Then he said, "Come no closer! Remove the sandals from your feet, for the place on which you are standing is holy ground."

Consider this the equivalent of story time, a circle of children sitting on the floor on pillows, with a calm teacher or kind librarian, just about to open the book.

One child sneezes.

One child fidgets, needing to use the bathroom.

One child pokes another.

One child holds tightly to a worn blanket.

One child is bored and gets up to find their own book to read.

One child drinks from a juice box although no food is allowed.

Since this is my story, the librarian is not a man wearing pants, but a prematurely grey woman with infinite patience, wearing a perfect shade of green to match her eyes and soft sweater. She is seated on a child-sized chair, painted red. Quietly, she looks at each upturned face, then opens the book.

One child wanders back from boredom.

One child curls up against her mother.

The story the librarian has chosen is The Emperor's New Clothes, and one by one, the little ears listen because they know how the story ends. Grown-ups are fooled by other grown-ups into believing the Emperor is wearing clothes, when in fact, he is not. A child speaks up and is the wise hero.

What child does not love or identify with the folly and simple truth? What child does not want to be heard? What child does not want to be a hero?

Exodus 3:5

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