was clear and there was no sign of Snow White on the path to the hotel. There were also no lines of bread marking her steps either. To everyone’s great relief, they found Snow White in the hotel room. She looked a little shaken up, was sweating, cold and wrapped in a blanket, but showed no signs of being ill or needing medical help.
Carlos then asked Snow White if she felt alright and asked what had happened.
Snow White then began to giggle nervously, “I was in the park and started to follow a butterfly. Then next thing I knew I was lost.”
“And then you came straight home?” Carlos asked.
Now adding a slight back-and-forth rocking to her nervous laughing, she replied, “I was on the street and was going to come back to the park. But then a group of seven gnomes came out of nowhere and started laughing and taunting me. They got in the middle of the sidewalk and blocked my way back to the park. I got really scared and raced back to the hotel.”
Carlos comforted her, “Don’t worry, Snow White, that was just the shrooms. You’re going to be fine, you were just hallucinating.”
Then Snow White interrupted him and said, “I knew none of you were going to believe me. So before I ran away from them, I captured one of the gnomes and brought him back here to show you guys that I wasn’t crazy.”
“OK, Snow White, and where would that gnome be right now?”
“He’s there, hiding under the bed.”
They all looked under the bed, and there under the bed was hiding a kid with some form of developmental disability, probably Down Syndrome. Most likely, Snow White had crossed paths with a school for children with Down Syndrome and had brought the child home with her.
Carlos helped the child out from under the bed and took him to the nearest police station. End of story.
Sure, there is nothing funny about lost or abducted children, especially about ones with developmental or other disabilities. Nevertheless, after hearing all of the various theories about the whereabouts of Maddie and whether her parents were or were not responsible, it was nice to hear another possible hypothesis to remind us that fairly tales are nothing more than fairy tales, even in our most drug induced fantasies.