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The Miracle Child
by Beatrice Cochran
09/26/08
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The Miracle Child The woman meandered her way through the road; tired and hot. She had been walking for five miles. She was so close to the hospital she just needed to put one leg in front of the other or so she told herself.She wasn't sure whether she might be helped at the hospital. She had to keep going. She had only a mile more to go, she thought. She kept glancing back, but there was no one within sight so if she started screaming with birth pains, there would be absolutely no one to hear her, but the birds who paid her no mind but continued their humming and fluttering around the tall pine trees as if they had not a second to loose. Suddenly she stopped and dropped the bag blue plastic bag she was holding. The woman named Jane gripped her big stomach with both hands and went down in pain, groaning. Sweat and tears streamed down her face in small rivers. She groaned again and this time she sat down, still moaning with pain. Her baby was coming and she knew it. Her head scarf was coming down. She quickly pushed it away from her face with her dark, brown, hands and glanced down at her bare feet, thinking of alternatives. She could deliver her own baby which she had done a number of times, or she could continue and hopefully make it to the hospital. But that was impossible. The hospital was a mile away. She had no choice but to deliver the baby herself. Her contractions were getting closer each minute. Jane quickly swept her brown eyes around her. She saw a clump of trees a couple yards away and slowly she crawled her way towards them; her back hunched over dragging ,the blue plastic bag behind her. The whole path was surrounded by tall pine needle trees, but Jane did not seem to notice this simple fact. She reached the clump of trees and was about to drop down not caring where the baby was born when she saw the perfect place for the baby to be born. It was a shade and it would give her protection from the heat of the sun and some privacy if people happened to take the small path . The baby was coming and she started mumbling prayers to God in Luo. "Nyasaye, asiye konya." Meaning, God, I beg you please help me. No longer was she moaning and groaning; now she was crying and wailing. There was something wrong with her baby she thought. The pain was much fiercer than last time she had delivered her twin boys. Jane did not realize it, but as she commanded the unwilling baby out of her body, creation stood still and watched. The birds stopped their humming and fluttering, the wind stopped its howling and not a single breeze stirred the brown,rich grass. It was rough time for her.Paining and crying, sometimes she would mumble a curse in her mother tongue as she struggled to deliver her baby. After the baby had been delivered, every muscle in Jane's body ached, but she could not help the smile that crept into her tear stricken face,the smile of a proud mother. "A beautiful daughter, she exclaimed cleaning the baby with a white piece of clothe she had taken from the blue plastic bag. She counted her daughter's fingers. Ten. She moved her hands to the baby's soft feet inspecting them with the eyes of a hawk. "No!" ,she shouted, looking at the baby's legs. She threw her fists into the blue sky, dropping the bloody cloth still not believing the simple ,hard truth: Her baby's legs were bent and deformed. The child would never walk. "What kind of man will want you for a wife?", she asked her baby who looked at her with open eyes and started to cry. "Hush little baby, if no man wants you, then I will always want you. I want you to remember that no matter what happens. Do you hear me, baby? I am going to put you down for a minute to change my soiled clothes, and then I will think of what to do next whispered Jane to her baby. The baby only stared at her with round ,brown, amused eyes. You look so much like your father. How in the world am I going to raise three fatherless children? You know, your father drowned at the lake just over month ago. They say that Lake Victoria is a very dangerous lake. If the hippos don't get you then something else will.I learned that at school. But don't worry. Men love beautiful women. And they will pay handsomely this time. I just know it." Finished with the process of changing, Jane glanced down at the simple blue skirt and yellow blouse in her tall frame. She signed and picked her baby up and walked away from the birthing place. She knew the dangers of staying in such a place no matter how protecting and compelling it felt. She had no hoe to bury the signs that a birthing had taken place. Wild dogs roamed the district of Kendu Bay if they had not smelled blood by now, then they were probably watching her waiting for the right time to kill and devour the baby. She was not strong enough to fight wild dogs. Kendu Bay is east of Kenya. It lies above the equator,close to Homa Bay which lies on Lake Victoria. She had to go to the hospital and get vaccinations for the baby. She wondered now for the millionth time why she had not asked her brother, Paul to bring her on his bike. "No, said Jane to herself. Paul was helping with the planting. It was important that he stay behind and help George and her brothers with the planting. The rains do not wait for any one. Besides without the food, the whole family would starve. Her sisters and half- sisters were helping feed the men; she could not have asked them and they were also watching over her two other twin sons, Joesph and John. Her two mothers were probably fighting each other or bragging about their and children, while her father watched on with a lugubrious face; a walking cane in his right hand. He was paying the prize for being a polygamist. Jane reached the hospital thirty minutes later tired, hungry, and hot. She had eaten a couple mouthfuls of groundnuts in her blue plastic bag. As she neared the hospital's gate, she wished she could go back home. She hated the place. "Last time I came here was six years ago, that doctor was so rude to my brother's wife. I recall the way he slapped her when the baby did not wish to leave the mother's womb no matter how hard she pushed. I hope they are kinder to me today". The hospital was a simple brick building, but to someone like Jane who was used to huts for houses, the place was beautiful compared to her brown hut house with its thatched roof and mud walls. She paused at the metal gate and eyed it with suspicion. Pitiful looking chicken walked around the hospital grounds as if they owned it. The place looked more like somebody's home than a hospital, except for the antenna on the roof. There was a small sign at the gate that said the place was a hosipital(hospital). Really, there was no need for the sign. Most people could not read and word had been passed by orally that the place was a hospital. The whole community knew the building because it was different from their mud houses. Of course most of them preferred to go to the witch doctor or look for herbs growing wild in the country side. Besides, the hospital cost money. They only went to the hospital for serious things like serious burns, births, broken bones and vaccinations for babies. It showed everything in a rural village hospital might have. Jane walked inside the hospital and sat down at a wooden bench. A fat very black nurse came to her. She did not smile nor did she offer Jane help. She glared at Jane few a seconds then left her, still sited on the wooden bench. She did not offer her any greetings, which in itself is a very rude thing to do. According to the Luo customs you always greet people. It is the polite thing. Jane was about to leave the place when a man, she assumed was the doctor, because of his white long coat approached smiling at her. She did not necessarily like the smile. There was something evil behind the smile , she thought. "How can I help you?",the man asked Jane in her mother tongue. "I want vaccinations for my child, replied Jane, smiling at the baby squirming on her lap. "You will have to pay, you know. Two hundred shillings, and another two hundred if you sleep here tonight, which by the looks of it you will have no other choice but to stay. What's your name? I see that you gave birth to the baby in the bush. Right? "My name is Jane Atieno. Yes, I did give birth to the baby in the bush. I cannot pay you for something that is supposed to be free. Our Kenyan government announced in 1984 on the radio that vaccinations for babies are to be free", said Jane now looking up at the smiling doctor. "Yes, what you say is very true. But that was in 1984. This is 1990. You will either pay, or you will leave, Jane. Which one will it be?",asked the doctor, his white teeth flashing into a brilliant smile. The woman had returned to his side, to join forces. Signing, Jane drew her blue plastic bag to her side and pulled out four hundred shillings, which she handed over to the man's outstretched hands. She watched as he quickly snatched the money out of her hands and stuffed it in his big, white pocket. "There goes all the money I have in the world. There goes corruption and greed", she said to herself. "My name is Mary", said the woman now smiling at Jane. Let me see the child, follow me. I will show you where you will sleep tonight.This is your bedroom, Jane. I can see you very tired and hungry and dirty too if I am not wrong.Giving birth is not that easy. Too bad I missed delivering your baby. It would have been fun to hear you screaming. I will never understand why women like you go through such unwanted pain. There is nothing to do but to watch a little TV and wash your child", said Mary going to the switch on the TV. Jane glanced at the small bedroom. There was a small bed, which she guessed by its size was meant for a baby. She quickly and carefully dumped her baby unto it and straightened her tall frame. She quickly looked around the room. It was small with plain room with white walls. The floor was made of cement and there was a small window to the east.There was a bigger bed with a five inch mattress, but she could not complain. Her own mattress was about two inches in thickness. She saw the nurse, whom she called daktari switch on a small black button on something that looked a black box with black glass. Jane stared at the black box, her brown eyes opened wide with fear and astonishment. She was twenty five years old and she had never seen a TV. The nurse turned around looked at her. She smiled with amusement. It happened every time she turned on the TV with the rural people. Her smiles broadened when she remembered just a few days ago, a man came to them with a broken leg, crying like a small child. They had put him in another room that had the magic box. When the man heard the sound and saw the pictures coming from the "magic box" as he later referred to the TV. He had screamed and ran on a broken leg. It took the doctor and patient's companion ten whole minutes to calm the man down. They kept repeating that the people in the TV with guns would not harm him in any way. 'They could not come out of the magic box', they had assured him. "Why do they hurt each?", asked Jane, watching as a white man in the TV put a bullet on another man's side. "I do not understand it.They are white", said Jane. "like milk. "I have only seen a white man only one time when I went to Homa Bay with my brother, Paul. Paul told me that people with the color of milk did exist. I never believed him until I saw it with my own eyes. I had screamed and ran behind my brother. I remember it now. I was thirteen years old then. My mother bought me this yellow beautiful dress and I looked beautiful in it. My mother warned my brother to watch me carefully. I was too young and too beautiful to be heavy with child. Homa Bay was filled with cars passing and going and their honking made the hair of my neck stand up. The air smelled stuffed and it made me sick.I clung to my seventeen year old brother like a leech. I wondered how in the world it was possible for so many souls to be packed in one place. All squeezed and cramped together like cows going to be sold at the market. He slapped my face and told me to stop acting like a small child and to stop screaming at the white man. The white man turned around and looked at me, smiling. My brother told him something in Luo, but the man did not seem to understand, he only nodded his white face at me. I was terrified of the man and his white face that I hid behind my brother again. My brother looked at the man helplessly. The man only nodded understanding and walked away. I saw him turn around to look at us where he left my brother and me still standing and looking at him with big eyes and open mouths. I felt that his gaze was directed towards me. As if he were commanding me to remember him. The thing that I remember about that white man were his eyes. They were blue as the bluest sky and they seemed to penetrate my heart" ,said Jane as if commanding or telling me that we would meet again. "They kill each other Jane, because all of mankind is evil. You can see it in even the beginning of the world, in the Bible. How old was God's world before it was polluted with sin and evil? Don't you ever read your Bible, Jane? No. Never mind. I bet you do not know how to read ,not even in Luo. You went all the way to grade eight,but you cannot read", said Mary who herself could barely read, but would never admit it to Jane. She dropped out of school in grade twelve to get married. Don't even ask me how she became a nurse. Through corruption most likely, but she did go into a little nursing school which had been opened by some white men in Homa bay. "Men were already killing each other even back then,. It's nothing that should surprise you, Jane, said Mary, still looking at the TV. Here, let me change the channel" She changed the channel to beautiful girls dancing to a group of men. "Why are they naked? Look at them, they are showing their bodies to those men as if they are their husbands. If they want to reveal so much why they don't just take off everything and dance for those men the way their mother's gave birth to them? Without clothes. Naked.Aren't they ashamed to dance so?" "Jane, these women are doing what most women do. What you do. Trying to survive. Of all people, Jane, you ought to understand", said Mary still looking at the TV. "Don't be so quick to judge others, Jane." "What do you mean?",asked Jane "I mean", said Mary turning around to face her. Look at that child, said Mary pointing to the sleeping baby in the crib. Did you have her with the same man?" "My husband drowned at the lake a month ago, daktari. I was already conceived with the child. His child."She and her two brothers have the same father, daktari", said Jane angrily. "But now that your husband is dead, how are you going to feed, clothe and send them to school? asked Mary reading Jane's eyes. I knew it. You were thinking of selling yourself to men. A prostitute. I can read it in your eyes. Just like these beautiful women, said Mary turning around to look at the half dressed beauties . And why not? You are beautiful. Almost too beautiful for your own good. Men here in Kendu Bay would flock over you like a shepherd over his sheep. Another thought. I am sure that if you wanted your money back from the daktari, you could get it back. You saw the way the daktari was hovering over you", said Mary ,now leaving her station at the TV. I am going to fix supper" "Daktari, there is something wrong with my baby's legs, said Jane hopping that she would not bring up the topic again" "Let me see it", Mary said going over to examine the baby's leg. "Jane, why didn't show me this before?", asked Mary bent over the crib and examining the baby's bent legs. "I forgot",said Jane simply. "How could you forget something so serious?" "Can you do something about it, daktari?" asked Jane with a little hope. "It maybe too late now. Such a beautiful little girl, such a waste. What man will want her for a wife? Look at her, look at those little bent legs. Let me go call the daktari, He might know what to do, though I doubt it there's anything he can do now. The girl will never walk", said the nurse sadly. "Mary tells me that your little girl has bent legs, Jane. Why didn't you inform for us as soon as you came in?", asked the doctor looking at Jane, puzzlement written all over his face" "Can you fix it daktari?asked Jane with a little hope. "No, Jane there's nothing that can be done right now. She will never walk" The next morning, after giving the baby the vaccinations, Jane was told that she could go home. The truth she had no home to go to. Her husband was died and according to the traditions, she could either return to her father's house or go to stay in her husband's home, but he did not have any family. They were all dead, except for a few old people, she did not care to be with. The only home she had was her father's house. Jane quickly got her few belongings and left the hopeless parameters with her baby with her bent legs tied behind her back with a kanga. The baby was still very weak and she had to be very careful not to hurt her.It was time to go home to her sons. They were probably driving their aunts and uncles crazy. Jane walked the miles with sadness. Sometimes she would sing in her native mother tongue. Once she stopped to eat a couple mouthfuls of groundnuts and to feed the hungry baby who tugged at her breasts with her small mouth as if she would never let go. The day was beautifully, but she scarcely noticed it. Nor did she notice the beautiful birds only found only in Kenya singing their melodious songs. Her fears were on her beautiful, lame daughter. Even though she paid no attention her surroundings her ears were alert for the soft thump, thump of padded feet of wild dogs. She would never let them have her baby, she too was like a mother wolf fierce over her club. As Jane rounded the last corner to her parent's home dreadfully tired and hungry, she was grateful to have made it home safely without any incident. And now that she was in familiar grounds, she no longer kept an ear alert because there was no need to. The black, wild dogs would never attack her or anybody in the open. She gazed at the men and women busy with their planting of maize and smiled at them. She waved her long arms at them and they waved back, shouting their amosis (greetings). Of course they wanted to see the baby, and so they surrounded her. Some of the women farther in the field came running, and ululating. Their head scarves flying in the gently wind. They tore out of their head impatiently Men, Women, and children alike crowded together to welcome another member into their community in a tight circle till Jane thought that she and the baby might suffocate. These were friends and apart of her life. She could not just walk away with out letting them examine the baby and so she kept her mouth shut and watched their excited faces. Jane left her graze drift to the huts in the distance. Some had smoke billowing from their small kitchen windows. The daughters were already making the noon meal, she thought. The baby would get the same kind of attention if not even better once she was in her grandparent's home, she thought now return her gaze to look at the smiling faces admiring her baby. "Jane, this girl looks like you when you were born. Just too beautiful for her own good", and here Jane smiled a shy smile. Some of the younger unmarried men eyed her carefully, or already thinking of how many cows they would give her father if she greed to remarry. I can still remember the day your were born. Your father was sitting outside waiting and every time he heard your mother scream from inside the house, he would jump right up in his chair, throw his staff on the hard ground, and make dash to help your mother. Of course the men waiting outside with him tried their best to keep him from entering and interfering with the birthing. You were one special girl, Jane", commented the wise old woman looking at Jane with sharp eyes. Finally not able to contain herself any longer, she looked at Jane in a way only wise people can. "Jane, let me see the baby's legs". And so Jane, still looking at the old woman's face, quickly handed the baby to her. The other farmers now that the excitement had ended and the sad news had been told, they quickly one by one dispersed until it was only Jane, her baby, and the old wise woman. The farmers left to continue their gruesome work in their farms. The old woman whom everybody referred to as Dani, meaning old, wise woman or grandmother eyed the baby with a perplexed look. The baby returned the same look and it was if they were speaking to each other, Jane later thought. As if some kind of understanding had passed between them. "Yes, the child will never walk. Not unless something drastic happens. Take her home to her grandparents. They will be eager to see her, but then bring her back two days from today. I want to try some medicine herbs on those bent legs. It will be to keep them stronger and not let them grow any weaker", commented the Dani, now turning around to go to her small hut, all isolated from the other huts. "Thank you Dani", said Jane big tears flowing freely from her face. "Jane, you are back!, shouted Meresa throwing her hoe in the garden and running to inspect her sister. Jane slowly opened the gate and went inside her father's compound, she smiled as her favorite sister came charging down. "Let me see my new sister!" she,exclaimed, already untying the baby from her sister's back. It was almost six o'clock. The others were coming home after a day's hard work in the big farms. Slowly they dragged their tired feet towards Jane and Meresa with a little excitement. It was not every day they welcomed another member into the family. The two mothers came from their kitchens, dirty and smelling of smoke. "Bring the baby inside", said her mother. Jane led the way, followed by her sister who was now cooing at the baby in her arms. "Where are my sons?",asked Jane. They are sleeping. George had to whip them because they kept throwing rocks at the bulls when he had asked them to stop countless times. They totally deserved the whipping. Then they started crying for their mother. I told them that their mother had gone to bring another baby and they asked if you had gone to the market to buy the baby. Your father gave them porridge a few hours ago after they had been whipped. They are sleeping in my bed. "What if they wet the bed?",asked Jane. "Then their mother will take down the mattress and bed covers to wash?", replied her mother simply. "Sit down Jane and show me my newest granddaughter". So Jane went to a chair covered with blue and green crochet,which her mother had made. The hut was simple,but bigger than most huts in her father's compound. The family called it the main house and any hut that was not for cooking or keeping crops was considered a main house. It was the hut for receiving visitors and sharing simple meals and sleeping. It had a long table at the center, and few simple wooden chairs to grace it. The hut itself was divided into three small bedrooms sometimes four small rooms depending on the size of the hut, but usually three or four. The rooms were so black that it took a couple of minutes for ones eyes to adjust. The older boys had their own hut which they shared. If a young man married as was the tradition, then he built his own hut for his bride in his father's land. The floor was packed hard with soil. If you looked at the floor you would notice that it had patterns running all over it like thousands of small slithery snakes. The patterns could only be made only in wet ground. Once the floor dried, the patterns would remain forever or unless you added another thick layer of wet mud on top and redid the whole floor. The patterns were made by some kind of cactus plant.It had short strong thorns at the edges,sharp as razors. Everyday you sprinkled water to keep the dust down. The women were proud of their floors, because it took a skilled person to make the simple yet beautiful patterns. And no two huts had the same kind of patterns. Sometimes depending on the family and how much money they had, the outside walls, were painted in bright colors, usually in oranges, greens reds, and yellows. The handiwork was done mostly by the woman of the house in patterns of delicate flowers. Jane's family did not have those beautiful flowers on her walls,and she knew how much her mother regretted it every time she looked at a younger wife's painted walls. She was saving every cent to buy paint so she could paint her walls into delicate little flowers. "Meresa", said her mother, "light the lamp and add more kerosene to it and bring it to the table. It is almost time to eat and the men will be angry if the food is not on the table when they come in". The girl obeyed her mother and went outside to the small kitchen, just a few yards from the main hut. She quickly took a big gulp of fresh air before she entered the smoke filled kitchen. She hated smoke. "I wish we could afford charcoal", she complained to herself. Charcoal was expensive and she had used firewood to cook the family meals as long as she could remember. The trees they cut down were sold to people who could afford them. "Here let me help you with that sister.", said Paul. Meresa watched as her brother lit the small kerosene lamp in the smoke filled kitchen. "Bring the ugali", said Paul. Together they carried the food to the main house. "Let me go back and bring the fried omena"., said Meresa. "Do you you need help carrying the food inside ,Meresa?. It is very dark tonight. The air smells of rain". said Paul. "No,I can bring the remaining food, Paul. I swear I could carry the food inside the main hut with my eyes closed. I have done it so countless times. Once I almost slipped and almost dropped the ugali, but that was because Simba was lying on the ground. I gave him the kick of his life on his left hind quarters. I have never seen him lying there at night again." "I know Simba is your dog Meresa, but you ought to feed him more. More than just scrapes from the table. He is getting a little too thin. I know the times are hard", commented Paul. The men came in tired and hot and in bad tempers and cross. The food was on the table. The women would serve them before Meresa and her sisters, mothers got to eat. She watched as her mother cut a huge chunk of ugali with a small knife and gently put it into the waiting plate. She heaped omena to her father's plate and handed it to him. After they had all been served and the women had eaten, the proud grandfather finally said, "Show me my granddaughter,Jane." Jane left her chair and gently took the small sleeping form on the bed. Her sons were awake and she told them to go and eat. "She is so ugly. Look at that head and the eyes",said Paul. Jane quickly looked at the sleeping baby in her arms and smiled. How could she have forgotten her brother's teasings. "She is beautiful. Perfect",said her father. "She is not perfect. Her legs are deformed and she will never walk" said Jane sadly. "Oh really?" said Paul, he stared at the baby with a questioning look and gave her a secrete look, smiling secretly to himself. “What do think about naming her, sister?” asked Paul still looking down at the baby in his arms. “Beatrice,” replied Jane nonchalantly as possible. “That’s a good name”, said Paul handing the baby over to her mother. “Paul, I want to go back to my husband’s home with my children tomorrow. Could you ask Baba for me? He will listen to you, you know”, said Jane, eyes pleading for sympathy. "I will do the best I can sister, but the old man can be very demanding. He will want to know how you are going to get there, why you are taking his three grandchildren away so soon, but I will try”, said Paul scratching his head seriously. She watched as her brother walked towards her father. He was standing in the shade of an acacia tree, and though she could not understand it’ a little fear pierced her soul. What if the old man did not let her go? She tried to listen to what the two men were saying, but she couldn’t. After five minutes had passed though it felt like an hour to Jane, she saw her father lift his gigantic walking stick towards her, beckoning her to come forward. She slowly she dragged her tired feet towards her father and brother, baby hanging loosely in the folds of her arms. She looked around and saw that her mothers were watching her from the doors of their huts and her sisters were looking at their father and watching her eagerly. Those few steps felt like eternity to Jane. She bit her lips and ignored the eyes that watched her. “Jane,” said her father pointing his walking stick at her. Why do you wish to leave me? Are you not happy here?”, asked her father. "I am very happy here Baba. I just thought if I took James and John and Beatrice, I could find a job near my husband’s home place to feed me and them. I will bring your grandchildren every month for a visit so they may not forget you”, said Jane. What kind of job will you find at a home place that is an empty grave?” asked her father looking at her strangely. “You know what, continued her father, Otieno has asked me if you will marry him. He will give me thirty cows if you agree and he will feed you and your three children. That way you won’t have to worry about how you are going to send the children to school or where you next meal is going to come from”, said her father eagerly. Father I cannot marry Otieno. He has three wives already. He wants to marry me for my looks and nothing more", said Jane at the gates of tears.“There is no need to start crying like a mad woman, Jane. If you want to go who am I to refuse? Don’t let anything happen to my grandchildren though. Paul will escort you on his bicycle. He will stay with you for two days make sure you are settled before he can return. But what about men, Jane? You will be a single mother leaving alone in a grave yard and men might take advantage of you. “If they do”, said Paul. “They will wish they were never born.” Tomorrow is Sunday, the Lord’s day of worship and rest. You must wait till Monday before you may go. “Thank you Baba”,said Jane looking down at the sleeping baby in the folds of her arm. She walked slowly towards her mother who now was cleaning a black pot in the yard. In the summer of 1973 a seven year old-girl sat outside playing with her dolls. she scarcely noticed the blue sky overhead or the gentle breeze that stirred her long black hair. Overhead, a small chopper passed slowly,but the little girl did not notice it or if she did, she did, she did not care. Her attention were on the black dolls at her side. "Judi where are you?" "Mom, look at this doll, she is so beautiful isn't she?", Asked Judi lifting the little brown doll for her mother to inspect. "Yes, she is", replied her mother. "Why do you like black dolls, Judi?" "I like black dolls, because I think they are absolutely beautiful. And I want to have black children when I grow up, mom." "So I see", replied her mother. Her finger paused on her lips. "Come in Judi. It is time to eat" You need to prepare your lunch" "Mom, can you buy me more dolls?" "You know the rules, Judi. If you want your dolls, you must earn them, by working for them. You have been doing a good job so far cleaning the toilets at school. There's no need to quite now. I am so proud of you", said her mother smiling up at her. "But mom, my friends at school they don't have to work to have their dolls. Their parents just buy. Why can't I have all the dolls I want?" You cannot have them, because your friends are spoiled rotten and besides you do not need them. Your friends add to our world of America. A world based no materialism and junk. The more junk you have and the more hours you spend glued to the TV screen,the better off you are. I am teaching you to be responsible Judi. You must learn that money does not grow on trees. You know that We need more money without adding to your dolls into the budget. You and your brother must go school. My teaching job and your father's cannot not pay the rent, send you and your brother Taylor to school and buy food for us. Someday you will understand when you have own children. Trust me. You will. Many people are immigrating to America because they believe that the streets are paved of gold". The uncle took the little girl and put him beside him on the mat making sure that her deformed legs were okay. A smile so genuine crept into his handsome face. Beatrice looked at him with wonder a smile forming in her lips as if she alone knew what her mischievous uncle was up to. Quickly he scanned the area to make sure no one was watching him. No was watching him for the moment. Without wasting time, he took both the child’s small hands in his own big ones and gently raised her to her feet. Step by step he guided her. There were moments when she was too tired but gently he encouraged to continue. Everyday Beatrice crawled to him and they continued their secrete practices. A week later, Beatrice’s legs were strong enough to stand on her own without her uncle’s help. “Don’t tell anyone,”he told her in their native tongue. It is our secrete. If you tell your mother, then she spank you so hard you will never sit again.” Beatrice looked at her uncle and tried not to laugh out loud. She giggled and rushed into his arms. He caught and put her down. Jane happened to wonder to them. She took one look at them sitting together on the mat under the shade. “Just don’t teach her to smoke, Paul.” “No worries sister’, he replied still smiling at the girl beside him. ‘I take good care of my niece.” “Mama, I love Uncle Paul. He is very good”, said Beatrice smiling up at her mother. “God help the woman who doesn’t,” was her mother’s reply. Week after week, month after month, Beatrice would continue to practice with her uncle. Sometimes the pain in her leg hurt so bad that she would slum down hard on her behind and scream as if she was being murdered. When this happened everyone would rush out of the huts screaming. “What did you to her Paul?”, asked his father. “I pinched her accidentally, baba”. Was what Paul replied every single time he was caught. His father would whack him hard with his walking cane, but after everybody left to their chaos, he would hold up his hands to the little girl and together they would continue on their journey of learning how to walk. On the last week of the sixth month, Beatrice got her first miracle. “I will count to five then at the top of our lungs we will scream”. Beatrice looked at her uncle as if he were a lunatic, but she was so eager to show her family what she and her uncle had done that she merely nodded her head and looked up at him. The noise brought the whole family running including her father with his cane up in the air ready to give Paul another whack. Jane was the first to reach the couple. She took one look at her daughter. “What have you done to my daughter, Paul?," asked Jane almost to the point of panicking Beatrice slowly raised herself to feet and took one eager step to her mother. When the grandfather saw his granddaughter



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darlene hight 29 Sep 2008
This is beautiful descriptive writing. I hope that it isn't finished because it does not answer why it is a miracle child and it doesn't have a conclusion. It is a wonderful start and very compelling.




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