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It’s not funny when a little girl cries. So why are they all laughing? I pray and hope that my tears will transform as they fall from my cheeks into steel soldiers and scare all the kids into terror just to shut them up.

My knee is bleeding. Where’s the teacher? Isn’t she supposed to help me? Does she not hear my wails?

I open my eyes and they dart around crazily in search of Mrs.-what was her name?- only to fall upon possibly the only kid not laughing or pointing at my crumpled form. The girl-I can tell from her pink sneakers- is flat on her back on the hard mulch. I can’t see her face but I recognize the crazy red curly-cues that have flayed all around the pretty girl. It’s Ivy the quiet shy redhead who sat three seats away from mine in class. She stared at me just like all the other kids when I first entered for I was the newbie. I was the new plaything for all the kids to gawk at and poke fun with.

My knee isn’t bleeding all that bad but I act like it is gushing with the red liquid as I scream and wail and tears cascade down my cheeks.

I look around some more, and I see another rare anomaly. A girl whose name I don’t remember is not chuckling or even looking at me. She is trying to speak but her tiny voice can’t be heard over the hackling hyenas around us or over my pained screams. The tiny elfin brunette is looking at the hyenas and her mouth is moving quickly but the air refuses to carry the words to me as if it too is trying to ruin my day. The short brunette’s face reddens and her hands ball up into tiny little shaking fists. Her plump lips separate and a voice that doesn’t seem to only come from the small girl fills the air. The entire world.

“Stop it now!!!” The loud voice shakes me to my bones.

Even the brunette looks confused about the voice that must have came from her lips. All eyes are now on her and her young face reddens even more until there is a break in the ring of hungry hyenas and a very large very angry woman comes forward. The teacher takes one look at me and huffs. She reminds me of a great big lion. The teacher has stringy honey-blonde hair that goes to her elbows. Her eyes are wide but squinty and green like a cat. Her body is built like a brick or cement block. A face only a mother could love.

The woman moves to quick for me to object and in one swift movement she has me in her arms like a baby and is carrying me to the school building. I’m frozen.

I haven’t been held like this since I was in preschool. Now, my ma just says I’m too big to be carried around. I don’t know what to say now. Apparently the giant lion of a teacher doesn’t think I’m too big.



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