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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22. Chapter XXII - Miss Lena's Perspective

This morning I decided Naieesha needed to have a bath before I proceeded with any other lessons of the day. I filled the bathtub with water, called Naieesha into the room and stripped her naked. I motioned for her to go in. She panicked, shaking her head, grunting violently and stomping her feet.

"Calm down, Naieesha!" I cried, "What's wrong?"

She got down on her knees, and starting pawing at the floor like...what? A horse? A buffalo? Aha! A water buffalo!

I grabbed my slate and drew the best I could of a water buffalo.  Turning the slate towards her, I whispered softly, "Naieesha, is this what you are afraid of?"

The little girl looked at me with frightened eyes and cocked her head, trying to visualize what I had just drawn. A few minutes passed, and she grunted in response. Naieesha must have a history with water buffalos, seeing them fight and gorge each other, until eventually, one, mostly the bull that was weaker, falls down dead. Those waters must be violent, and unsafe to her, the poor dear.

I wouldn't want to get in the bathtub either.

Thinking quickly, I went to the bathroom cupboard and pulled out a large rubber duck. Then, turning on the tap, I took down a bottle of suds from the shelf and poured it through the water, which soon turned into delightful bubbles. When the tub was nearly full I turned off the tap, and tried to coax Naieesha in with the rubber duck. 

"Mr Ducky is going for a swim," I told her, moving my arms in a doggy paddle technique. "Swim, Naieesha." "Can you say that?"

"Sw-Sw-Sw-iMMMM!" came the loud, and salivary, reply.

"Good!" I praised. "Now, don't you want to join Mr Ducky, so you can get clean?"

"Clean." 

She knew a word! Right away!

"Yes, yes, clean!" I kept going, "clean!"

"Clean."  Naieesha stood up proudly, smiling. "Clean!"

Slowly, I lead her to the tub. She put one foot in, and wasn't scared at all! Slipping into all that lathery fun, Naieesha repeated, "Clean!" Over, and over, and over. 

She let me scub her, and didn't flinch. She let me dry her whole body.

And...she dressed. All by herself. At only day two! Very stylish child, I might add. A lavender frock with lace, and a straw hat with a lavender ribbon to match. Black leather boots.

All through breakfast, noon meal, and supper, Naieesha sang, "clean!"

She was proud of herself.

And so was I.

 

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