Best-Dressed Kid on the Block
“I’m a flower,” said Marcie Jane Klonsky, “and rain is falling on me.” She gazed up at her fingers waggling overhead: the raindrops. She was five. Her mother, dressing her for a visit to Aunt Sydelle, gave a fierce tug at the child’s hem.
“Look how short it is,” said Florence Klonsky, bitterly. “It’s a shame to let you go in it. . . . Well, let your aunt see, and maybe she’ll stop being so stingy with the clothing.”
“Mommy, I’m a flower.”
“Put your hands down and stop wriggling, so I can dress you.”
Marcie Jane obeyed for a moment and Florence began to tie a bow at the child’s waist. Marcie Jane dropped suddenly to a crouch and began to chant. “Now I’m a jack-in-the-box and it’s so dark inside—”
Florence jerked her to her feet and slapped her hard.
“Will you keep still when I tell you to!”
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