Laura Richwood was a beautiful little girl with equally beautiful features. Her auburn ringlets were always neatly rested upon her delicate shoulders and bright, bold, brown eyes shined like newly minted pennies. Yet, for a little girl with so much hope – Laura was sad and kept to herself.
You see, Laura was near-sighted. She could see things in front of her, but those far away caused her difficulty. To ease her sight, Laura wore glasses. The glasses, while they did not spoil the beauty of her perfectly round and delicate eyes, often led to much ridiculing from the neighborhood children and her classmates at the school. Because of this, Laura seldom left her home and while at school, she found the farthest corner of the playground upon which she would sit, all alone. The time alone, to Laura, was better than being called “four eyes”.
In all of Laura’s classes, she chose the last seat in a row and for every ballgame or other “team” event at the school and in her neighborhood, she was always chosen last. It is true that her glasses aided her ability to see but that sight came with a price. Her sight also showed how little others respected Laura, all because of her glasses.
On a day in early October, Laura entered her 2nd grade classroom, just as she had done each day since the first day of school. Her teacher, Mrs. Fuller, was a kind woman who befriended and defended Laura when the other children would make fun of her spectacles. Mrs. Fuller tried to explain to Laura that her studies and her kindness were more important than anything that the other children said. While true though, convincing an eight year old that an education is more important than being popular was not an easy task and to Laura, the idea did not seem believable. That particular school day, unlike all of the other school days was going to be special; it was a day for show-and-tell. Laura had chosen to recite a story about her magic bunny, “Ms. Carrot” and share this floppy-eared glory with the class.
Laura began, “This is Ms. Carrot. She is a special bunny....” Laura was interrupted by the outburst of laughter from the classroom. Mrs. Fuller quieted the classroom and asked Laura to explain why the bunny was special.
“She is a magic bunny”. Laura said proudly.
“How is she a magic bunny?” her teacher asked.
“She listens, she smiles and she makes everything invisible.” Laura announced to the class.
“Invisible?” Mrs. Fuller asked.
“Yes... invisible.” Laura said, with a strong sense of confidence. “My Grandma gave me Ms. Carrot, just last week and she told me that when I felt sad, scared or hurt to hug Ms. Carrot and he would make everything invisible... just like in the magic trick at the circus.”
The classroom fell silent and Mrs. Fuller understood. The bunny was not actually magical but in the eyes of an eight year old in need of hope, the stuffed animal brought comfort to a situation that no one could change.
“Class,” Mrs. Fuller said. “I think we all can learn something from Laura’s little bunny”. Everyone in the classroom nodded their heads in agreement and the class sat in stillness for several minutes, just thinking about their actions toward this little girl.
From that day forward, all the way through high school, Laura never again had to endure the ridiculing of her classmates, as the result of her glasses. What became of Ms. Carrot, you ask? Well... she lived on a shelf in Laura’s bedroom until her daughter’s eyesight led to a small, yet sweet pair of purple framed glasses. The rest of the story need not be explained.
© 2005 – Jill Eisnaugle.
All rights reserved.