Title : Kathy Author : Anne Frank Date : February 11, 1944 English Translation by: --------------------------------- Kathy Kathy sat on the big boulder that lay in the sun in front of the farm. She was thinking, thinking very hard. Kathy was one of those quiet girls. What the youngster in the dirndl apron was thinking about, she alone knew; she never told her thoughts to anyone -- she was much too withdrawn for that. She had no friends and probably would have found it hard to get any. Her mother found her a strange child, and the pity of it was that Kathy felt that. Her father, the farmer, was much too busy to concern himself with his only little daughter. And so Kathy was always by herself. It didn't disturb) her; she didn't know any better and was soon satisfied But on this warm summer evening she sighed deeply as she looked up and glanced at the cornfields. How jolly it would be to play with those girls over there. Look, they ran about, and laughed; what fun they were having! Now the children came closer, and still closer -- would they come to her? Oh, how awful, they came -- but to laugh at her. She clearly heard them mention her name, not her real name, but the nickname that she hated so much and that she often heard the children whisper--Crazykate! Oh, how miserable she felt; if she could only run into the house, but if she did, the children would laugh at her all the more. Poor girl, it surely isn't the first time that you have felt so forsaken and envied to other youngsters. . . "Kathy! Kathy, come home! We are having supper!" Another sigh, and the child slowly rose to obey her mother. "My, what a cheerful face! We surely have a happy daughter!" the farmer's wife cried when the child, more slowly and more depressed than ever, entered the room. "Can't you say something for yourself?" scolded the woman. Her tone was more unfriendly than she herself knew; her daughter never had been the bright, lively girl she had always wanted.'' "Yes, Mother," whispered the child. "You're a fine one, staying away all morning and not doing a stroke of work. Where have you been?" "Outside." Kathy felt as though she had a gag in her throat, but the mother misunderstood the girl's embarrassment and now really became curious where the child had been all morning. Again she asked: "Answer me properly; I want to know where you have been, do you understand? I can't stand that everlasting, slow-witted, crazy behavior!" At the word that reminded her of the detested nickname, Kathy lost control of herself and burst into tears. "What is the matter now? You're a real coward! Can't you tell me where you've been hanging out? Or is that perhaps a big secret?" The child could not possibly ansuer; violent sobs kept her from speaking. Suddenly, she upset a chair, ran weeping out of the room and up to the attic, where she sank down on some bags in a corner, sobbing as if her heart would break. The mother shrugged her shoulders as she cleared the table dounstairs; she wasn't surprised at her child's conduct. Such "crazy" moods were not unusual; she decided to let the girl alone -- there was nothing to be gained, and the everlasting tears were always on the point of coming. A fine specimen of a twelve-year-old farmer's daughter! In the attic, Kathy had calmed down somewhat and was collecting her thoughts. She would presently go downstairs, tell her mother that she had simply been sitting on the boulder by the door and thinking about things, and offer to finish all of the work that afternoon. Her mother then would surely understand that she did not mind the work, and should she be asked where she had been sitting still all morning, she would answer that there was something important she had to figure out. Then, in the evening, when she had to deliver the eggs, she would buy a pretty, silver, glittering thimble for her mother; she had just enough money to buy one in the vil- lage. Mother would realize that she wasn't so slow-witted and crazy, after all. Oh, if she could only get rid of that dreadful nickname! Here was a thought: If she had any money left over after buying the thimble, she'd get a bag of sweets and, on her way to school, divide them among the girls. Then they'd like her and ask her to play with them. They would soon see that she was good at games as anyone, and nobody would ever call her anything but Kathy after that. Softly she descended the stairs. When she met her mother in the passage, all courage to talk and explain the morning's absence left her, and she quickly started cleaning the windows, one of her regular tasks. It was almost sundown when Kathy took the basket of eggs and began her rounds. After a half hour's walk she reached the first customer, who stood in her doorway, dish in hand. "I'll take ten tonight, my child," said the friendly woman. She counted off ten and, with a greeting, continued on her way. In three quarters of an hour the basket was empty, and Kathy stepped into the small general store. A pretty thimble and a bagful of sweets were soon put into the basket, and now Kathy turned back toward home. About halfway, she saw two of the girls who had teased her in the morning coming toward her. She bravely suppressed a longing to hide, and, her heart beating wildly, she went on. "Look! Here comes Crazykate!" At her wits'end, Kathy took the bag of sweets from her basket and politely held it out to the children. They quickly grabbed it from her and ran away with it. One of them stuck out her tongue at Kathy. Lonesome and heartbroken, Kathy sat down in the grass at the edge of the road, and wept, wept, and wept. Finally, in the dark, she dried her tears, picked up the basket, and slowly set off in the direction of home. Somewhere in the grass, the thimble glittered . . .
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