Juliette was a darling three year old little girl, who often came for a visit with Mrs. Green. Juliette had rosy round cheeks and short brown hair. Her eyes were golden brown with long dark heavy lashes that seemed to blink in slow motion. Juliette loved hats and she had many. Today she wore a cream-colored round fleece hat with felt rosettes of red, purple, and green on the side. Her little bangs peeked out just under the rim of the hat and wisps of hair curled up like the letter c behind each ear.

Though Juliette spoke French perfectly, she did not speak much English. In fact, when her family first moved to America, she stopped speaking all together. Mrs. Green worked with her every week and Juliette’s English had come a long, long way.

Juliette walked in the door with a wide smile on her face. Mrs. Green knelt down and looked Juliette in the eye. She held Juliette’s cold face in her warm hands and said,

“I am so glad you are here Juliette.”

Juliette smiled and gave Mrs. Green a big hug. She waved goodbye to her mother and walked over to Ampersand, who was wagging his tail so fast it was hard to see.

She looked at Mrs. Green and said, “Cookie?”

Mrs. Green walked into the kitchen and handed Juliette a small dog biscuit shaped like a tiny chicken wing. Juliette held it tightly between her thumb and index finger. Ampersand did not take his eyes off of it for one second.

Mrs. Green said, “Sit.”

Ampersand waited patiently.

Juliette repeated, “Sit.”

Ampersand sat.

Mrs. Green said, “Circle.”

Ampersand waited patiently.

Juliette repeated, “Circle.”

Ampersand spun around in a quick circle.

Mrs. Green said, “Roll over.”

Ampersand waited patiently.

Juliette repeated, “Roll over.”

Ampersand got down on the floor and rolled over.

Mrs. Green smiled at the two friends and said, “Dance.”

Juliette repeated, “Dance.”

Ampersand stood on his hind legs and hopped up and down and bobbed his head ever so slightly.

Juliette laughed so hard she almost dropped the cookie.

Mrs. Green laughed along side of her friend and nodded her head. Juliette handed the tiny dog biscuit to Ampersand and he gobbled it up.

Juliette looked at Mrs. Green and said, “Acorn?”

Juliette had visited Mrs. Green in the fall and they went on a nature walk and collected acorns and leaves and rocks. Acorn was the first English word Mrs. Green had heard Juliette say.

Mrs. Green had a project all ready. She led Juliette into the dining room. On the table were two milkweed pods.  They looked like pea pods, only they were bigger and had fuzzy skin on the outside. Mrs. Green had cleaned out the seeds and the milkweed fluff. She also had two round beads, some lovely green, red, and blue spun wool fabric, and the tops of two acorns. She pointed to each object and Juliette repeated the words after her.

She took the acorn cap and showed Juliette how to glue it onto the bead and said, “hat.”

Juliette caught on quickly and said, “Oh, hat.”

They placed the little bead head with the acorn cap on it in the very top corner of the milkweed pod and glued it there.

“Head,” Mrs. Green said.

Juliette repeated, “Head.”

Mrs. Green took the fluffy spun wool. It looked like cotton candy. She twisted it around Juliette’s index finger. She slipped it off and tucked it snugly into the milkweed pod, like she was tucking in a tiny little baby. Mrs. Green said, “Blanket.”

Juliette nodded her head, “Blanket.” She repeated.

Mrs. Green held up the milkweed pod. It was transformed. Inside the pod slept a tiny, snugly warm little milkweed baby with the cutest little acorn cap hat Juliette had ever seen.

Juliet’s face lit up. “Baby!” Juliette said.

Mrs. Green smiled a wide and happy smile. She did a little dance with the baby and rocked it back and forth. Ampersand joined in and danced a jig on his hind legs, all the time trying to jump up and see the tiny little milkweed baby.

This time it was Mrs. Green who repeated after Juliette, “Baby!”

Copyright Terri Neagle Donaldson 2015

Terri Neagle Donaldson and Stressfreestories, 2015. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Terri Neagle Donaldson and Stressfreestories with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.