The Grove of Gilgal, Part 1

Laura Caine Learns To Read

Learning to read as quickly as possible was a matter of self-defense for Laura Caine. She knew before she learned how that nothing kept the fear outside the walls of her conscious mind like a good book. When she was twelve her Dad’s parents took her to England with them and it was the first time she’d been away from home. She didn’t know them and she didn’t know England. Lying in bed at night she read Gone With The Wind eight times in ten days.

Laura knew she was destined to read well, her nature made her learn quicker and better than any of her classmates. She competed not against them but against the as yet unformed ideal of her adult self. Laura expected to be the first and best reader in the first grade, so she was.

When Mrs. Love was ready to teach she rang a bell. Laura and the other students were expected to clear their desks and fold their hands on top their desks, so Mrs. Love knew who was ready for the next activity. Anything on the desk was to be stored in the compartment under the desk. Laura did not bruise easily but if she had the outside of her wrists and hands would have been black and blue because when she heard the bell she grabbed everything on her desk, slid it off onto her lap and shoved it into the compartment,. She never quite pulled her hands out all the way, instead taking the quicker route, hitting them on the bottom of the desktop and sliding them across the edge of the desk. When Mrs. Love smiled at her, Laura could see the rest of the class still placing material in their compartments, and she knew she’d won.

When Laura Caine competed she forgot to be afraid.

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