Throwing the Hammer

ThenicethingaboutMatildawasthatifyouhadmethercasuallyandtalkedtoheryouwouldhavethoughtshewasaperfectlynormalfive-and-a-half-year-oldchild.Shedisplayedalmostnooutwardsignsofherbrillianceandshenevershowedoff."Thisisaverysensibleandquietlittlegirl,"youwouldhavesaidtoyourself.Andunlessforsomereasonyouhadstartedadiscussionwithheraboutliteratureormathematics,youwouldneverhaveknowntheextentofherbrain-power.

ItwasthereforeeasyforMatildatomakefriendswithotherchildren.Allthoseinherclasslikedher.Theyknewofcoursethatshewas"clever"becausetheyhadheardherbeingquestionedbyMissHoneyonthefirstdayofterm.Andtheyknewalsothatshewasallowedtositquietlywithabookduringlessonsandnotpayattentiontotheteacher.Butchildrenoftheiragedonotsearchdeeplyforreasons.Theyarefartoowrappedupintheirownsmallstrugglestoworryovermuchaboutwhatothersaredoingandwhy.

AmongMatilda’snew-foundfriendswasthegirlcalledLavender.Rightfromthefirstdayoftermthetwoofthemstartedwanderingroundtogetherduringthemorning-breakandinthelunch-hour.Lavenderwasexceptionallysmallforherage,askinnylittlenymphwithdeep-browneyesandwithdarkhairthatwascutinafringeacrossherforehead.Matildalikedherbecauseshewasgutsyandadventurous.ShelikedMatildaforexactlythesamereasons.

Beforethefirstweekoftermwasup,awesometalesabouttheHeadmistress,MissTrunchbull,begantofilterthroughtothenewcomers.

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