Scene 4: A Month of Castanets
That night, Karen read the book about the girl who grew up to become a ballerina, and all night long, she danced in her dreams. The next day was Saturday, and she woke up feeling great.
After breakfast, she dressed in a clean leotard and tights before warming up at the ballet barre Gilberto gave her. It was time for the third gift.
She wrapped the castanet loop around the second finger of her left hand, and with the right, clicked the other castanet against it. But the harder she tried to hold on to the castanet, the more her wrist tightened and pronated. Instead of flexing to hold her finger upright, so she could click the castanets together like a real flamenco dancer, it bent the other way. She kept on all morning, although the outcome remained the same.
At noon, she put on a big apron before toasting bagels and spreading them with lox and cream cheese, one for her and one for Mama. The aroma was heavenly and brought her mother into the kitchen. They sat at the kitchen counter to eat.
“Mama, I’m having a lot of trouble with the castanets. I can’t seem to get the hang of them.”
“Oy vey, my dear. I heard you trying all morning. Why don’t you ask Pegasus?”
After cleaning up and changing into her riding clothes, Karen walked to the ranch. She needed some time outdoors, anyway. She found Pegasus grazing in the pasture behind the barn and showed him what happened when she tried to click them together.
“Kitten, you need to become like the character in Sir Gawain and The Green Knight. If you only looked once, you wouldn’t have rescued me. Sir Gawain came back on the fourth day, and you kept coming back, too. It will be the same with the castanets. Keep trying, and you will master them.”
“You’re right, boy. I have my inner source of courage. This will be like everything else. I’m on a quest to take my rightful place in society. I may have CP, but I intend to live normally. And that includes playing castanets.”
They went for a ride, and then she rode Pegasus home and practiced all afternoon. Mama fixed dinner, and Karen brought the castanets to the table.
“Mama, I’m not getting anywhere with these.”
“Try for a month. If you can learn, that’s good. If you can’t, at least you will have tried.”
Original text ©2023 by Karen Lynn-Chlup. All rights reserved.
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