"Cindra's Little Hand"
(a children's story)
by Andrew Hall

The teacher walked into the tiny clearance, surrounded by trees on her right, bushes on her left, trees behind her, and five small children in front of her. She had long, long purple hair, and her name was Clarah.

"Good day to you all, children! The sun shines as bright as it can today, does it not?", Clarah said, happily.

"Ye-e-esss," the children all tried to say at once.

"Yes, it really does. Now, what did we learn yesterday? Do we all remember?", Clarah asked.

Randalloh, one of the boys in the group, raised his freckled arm and hand, just barely before Cindra, one of the girls, could raise her little hand, which wasn't so freckled. Cindra quietly put her hand down again, and smiled brightly.

Clarah smiled, and asked, "What did we learn, Randalloh?"

"We learned about why we grow differently from the green plants!", Randalloh replied, a smile almost as bright as the sunny sun on his also-freckled face.

"Very good, Randalloh!" said teacher Clarah, "And who can tell me why we grow differently from all the green plants?"

This time, it was Verandri, another of the girls, raised her hand. Cindra raised her little hand, too, but not before Verandri could! So she quietly put her little hand down again, still smiling brightly.

Teacher Clarah couldn't help but notice the big fat purple bandage with yellow daffodils on Verandri's waving arm.

"My goodness, Verandri! What ever happened to your arm? Where did you get that big purple bandage with yellow daffodils?", Clarah asked.

"Mommy and daddy," Verandri answered, quickly. Too quickly, in fact!

"Verandri, did your mommy and daddy hurt your arm?", Clarah asked.

"No, ma'am, they put the bandage on me after I fell on a rock!", Verandri answered sincerely.

"Dear me oh my! I hope you all remember what I once told you, children: if somebody hurts you, even your mommy and daddy, you should tell somebody! Do you understand, children?" Clarah asked, being very serious.

"Ye-e-e-sss," they all tried to answer at once, each of them being very, very serious as well!

"Well, I hope your arm gets better, Verandri, although I really do like the yellow daffodils on the purple bandage!", teacher Clarah said, with a great big smile.

"Now, then... oh, my goodness! I've completely forgotten what we were talking about! Who can help me remember?" Clarah asked the children.

Binny, the biggest boy in the group, raised his big hand. Once again, little Cindra wasn't fast enough to raise her hand first, but she just quietly put her hand down again, and kept on smiling brightly.

"Yes, Binny, can you help me? Can you help all of us?", asked teacher Clarah.

"We were talking-s about-s why we don't grow-s like the plants-s grow- s!", Binny replied so happily.

"Oh, that's right, Binny! Thank you very, very much! Now, why do we grow differently from all the pretty green plants?", Clarah asked again.

Now, you'll probably remember that it was Verandri, the girl with the purple bandage with yellow daffodils on her arm, who first wanted to answer this question. So of course, it was Verandri who raised her hand first. And, of course, she did it just before quiet little Cindra could raise her little hand. And, of course, she put her hand down again, and of course, she continued to smile brightly.

"Mommy and daddy!", Verandri said, even louder than the first time!

Now, Clarah was certainly confused, because this was exactly what Verandri said the first time. But wasn't she talking about her purple bandage with yellow daffodils?

"Whatever do you mean, Verandri?" she asked.

"Each one of us has a mommy and daddy, but plants don't!" Verandri answered, oh so happily.

"Very good!" said Clarah, who was also very happy. "Now, for today's lesson, I have a question for you. We all know that none of us can fly, correct?"

"Ye-e-e-esss," the children all tried to say at once. Well, almost all the children.

"No...", said Moolta, the other boy in the group, raising his hand. He didn't raise it too quickly, because he didn't want to lose his special whiste-ring, that whistled when you whistled into it.

All the children looked at Moolta. Teacher Clarah looked at him as well, and asked him a question.

"What ever do you mean, Moolta? Do you mean that you know somebody who can fly?" Clarah asked.

"Yes...", Moolta said, slowly.

"Well, that certainly sounds interesting! And how do they fly?" Clarah asked.

"They jump in the air... and just before... they land on their feet..." Moolta said very slowly, "... they miss the ground."

"My goodness, Moolta! That certainly sounds tricky!" Teacher Clarah said with a big smile. "Now, we have one more lesson to talk about today. But first, does anybody have anything interesting to say, before we move on?"

Now of course, all the children had something interesting that they wanted to say. And so of course, all of them raised their hands, almost all at the same time. And, of course, all of them managed to raise their hands before little Cindra could raise hers.

Teacher Clarah looked at all the hands raised in the air. She saw Randollah's freckled hand, and she saw Verandri's hand and arm with the purple bandage with yellow daffodils. She saw Binny's big hand, and she saw Moolta's hand with the whistling ring he liked so much. And in the back of the group, she saw a tiny little hand. And instead of picking one of the other students, she picked quiet little Cindra.

"Cindra, there you are! I was beginning to think you weren't with us today! Now, what is the interesting thing you have to tell us?" Clarah asked.

And instead of putting her little down and continuing to smile brightly, little Cindra stood up, smiled even brighter than before, and said something very, very interesting.

"Today isn't a Learning day! Today is a Playing day!", Cindra said, so quietly, but ever so brightly.

"My goodness! You are correct, dear Cindra! Children, Cindra has taught us the most important lesson of the day, and that is to make sure your teacher knows the difference between a Learning day and a Playing day!" teacher Clarah said so happily, as she blushed for being so silly!

"Tell us, Cindra, how shall we play today? What shall we play? Where shall we play?", Clarah asked.

"Follow me!" said little Cindra. She took two steps, jumped high up into the air, and just before she could land on her feet...

...she missed!

And so teacher Clarah and all the children, who didn't yet know how to fly, went running after the flying little Cindra, and they all went off to play in the fields, and in the playground, and into lots and lots of happiness.

The End.

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