The other children threw rocks at me, but that was all right when Mama was there to wipe away my tears. They called me Ghost Girl but she called me Pure. She said they were ignorant, I was special. People like me brought good luck.
Each evening, when the sun was done with blinding and burning, Mama and I sat outside our hut. With a stick, she scraped shapes in the dirt, and I copied her. Little by little I learned my letters. One day I’d know enough to read a book.
When I grew tired, I lay with my head in Mama’s lap staring at the stars while she told me stories. In Mama’s stories, the warthog always outwitted the lion. He might have been small and ugly, but he had the better brain.
Mama warned me never to venture alone into the forest. The medicine man would get me, she said. But, with Mama gone and the neighbours wrapped in superstition, how else would I fetch the firewood to cook my food?
Now the doctor says I’m special
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