Keep Going, You Are Enough
Kieatrice Kangaroo began the new school year with the beautiful clothes her mother, Molly, had bought for her. She had an eye exam over the Summer and was fitted with glasses that made the world clear for the first time. She had new notebooks, pencils, pens, and a fascinating calculator. She had made straight A’s the year previous, and she was excited about the first day in class.
When the day came around, she dressed carefully and checked herself in the mirror, so she knew she looked alright. At the bus stop, some of the other joeys pointed at her and tittered with laughter.
She overheard one say, “Kieatrice looks like a four-eyed rat, and those clothes, I am sure they are second hand.”
Another said, “See how pointed her nose is, gotta be some rat in her ancestry.”
Kieatrice tried to hide the tears welling in her eyes, but she knew they would fall because water always runs downhill.
When the bright yellow bus pulled up most of the other joeys lined up ahead of Kieatrice, but suddenly she was pushed from behind and stumbled into someone else.
The joey turned and told her, “Don’t touch me four-eyes, I do not want your rat germs.”
The other joeys rushed past her, and she was last to board the bus.
The driver, Miss Eleanor, said, “Sweetheart, I saw what happened. You sit right here behind me. I will make sure you are safe as houses.”
Kieatrice was relieved by the driver’s kindness, she had ridden the same bus the year before. Miss Eleanor had always smiled and had a positive word for everyone.
When they arrived at school, Miss Eleanor turned to Kieatrice and said, “You can get off first, and I will talk to someone in the school. We do not tolerate bullies.”
She left the bus and scrambled across the lawn to the school. The joeys rushed past her, pointing, jeering, and laughing at her. By the time she reached the doors, she was snuffling, sobbing, trying to hide her upset.
The day was almost unbearable, with her having to sit all alone at lunch, she tried to understand what she had done. Nothing seemed to have caused all this animosity. She decided there must be something wrong with her, no other reason would suffice.
Then after lunch, her teacher, Mr. Vernly, lectured the class on bullying and opened the door to bring in a famous actress who told the students her story.
Miss Talent said, “When I was a child, joeys decided to pick on me. They shoved me, called me names, made fun of my glasses, my face, my clothes, there was nothing about me that was right according to them. I continued to study, making good grades, practicing my enunciation, entering contests, becoming the best I could be. I got contacts to replace my glasses. Even though those joeys could not see, there was greater goodness in me that their meanness could not destroy.”
When she finished talking she asked for questions, Kieatrice asked, “How did you find the strength to keep working?”
Miss Talent smiled and said, “I believed love was greater than evil and I chose to never give up. Anyone can choose their attitude despite the adversity they face, and let me tell you, love and attitude make all the difference. There are always others who support us, and we have to gather them as safety around us.”
Kieatrice said, “Thank you, I think it will all be okay. It was great you came here today.”
When she got on the bus that afternoon, she heard some negative comments about her, but Miss Eleanor allowed her to sit in the front seat and no one was brave enough to cause trouble on that bus. They whispered, but no joey laid a hand on her.
She left the bus ahead of the others, and though they made a fuss, she kept walking, not looking back. She decided that no matter what they did she would be a successful kangaroo. Life opened before her, and she chose to chase her dreams. Love would keep her, and she would never give up because she realized she was enough.
© Jo Ann J. A. Jordan
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