Another Myth

March 19, 2009

posted & written by Caroline Picard

PEOPLE

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They sat at the preschool desks–mother and daughter. Her mother’s legs were long. Her mother’s knees rose above the table top. They sat in front of a large, white sheet of paper. There were markers, some of them dried up, in a box next to Gracie. The people seemed to emerge from a snarled mess of scribbles and colors, applied one on top of the next, until she’d created a brown stew.
“Gracie,” said the mother, frowning. “Concentrate. Do it again. Show your teachers what you can do.”
Gracie drew a lopsided circle whose arms overlapped and crossed. She drew two other lines out of the circle, as feet. She added haphazard shoes.
“Is this a person, Gracie? Is this a girl or a boy?”
“Girl.”
“I can’t tell,” said the mom. “Should you give the girl a bow or a dress?”
“I can’t.”
“Is the girl happy?”
“Yes.”
“Give her a smile. People smile when they’re happy.”
Gracie bisected the circle with a bowed line.
Her mother showed the page to Tobias, “Look!” she said, “Gracie can draw people. This is Gracie’s first person.”
Thereafter her mother sat back down, excited. “Now, Gracie, draw more people. So you don’t forget how.”

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