Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Perhaps one of the most memorable scenes in the whole of American literature is that of Tom Sawyer, evading his obligation to whitewash Aunt Polly's fence. Sentenced to an afternoon of painting, Tom is desperate to get out of it by any means necessary. He spends the day persuading a series of local boys that whitewashing is fun. Tom is so convincing that the boys not only beg to take over, they actually bribe him with their most treasured possessions. At the end of the day Tom is loaded with this juvenile largesse, and is rewarded by Aunt Polly for a job well done.

Midori is my Tom.

I was informed by the directress of her school that, earlier in the week, Midori had been engaged in a lesson using small glass beads. Upon shifting her work to the side, the lesson tipped over and the pile of beads went cascading to the floor. An indignant Midori surveyed the mess before eliciting the help of her teacher. Kindly, she inquired if the instructor might assist in cleaning the mess.

Her teacher had not the time to manage Midori's beads, and invited her to ask a friend. Sullen, Midori insisted she would not be able to scoop up the whole lot of tiny glass marbles and place them back on her tray. Midori's teacher smiled, and reminded her that she could not select another lesson until she had assembled and put properly away the work on her table...and now the floor.

A few moments elapsed, and Midori courted the help of her friend, Alena. A sweet girl with a mop of yellow curls and a quiet disposition, Alena politely declined to assist.

Midori trounced back to her seat. Arms crossed. Pouting.

Taken with sympathy for her friend, Alena kindly stopped her work and walked to Midori. "Alright. I'll help you."

A pleased Midori grinned widely, leaped from her seat and embraced her friend in a grateful hug. "Alena, I love you! You are such a kind friend! Thank you so much. I am going to sit here VERY PATIENTLY while you pick up all those beads."

And Midori did just as promised.

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