More little people

Ernesta tells me with wide open eyes that she couldn't sleep one night, so she got up to practice piano (to waste away the time). The song she played was "Waltz of the Christmas Toys." With deep sincerity in her voice she states, "Then all my toys got up and started dancing around me while I played."

Me: Are you sure you weren't dreaming?

Earnesta: Oh, no! I told you, I couldn't sleep.

Earnesta's hands were sore. They were hurting, she told me, because she had been catching frogs all day, which takes a good deal of hand-squeezing effort.

Matilda: Each week, she gazes at me with large, sad eyes during the lesson as though her entire family has been massacred. Her responses are all in whisper form. I try to get her to talk, but so far, a nearly inaudible "yes" or "no" have been my main responses. Except for once, when she cracked and told me that she had seen a stuffed owl at the museum. It was a major break-through!

Ana: is a tiny Indian girl; so tiny, in fact, that I have to put a special seat at the keyboard so that she can reach. Her enormous eyes are almost only level with the keys. She giggles a lot through the lesson, and always tries to cover up the repeat markings at the end of the song because she knows that if you get to the song's end you'll have to play it again! And then if you get to the end a second time, those repeat marks will still be there, so you might have to play it again! And again...until the end of time!

Her worst excuse for not practising? She was too busy drinking milk that week!


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