She didn’t make frequent visits to the nurse, so I was surprised to look up from my desk and see second grader Beth limping through the door. Her disheveled long black hair framed a worried face with tear filled dark eyes. She held her skirt above one knee, exposing a bloody scrape. I led her to a small chair and gathered my supplies. Beth described her fall, her pain, and her need for immediate nursing care with dramatic detail and concluded, “Oh, Nurse Flemr, I do hope you can help me. I am afraid I might have cinders in my scrape.” I assured her I would carefully remove any found.
I pulled up another small chair (In those days, I took pride in being able to fold my six-foot frame into the small, but sturdy chair). I used gauze and warm sudsy water to gently clean the scrape. As I worked, Beth’s tears subsided and I did my best to distract her with mutual chatter.
After a few minutes, Beth asked, “Nurse Flemr . . . could you please tell me how you get that very white hair all mixed in there with the black hair?’ I realized she was looking at the top of my head as I bent over her knee. I explained, “Well, it just grows in there like that, Beth. As I am getting older I get a few more each year.”
Beth’s reply is one which will forever cause me to laugh out loud. “That is SO NEAT, Nurse Flemr . . . it is JUST like a skunk!”