She had fashioned the bird all on her own. No help from anyone else; no detailed instructions. She had been looking at the blank sheet of wide-ruled paper and then, as if possessed by an outside force, her hands were folding it, this way and that, into squares and triangular shapes. And before her mind caught up to the movement of her hands, a bird in flight lay before her. She stared dumbfounded at the paper bird for several minutes before placing it carefully in the palm of her left hand and lifting it to eye level.
When her attention finally shifted from the paper bird, Mrs. Moraz was standing right in front of her desk. “What have you made, Lyla?” She heard the sing-songy words come from above while she gazed at Mrs. Moraz’s navy blue skirt.
“It’s a bird.”
“How beautiful!” Mrs. Moraz said. “Would you like to show it to the class, Lyla?”
She shook her head.
“Well then, may I show it to the class?”
“Children, look at the pretty bird Lyla made!” Mrs. Moraz held out her hand, waiting patiently while Lyla gently placed the paper bird into her teacher’s palm. Mrs. Moraz held the bird aloft, while the other children gathered round her cupped hands to inspect Lyla’s creation.
Lyla remained in her seat, watching the group from afar; apprehensive they might hurt her bird.
“We should put Lyla’s bird in the cage.” This suggestion was offered by Randy, who sometimes was chosen as Lyla’s reading buddy during story time.
“What a wonderful suggestion, Randy.” Mrs. Moraz agreed. “Lyla, what do you think of Randy’s idea?”
“Okay,” Lyla said, and smiled.
Mrs. Moraz walked over to the empty cage that sat on the counter along the window side of the classroom and placed Lyla’s paper bird inside.
“Thank you, Lyla, for the beautiful addition to our classroom. Now children, shall we return to our math lesson? We were learning about angles.”