In continuance of the previous lesson, "The Hundred Dresses II" uncovers why Wanda Petronski had not been coming to school.
 
When the school students were encircling the room and seeing the contest pictures, Miss Mason received a note. The note was brought by a monitor (attender) from the principal's office. After receiving the note, she read it several times. Then she thought about the things mentioned in the letter for a while. Later, she clapped her hands (she did it to make the children pay attention to her). After hearing that, the children standing here and there assembled back to their seats.
 
YCIND_220815_4288_Kids in art gallery.png
Children looking at the contest pictures

Once the noise of the footsteps was over, and when the class remained silent, Miss Mason told the students that she had a letter. She mentioned that the letter was from Wanda's father and she had to read it for them.
 
Miss Mason then stood silent for a moment, and the class remained utterly silent due to anxiety. As the teacher asked them to remain silent, students were thinking about what news the teacher would tell them. The teacher then adjusted her spectacles slowly and thoughtfully. Her behaviourism gives a small clue that Wanda's father had written something important in that note. As a result, everyone listened to their teacher while she was reading the letter.
 
The note began with a salutation to Miss. Mason. On that note, it was mentioned that Wanda would not come to school hereafter. Jake, her brother also, will not attend school. Wanda's father wrote that they would move to a big city. Then he mentioned that if they left the place, no one could call them "Pollack" (polish people). In addition, no one would ask them why they had a funny name. Then he said they were migrating to the new city and had plenty of funny names. Here, Wanda's father is trying to tell her that as they moved to the big city, there were people like them (polish people). So their name wouldn't seem weird while living along with them. He then ended the note by writing the feelings of a polish man.
 
Miss Mason was also stunned; thus, she cleaned her glasses with a soft white handkerchief. She then wore it again and looked at the class. She started to speak to the students. While she was speaking, her voice remained very low. Miss Mason told the children that she knew none of the boys and girls in Room Thirteen would purposely hurt anyone's feelings. After telling them that, she said she expected that no one had hurt Wanda or Jack's emotions because of their long unfamiliar name. Then she said if they had said anything about the names, they should have told without thinking anything. Then she said she knew that all the children in Room Thirteen were feeling the same way as she felt. Then she said it was a sad thing that happened to everyone and asked the children to think about it.
 
The children listened to whatever Miss Mason told them. Then it was the first period as well as the study period. Maddie tried to study her lessons, but she couldn't focus her mind on her studies. Also, she felt sick and had an ache at the bottom of her stomach.
 
The narrator said Maddie was upset after hearing Wanda's father's note. As we know that Maddie didn't feel happy while Peggy was asking her how many dresses she had in her closet. Even though Maddie didn't like it, she didn't say anything to stop her. Maddie stood silently near her. So here, what Maddie did was bad compared to Peggy. For instance, if someone feels that one was making a mistake, we should tell them. If we are not telling them and thinking it in mind, it would also be considered bad. The same situation happened with Maddie and Peggy. Maddie's behaviour seemed to be worse than Peggy's, and also, she seemed to be a coward. The narrator said that Peggy didn't know she was purposely hurting Wanda.
 
But Maddie understood everything, but she didn't do anything about that. Maddie then imagined Wanda's situation by putting herself in place.
 
Maddie then thought there wasn't much she could do. She was the only one who could apologise to Wanda for hurting her emotions. After thinking that, Wanda turned around and had a look at Peggy. But Peggy didn't look at her. She seemed to be studying hard. After seeing that, Maddie doubted herself whether Peggy felt sad or not for treating Wanda in a bad way. Then Maddie thought she had to do something to overcome this hurting feeling. She thought of finding Wanda and had a notion that Wanda may not have left her home. Then she imagined that Peggy would accompany her to climb the hills and reach Boggins Heights. Then she thought she and Peggy would go there and tell Wanda that she had won the drawing competition. In addition, she wished to tell her that Wanda was smart and a hundred dresses she drew were very beautiful.
 
The class ended in the afternoon. Once the class finished, Peggy went near Maddie and told her to let them go to Boggins Heights to see whether Wanda had left the town. After hearing Peggy's concern, Maddie felt happy. She thought that Peggy also had the same thought as her. Then the two girls came out of the school building. They walked up the street towards Boggins Heights. The part of the town during November month generally seemed wet. In addition to that, the climate was very dull and hopeless.
 
YCIND_220815_4288_Two girls friends students.png
Peggy and Maddie came out of school
  
Peggy then said that she never called Wanda a foreigner (a polish girl) and made fun of her by calling her name. She then said that she thought that Wanda did not have any sense of understanding they were making fun of her. Peggy thought that she was dumb. After telling her that, she smiled mildly and said how beautifully she was drawing.
 
After hearing that, Maddie didn't say anything. She intended to find Wanda before she left the town. She wanted to meet Wanda again and tell her they were sorry for hurting her. Also, she wanted to make her feel that everyone in the school liked her and thought good about her. Moreover, she wanted to tell Wanda not to leave the town and that everyone will be good to her. Then she said that she and Peggie would scold them if anyone were not behaving properly with her.
 
Then Maddie and Peggy moved fast. They wished to attain the top of the hill before it became night. After reaching the hilltop, Maddie pointed to a white house and said that she thought that was where Wanda lived. Along the sidewalk, there were tendrils of old grass poking up here and there which appeared to like thin kittens. In addition, the house and its surroundings were "shabby but clean". The house surrounding made them recall just Wanda's worn-out blue dress.
 
YCIND_220815_4288_Old house.png
Wanda's house
  
When Peggy and Maddie reached the house, there was no sign of human existence. Peggy knocked on the door firmly. But no one opened the door. Then Maddie and Peggy went around the backyard and knocked there. But they didn't get any response from them. Finally, they thought Wanda's family had left the place. After that, there arises a question about how Maddie and Peggy will ever get to apologise for their mistakes. Then both turned slowly and made their way down the hill.
 
Peggy said Wanda had gone now, so what could they do after that? She then said that whenever she asked Wanda about her dresses, Wanda got more new ideas for her drawings. In addition, she said that if Peggy didn't ask such questions, Wanda wouldn't have won the drawing contest. Here, one can find that Peggy was not feeling for the mistake she had made; on the other side, she was making things normal by telling her that because of her, Wanda won the contest.
 
After hearing Peggy's talk, Maddie took all those things into her mind. Then she thought that if Peggy said it was true, she shouldn't feel bad about that. But on that night, Maddie couldn't sleep. She was thinking about Wanda, her faded dress and the small house she lived in. In addition, she thought of the hundred beautiful pictures Wanda designed. She also recalled about the hundred dresses lined up in their classroom. Maddie finally got out of bed, gripped her forehead firmly with her palms, and gave it some serious thought. The hardest she had ever thought was at this moment. After a long thought, she concluded.
 
After thinking a lot, Maddie concluded that she swore she would never again remain silent. It might be because she felt a lot by thinking about Wanda's situation. Wanda would be there with them if she had asked Peggy to stop making fun. Then Maddie decided that if Peggy hurt anyone by making fun of their looks or laughing because of their strange name, she would speak up. Also, she wouldn't care if it resulted in losing Peggy's friendship. Here, one can find how bad Maddie felt because of treating Wanda in such a way. Maddie had no idea of how to make things right with Wanda, but she decided that she would never allow Peggy to cause another person so much distress.
 
Then on a fine Saturday, Maddie spent the afternoon with Peggy. Both of them decided to write a letter to Wanda. The letter they were going to write was a friendly one. In that letter, they thought of mentioning the contest and her achievements. In addition to that, they mentioned that her drawings were pretty. In addition, they asked about her new school and teacher. They wrote about whether Wanda liked her new place and her new teacher. In that letter, they meant to write sorry for the things that happened to her. But they didn't mention that, and the letter ended with a friendly tone. They have written the letter in a way that a person writes a letter to their good friend. At last, they signed the letter with lots of love for her.
 
After writing the letter, they mailed it to Boggins Heights. In addition, there was a note mentioning forwarding the letter to Wanda's current address. It might be because the girls might have thought if anyone gets the letter, they will forward it to Wanda's current address.
 
Then days passed, and the two girls didn't receive any reply from Wanda. Also, the letter they had to send didn't come back. As a result, they thought Wanda might have received the letter. Finally, they thought Wanda might be angry with both of them, so she didn't answer their letter. Even they couldn't blame her for responding to the letter because they had made a mistake.
 
As weeks passed, Wanda didn't answer Peggy and Maddie's letter. Peggy started forgetting the whole incident that happened with Wanda. But Maddie couldn't forget the things. Whenever Maddie slept in the room, she dreamt about Wanda crowded with girls. While they were teasing her, like how many dresses she had, Maddie would defend and protect Wanda from them. This shows how hardly Maddie feels for Wanda.
 
In addition, whenever Wanda felt hurt, she pressed her lips together in a tight line. Usually, Wanda would behave in such a way before she tried to answer their questions. When Maddie saw this, she would shout louder and tell them to stop it. While hearing Wanda's loudest cry, the girls teasing her would feel ashamed of how they treated Wanda. These were the imaginations running in Wanda's mind as she couldn't help at that time.
 
The Christmas season had arrived, and there was snow on the ground. Small Christmas trees and bells are decorated in the classroom. This shows that children were celebrating Christmas eve in their school. It was the last day before their holidays. The teacher had shown a letter to the class she had received that morning. The teacher asked the children whether they remembered Wanda Petronski. The teacher then asked whether they remembered the gifted little artist who won the drawing contest. After telling them about the girl, the teacher said she had sent a letter to her. She felt delighted to know where Wanda lived. In addition, she said that she could send her medal to that address. After telling them that, she said she was eager to read the letter in front of all the students. The whole class sat up with a sudden interest and listened to her carefully.
 
shutterstock_159963464.jpg
A decorated Christmas tree
  
Wanda wrote the letter in a friendly way. In the letter, she enquired about the wellness of the teacher and the students in Room Thirteen. She then asked the teacher to tell the girls to keep the hundred dresses drawings with them. After telling them that, she said she had hundreds of dresses in her new home lined up in her closet.
 
Then Wanda mentioned that she wished to give the drawing of the green with the red trimming to Peggy. In addition, she also expressed her desire to give Maddie the blue one. In the end, she mentioned that she would miss everyone at Christmas. Also, she said that she was missing the school and as well as her old teacher Miss Mason. Moreover, she insisted that her new teacher could not be replaced in place of her old teacher. At last, she wishes merry Christmas to everyone.
 
While reading the above paragraph, one can understand that Wanda received the letter from Maddie and Peggy.
 
Maddie and Peggy held the drawing very carefully while going home. On the way from school to house, they enjoyed the Christmas decorations. Every home had holly and garlands in its windows. Hundreds of Christmas trees were packed outside the grocery shop. In addition, there were candy peppermint sticks and cornucopias (a symbol of plenty consisting of a goat's horn overflowing with flowers, fruit, and corn) of bright, shiny paper draped in the window. Also, the air smelled like Christmas eve. It means that the decorations, goods, garlands, and everything fulfilled a Christmas eve's complete fulfilment. Moreover, the light that beamed everywhere reflected many shades of colour on the snow.
 
YCIND_220815_4288_Thanksgiving harvest.png
Cornucopias
  
After admiring the garlands and the lighting, Peggy called Maddie in a friendly way and said that she felt Wanda liked them. After telling her that, she told her she felt that Wanda had received their letter. Moreover, she told her that the response to the letter meant that she had forgotten everything.
 
After hearing that, Maddie replied that she also thinks the same. She then felt sad because she knew she would not see the tight-lipped polish girl again in her life. Also, she felt that things would never go right between them. It means that Maddie was hoping for Wanda to say sorry to her. But while reading the letter, she felt she would not see her in her life again. Both the girls went home.
 
Maddie pinned the drawing of Wanda over a torn place in the pink floral wallpaper in the bedroom. After pinning the drawing, the dull room became alive (here, in a sense, the room seemed beautiful). The different colours in the painting gave a different beauty to the room. Maddie then sat down on her bed and looked at Wanda's drawing. Then Maddie thought that whenever Peggy was making fun of her, Maddie stood and said nothing. Even though Maddie stood without helping Wanda, she behaved nicely to her. It shows the innocence and kindness of Wanda.
 
While thinking about Wanda's love for her, Maddie becomes emotional. Tears shed from her eyes, and she looked at them for a long time. She then hurriedly wiped her tears from her eyes and looked at the picture. The colours in the picture seemed intensely deep or bright. While looking at the colours, she scarcely noticed the face and head of the drawing. When she looked at the head and the face, it seemed like Maddie. The picture looked like her own mouth. Then she thought to herself why it looked like herself. After thinking that, she suddenly thought that Wanda had drawn the picture for Maddie. After knowing that, she ran over to meet Peggy.
 
Finally, Maddie reached Peggy's house. She asked Peggy to show the picture which Wanda presented. After hearing that, Peggy asked her to tell her why she was in a rush. After that, both of them finally arrived in Peggy's room. Wanda's artwork was lying face down on the bed. Maddie then took it with care.
 
After taking the picture, Maddie told Peggy that Wanda had drawn the picture of Peggy. After telling her that, Maddie filled with excitement and again repeated that the face resembled Peggy. In addition, she said that the picture's face and head looked like Peggy's. After hearing that, Peggy asked what she would say. She finally agreed that Wanda liked both of them.
 
shutterstock_2136761137.jpg
The face in the picture resembled Peggy's look

After hearing that, Maddie also agreed with Peggy's point. Maddie, whose eyes were filled with tears every time she recalled that scene where Wanda would look at the girls laughing at her. Also, whenever Wanda would say all the hundred dresses were lined up in the closet, the girls around her would laugh at her. Maddie feels empathetic while she recalls the incident.
 
From this lesson, one can understand Wanda, a polish girl, goes through the situation. While Wanda started imagining her situation, she couldn't control her sadness. At last, the picture revealed to them how Wanda loved them.