A Girl with Red Hair Is Nice to Know!

 /   /  By Emma Birches
Stone Soup Magazine
May/June 2000

By Annika Thomas, Illustrated by Kate Engel

One day at school Sister Rachel, our teacher, asked for a volunteer to read out loud. A girl named Cindy raised her hand. Cindy was a shy, quiet girl who always sat on her hands. She had short reddish hair and a twitch in her eye when she was nervous, which was most of the time. I knew Cindy was proud of herself for raising her hand. Sister Rachel looked at Cindy with her eyes wide and bulgy.

Cindy started to read the paragraph. When she came to the last sentence on the page she read, “A girl with red hair is nice.” Cindy was unaware that the words “to know” were on the next page, finishing the sentence.

Sister Rachel said, “Yes . . . a girl with red hair is nice . . . what!”

Cindy repeated, “A girl with red hair is nice.”

A Girl with Red Hair Is Nice to Know! during class

I took a deep breath and lunged across the aisle

Sister Rachel let out a big disgusted sigh. Cindy knew she was in big trouble! Now she was sweating like a sprinkler.

She looked at me from across the aisle. I whispered, “To know.” She stared at me with a puzzled face.

She looked at the girl on the other side of the aisle. That girl said softly, “To know.”

Cindy looked back over at me, now in a panic. Her eye was twitching like a rabbit’s nose.

Sister Rachel was walking slowly down the aisle. She was breathing fire, and smoke was coming out of her ears!!! She was ready to blow!

Cindy’s salvation was only a page away. I took a deep breath and lunged across the aisle. In an instant I turned the page under Cindy’s nervous nose.

The light bulb finally went on in her head! Cindy yelled, “To know. A girl with red hair is nice to know!!!”

The bell rang and we all filed out of class. Cindy and I looked at each other and broke into laughter. For a moment we were the world’s best friends. She and I were very different people, but from then on we looked at each other with new eyes. A girl with “reddish” hair was nice to know.

A Girl with Red Hair Is Nice to Know! Annika Thomas

Annika Thomas, 11
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

A Girl with Red Hair Is Nice to Know! Kate Engel

Kate Engel, 13
Ojai, California

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