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The dawn peeked through the dainty lace curtains, dancing across thebedroom floor. The cotton-candy pink walls were bathed in the goldenglow. The sunlight reached the quilt with little hearts on its pillowysurface, and engulfed the small body hidden deep under the warm covers.The soft, summer wind chased the sun in through the window, ruffling thewisps of curly hair on the small head. Unnoticed, morning had tiptoedinto the room, bringing forth a new day.
"Rise and shine!"called a too-perky woman, her voice muffled by the door.
Twoclear, blue eyes sprang open. Dreams of fairies and princesses werewashed away by the sunlight. The slight figure rose, greeting the newday with outstretched arms, as she did every morning.
"Goodmorning, sunshine! Good morning, birds and trees and lace curtains! Goodmorning, room and breeze and woman! Good morning, Morning!" sheexclaimed.
"Judy, honey, it's almost time for breakfast. Getdressed and come down, okay?" the woman's voice called from downstairs,bringing with it the smells of bacon and sausage, and eggs. Judy lovedeggs.
She searched the cotton-candy pink room for clothes. Shelooked and looked, imagining herself a detective searching for clues tosolve a murder case. She looked all over - on the chair, under the bed,even under the pillow. She finally worked her way to the closet andfound what she was looking for. After minutes of deliberation, sheawkwardly put her arms and legs through the right holes.
Shedescended the stairs, stopping periodically to regain her balance, thenwalked into the kitchen. Her slippers made little thumps on the tilefloor, betraying her presence to the woman at the stove who turned andglanced at her.
She distractedly wiped her hands on herapron and said, "Come in! Breakfast is ready, and we're having yourfavorite!" The woman helped Judy sit down, then resumed her task. Shelaid out Judy's breakfast, then settled herself at thetable.
"So, Judy, what do you want to do today?" the womanasked, as Judy gobbled her breakfast.
"I wanna ... go ... tothe ... park!" Judy said between mouthfuls.
"Allright, we'll go. Just as long as you promise to be good,okay?"
When the eggs were gone, thewoman took Judy's hand and they walked to the park. The woman sat on thebench, as Judy slowly meandered over to the children playing on theswings. When she approached, they shied away.
"Can I play,too?" Judy asked.
"Why would we want to play with you, youold fogie?" The children jeered. They turned away and ran to anotherpart of the park.
Judy returned to the bench where thewoman sat, tears welled in her eyes.
"They don't want toplay with me," Judy sobbed.
"Don't worry about them. Let'sjust leave. If they won't accept you, they're not worth it anyway," thewoman said.
The woman grasped one wrinkled hand, helped Judyto the car, and drove to the senior center for lunch. When they walkedin, the elderly people were slurping soup with toothless gums. The scentof mothballs filled the air. As they were sitting at a table, a meagerlunch was set before them. Judy ate hungrily, not stopping to talk untilit was gone.
"Who are you? Why are you being so nice to me?"she asked the woman.
"Because I love you very much. I amyour granddaughter!" the woman explained. "Here is your medication,Grandma." She wondered whether it would help her grandmother'smemory.
"Oh, thank you!" Judy took her medicine. A fewminutes later, she looked at the woman. "Who areyou?"
The woman just smiled patiently and took the dishesback up to the counter.