Hyena Child

In the hot, wandering wilderness of Africa, we find Naieesha, a twelve year old girl who has been raised by a pack of hyena's her entire life.
When Thomas Walters, a man on safari, discovers this girl, he captures her and brings her home to his wealthy family in New York.
Things aren't always what they seem.
Lost and alone, Naieesha's behaviour is intolerable. She fights, eats with her hands, and will do anything to get back home to her beloved pack. Both her and The Walter's family are at their wits end. Can Lena Van Helsing, a teacher for the deaf and misunderstood, step in and save the day?

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18. Chapter XVIII - Miss Lena's Perspective

I must have fallen asleep.

Pushing myself up from the bed, I glance over at the window. Morning light shines through the curtains. Time to start a new day. Oh dear.

I look over at Naieesha. The poor child. I heard her crying in the night, so I went over and lay in the bed with her. She seemed to accept that. But why doesn't, perhaps Mrs Walters or even a maid, do as I did last night? Don't they want her to know that she is loved? That they will not do anything to harm her? Can't they sense that she is hurting? 

Sighing, I continue to look at Naieesha, who is now awake. But she is not having a tantrum. She is calm. That gentle look in her eyes has returned, and she is stroking my cheek. Softly,  oh ever so softly. 

Is this, perhaps, her way of saying thank you? Her way of telling me  that I am accepted? That she will allow me to teach until she has learned all that is required?

We'll have to see.

Sitting up, fully, in bed now, I swing my legs over and slip my feet into my slippers. I clap my hands and say enthusiastically to Naieesha, who is staring at me curiously, "All right!" "Let the teaching begin!"

I quickly go next door to my room, taking the slate and chalk from the dresser drawer and sketch a gown. Not a very artistic gown, but it'll have to do. Hopefully she will understand. I return, Naieesha still waiting.

 I go into her dresser drawer and pull out a little blue gown, holding it against my chest.

"You see, Naieesha?" "See what we have to put on the mornings before we go down to breakfast? Naieesha cocks her head, squints her eyes, trying so hard to figure out what I am trying to say, but finally, after two minutes, I know she understands because she is trying to grab the gown from me, eagar to put it on. 

I laugh, helping her slip it on all the way. Tomorrow I shall teach her to dress herself.

We are almost skipping downstairs to the dining room. I help Naieesha sit down in her chair, and she has a grin as long as the Nile spread across her face.

"Well, she seems to be cheerful this morning, doesn't she, Elizabeth?" said Mr Walters to his wife. 

"Yes, sir," I replied, smiling also. "I came into her room last night when she was crying, and that seemed to make her more calm."

All of a sudden, Mrs Walters stood up, dabbing her eyes with a handkerchief. She left the room briskly without saying a word.

"Yes, well, we will talk later," said Mr Walters, "Now lets have breakfast."

The eggs were served. The toast and jam was served. Naieesha started to pick it up with her hands, but I stopped her and drew a fork on my slate.  When I showed her the fork, she hid her face in her hands, frantically, and grunted loudly. Immeadiately I recognized the problem. Naieesha considered a fork threatening. I erased the drawing, drew a spoon, and showed it to her. "Naieesha, this is called a spoon. Spoon. 

"Sp-sp-" was my reply. 

"Good girl." "Now, try to eat. 

I handed her the  untensil, which she gave back to me, again and again. After much debate, I realized, Naieesha wanted me to feed her. It may not have been very proper, but it was a start.

That was a first, and very happy, morning.

Lesson one complete.

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