Secrets and Smiles
“Tomorrow is ‘show and tell’ and this week it’s Jess’ turn.” Said Mrs Morgan before wishing the children a lovely
day and dismissing the class. Jess, the crayon monitor, found the empty coffee tin and started to collect the lonely colours. Inert without the warmth of a child’s hand to resuscitate them.
“Are you looking forward to ‘show and tell’ Jess?”
Nodding shyly, Jess replied “Yes and so is Sally.”
Mrs Morgan waited for Jess to say more about Sally. Jess simply smiled, shrugged on her coat and gave a discreet wave as she walked out of the room.
Jess reached out from under her duvet and stroked Sally’s ears. Tomorrow was going to be a big day and she couldn’t wait to show Sally all of her favourite things.
They walked to school side by side, Jess resting her hand on the warm centre of Sally’s back. Jess talked the whole way, telling her friend about all the fun things they would do that day.
Mrs Morgan greeted Jess warmly and in turn Jess introduced Sally to Mrs Morgan. Jess looked startled when Mrs Morgan reached out and tickled Sally’s ears. How did she know? “Such a beautiful elephant.” she said smiling. Jess blushed with delight.
Standing in front of the class Jess felt for her voice – her words were running away to play hide and seek. Sally nudged her with her trunk and Jess reached out instinctively for the worn, grey skin. Her words gave up their hiding place and like a string of beads they appeared from between her lips.
“This is Sally. She was born in a place called Africa. She doesn’t have a Mummy or a Daddy – they died. She likes baths and spraying me with water. We like to go for walks and look for treasures. I tell her my secrets and she keeps them safe. She never forgets. I feel safe with Sally. She is my best friend and I like to share my things with her. Today I am sharing Sally with you. She likes to play games and she is very good at listening. That’s all.”
Her classmates edged forward to greet Sally – no further introductions required. Time to play. Sally enjoyed painting, dressing up, story time, morning snack, 100’s of hugs and listening to secrets galore.
Watching from the window, Mrs Morgan smiled as she watched Jess insist that her Grandfather give Sally a piggyback home. He knelt down and waited patiently as Jess tucked Sally into the hood of his jacket-the perfect elephant hammock.