Матильда

The Reader of Books

Aparticularlypoisonouslittlegirlmightstingmeintosaying, "Fionahasthesameglacialbeautyasaniceberg, butunliketheicebergshehasabsolutelynothingbelowthesurface." IthinkImightenjoywritingend-of-termreportsforthestinkersinmyclass. Butenoughofthat.Wehavetogeton.  

Occasionallyonecomesacrossparentswhotaketheoppositeline, whoshownointerestatallintheirchildren, andtheseofcoursearefarworsethanthedotingones.MrandMrs.Wormwoodweretwosuchparents. TheyhadasoncalledMichaelandadaughtercalledMatilda, andtheparentslookeduponMatildainparticularasnoth-ingmorethanascab. Ascabissomethingyouhavetoputupwithuntilthetimecomeswhenyoucanpickitoffandflickitaway.  

MrandMrs.Wormwoodlookedforwardenormouslytothetime whentheycouldpicktheirlittledaughteroffandflickheraway, preferablyintothenextcountyorevenfurtherthanthat.  

Itisbadenoughwhenparentstreatordinarychildrenasthoughtheywerescabsandbunions, butitbecomessomehowalotworsewhenthechildinquestionisextraordinary,andbythatImeansensitiveandbrilliant. Matildawasbothofthesethings,butaboveallshewasbrilliant. Hermindwassonimbleandshewassoquicktolearnthatherabilityshouldhavebeenobviouseventothemosthalf-wittedofparents. ButMrandMrs.Wormwoodwerebothsogormless andsowrappedupintheirownsillylittlelives thattheyfailedtonoticeanythingunusualabouttheirdaughter. 

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