Miss Honey

Matildawasalittlelateinstartingschool.MostchildrenbeginPrimarySchoolatfiveorevenjustbefore,butMatilda’sparents,whoweren’tveryconcernedonewayortheotherabouttheirdaughter’seducation,hadforgottentomaketheproperarrangementsinadvance.Shewasfiveandahalfwhensheenteredschoolforthefirsttime.

ThevillageschoolforyoungerchildrenwasableakbrickbuildingcalledCrunchemHallPrimarySchool.Ithadabouttwohundredandfiftypupilsagedfromfivetojustundertwelveyearsold.Theheadteacher,theboss,thesupremecommanderofthisestablishmentwasaformidablemiddle-agedladywhosenamewasMissTrunchbull.

NaturallyMatildawasputinthebottomclass,wheretherewereeighteenothersmallboysandgirlsaboutthesameageasher.TheirteacherwascalledMissHoney,andshecouldnothavebeenmorethantwenty-threeortwenty-four.Shehadalovelypaleovalmadonnafacewithblueeyesandherhairwaslight-brown.Herbodywassoslimandfragileonegotthefeelingthatifshefellovershewouldsmashintoathousandpieces,likeaporcelainfigure.

MissJenniferHoneywasamildandquietpersonwhoneverraisedhervoiceandwasseldomseentosmile,butthereisnodoubtshepossessedthatraregiftforbeingadoredbyeverysmallchildunderhercare.Sheseemedtounderstandtotallythebewildermentandfearthatsooftenoverwhelmsyoungchildrenwhoforthefirsttimeintheirlivesareherdedintoaclassroomandtoldtoobeyorders.

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