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Weeks went by and still Wanda did not answer. Peggy had begun to forget the whole business, and Maddie put herself to sleep at night making speeches about Wanda, defending her from great crowds of girls who were trying to tease her with, “How many dresses have you got?” And before Wanda could press her lips together in a tight line, the way she did before answering, Maddie would cry out, “Stop!” Then everybody would feel ashamed the way she used to feel.
Now it was Christmas time and there was snow on the ground. Christmas bells and a small tree decorated the classroom. On the last day of school before the holidays, the teacher showed the class a letter she had received that morning.
“You remember Wanda Petronski, the gifted little artist who won the drawing contest? Well, she has written me, and I am glad to know where she lives, because now I can send her medal. I want to read her letter to you.”
The class sat up with a sudden interest and listened intently.
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.
A decorated Christmas tree
Meanings of the difficult words:
Crowd A large number of people gathered together in a disorganized or unruly way
Ashamed Embarrassed or guilty because of one's actions, or characteristics
Glad Feeling pleasure or happiness
National Council of Educational Research and Training (2007). First Flight- The Hundred Dresses I-Eleanor Estes (pp. 73-83). Published at the Publication Division by the Secretary, National Council of Educational Research and Training, Sri Aurobindo Marg, New Delhi.