Tonight there is a performance of Les Sylphides. But the ballet is not to be in the opera house, it is scheduled for somewhere in Central Park. At the entrance to the park, each of us is given a bicycle and told, “Now you must find Les Sylphides for yourself.” So we all pedal off in every direction.

It is a warm spring evening. There is a full moon in the sky. The paths are lighted with electric moons. There are leaves on the trees, and on the benches sit kids, bums, retired stockbrokers, and middle-aged matrons with sore feet and shopping bags. We circle the lagoon, coast down the roadways, or jounce over boulders and into the bushes. But still we find no Les Sylphides in the park.

As we cross the Sheep Meadow like a flock of sheep, we ring our bells and call to each other. “Hoo-hoo,” we call, “have you found Les Sylphides?

“Hoo-hoo,” go the echoes, “We’ve found no Sylphides.”

Then someone—or, maybe, someone else—calls back, “I think they are dancing around Cleopatra’s Needle … I think they are dancing in the Bethesda Fountain … I think they are dancing in the Children’s Zoo … I know they are dancing Les Sylphides in the Ramble.” We set out to look.

Nothing but water is dancing in the fountain. The baby animals in the zoo are huddled asleep. Only the wind goes round Cleopatra’s Needle. And when we zoom through the Ramble, the flustered lovers pull up their pants in a rush and get caught in the zippers.