When I entered the second grade, there was this boy named Virgil who would ask me every morning what was wrong with my arms. I really got tired of him asking me that so I made up a story. I said, “Well, Virgil, this is what really happened. One morning my mother put my right arm in my coat sleeve and something ate up all my arm and fingers. Then she put my left arm in my coat sleeve and the same thing happened to my left arm and fingers.” By the time I had finished my story, Virgil’s eyes had become wide, and he said, “It did?” I said, “Yes, it really did happen.”
The only problem with my story was that Virgil told his mom. His mom saw my mom at a Parent Teacher Association (PTA) meeting and told her what I had said to Virgil. She was very upset because Virgil would not wear his coat. He was afraid that he would lose his arms and fingers if he put his coat on. Mom got on to me and told me when I returned to school the next day that I was to tell Virgil it was not true. But you see, I did not tell him because I wanted him to keep believing my story. (My story seemed to satisfy his curiosity rather than the fact that I was born that way.) Virgil, if you are still around and ever read this book, I am sorry that I never told you the truth and that you had to endure the winters without your coat.