A Vagitarian's Life
Lil Mrs. Independance
Kindergarden was a happy time in my life. On my 3rd
birthday, I started going.
Every morning, I would get ready and hang my breakfast
satch around my neck, a little brown leather purse, shaped
very much like a container for smaller binoculars, and
just as stiff, suspended by a thin leather strap, just
long enough to let the pouch hang on my belly. Thus
equipped, I'd walk out the front door and off to
Kindergarden. At the door, before stepping out, Mom had
started a ritual, which we kept for all our school years,
every morning: Mom would sign a little cross on my
forehead and say, "In God's name, today's day". Then I'd
hug her and leave.
The kindergarden was past the center of our little
village, about not quite a mile away from home. I never
allowed Mom to take me there, I knew my way by myself, and
Mom respectedt that. She was never worried about my going
alone, I had such a natural confidence in my ability to
handle things autonomously, even then.
We would do lots of amusing activities with our teacher,
Mrs. Klare. I still have some of the artifacts I
manufactured, with her help: quite nifty stuff: shadow
figures, folding work like simple origamis, drawings, of
course - all neatly assembled into a little memory album
when I turned 5 and it was time to move on to the "big
Well, as much as I liked being in Kindergarden, just about
once a week, I suddenly felt the urge to leave and go
home, and this urge could overcome me at any given time,
without warning. At that moment, I'd just open the door to
the yard and run, direction home. Before my teachers could
react, I was already in the street and had gained a good
head start. And I ran, almost the entire way uphill,
across the village, past the church, the grocery store,
still uphill, with the mistress on my heels, until I'd
reach our house. The chase ended invariably in front our
our entrance door, where I was too small to reach for the
bell button. So I always let my mistress handle that task
for me. Delegating seemed to have come naturally to
me at a young age, too!
Out of breath, my mistress, or her assistent at times,
would declare to my Mom that I had escaped. Well, by her
book, I thought, maybe, but by my book, not! I felt I had
the right to come and go as I pleased. Mom looked down at
me and said: "Why did you run away? Don't you like being
in Kindergarden?" I assured both that I did. "Well, then
why did you run off?" Came the next question. "I don't
know", was my invariable answer. "So, shall we go back
there then?" "No, not today.". And that was it for me. I
had decided I wanted to spend the rest of the day at home,
and that was just what I did on these occasions.
My mistress would, half jokingly and still out of breath,
call me "that lil devil!" and Mom would bid her goodbye
and that settled the episode. The next morning, I'd return
to Kindergarden and all was well. Don't ask my why I would
get this urge to run off once in a while, I just felt that
way and even now, I have no clue what pushed me to do it.
It just felt right! Let it be said that not once did Mrs.
Klare catch me before the bell needed ringing, I was too
fast for her! Later, when I was a young adult, and she an
old lady, she would still grab my ear and say "you were
such a little devil when you wanted to be!" and we would
laugh at the memory.