When the bus arrived at school, Kitten pulled her mind back to the present. It was the first day of school in January of 1964. She was twelve years old and in seventh grade. She got off the bus, and her teacher greeted her and the other children by name before escorting them to their classroom.
Karen listened as the teacher had them take turns sharing about their vacation activities. Like Karen, they had all stayed home and enjoyed the holidays with their families.
Intensely aware that most children were unconcerned with spiritual matters, she did not want to share the events of her autumn with those who would not understand. In the past, she had been ridiculed for being talkative, open and honest. What she had done over winter break had gone beyond being unusual, and comparing it with the other children’s holidays made that clearer as well as dearer to her. Moreover, Pegasus’s transformation required her to be careful with whom she shared the truth. She would use indirection and ambiguity to protect both Pegasus and herself. She hoped she could change her communication style. She hoped to find a middle ground between secretiveness and naïveté.
When her turn came, she spoke with an inner sense of strength and sincerity. Her only thought was to be honest and personal yet brief. She said that she and Mama had celebrated Hanukkah and lighted the menorah. She had enjoyed her time off school by helping a special friend. She briefly mentioned how she had helped rescue a horse, and that she and Mama had moved into a new house earlier in the fall. The teacher, Mrs. Davidson, thanked her. Kitten returned to her seat and listened to the other children tell their stories.
Original text ©2022 Karen Lynn-Chlup. All rights reserved.
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