My own Pippi Longstocking


This girl haunted me for a long time. She was in my class at school–second grade, I think. She showed up one day at a neighborhood pool wearing a pillowcase, the ripped top edge held together with two clothespins, with a beaded “Indian” belt around her waist. Mini-me was horrified, thinking she had nothing else to wear. I didn’t know what to do. It was only years later as an adult with children myself, that it occurred to me maybe she was just an outrageous child with little parental oversight taking pride in her ability to craft a new outfit. That’s how I choose to remember her now. Wherever she is today, I hope the revised version was the true one, and I salute her spirit.