"My life as a girl came to an abrupt halt at the age of one and a half, when I suddenly outgrew all of my sister's old clothes. Trying to shove my head into one of the frilly bonnets my mother had sewn, my father quickly concluded, was like attempting to stuff a watermelon through a keyhole. No matter which way he tugged, how much he heaved and pulled, the bonnet strings would not tie. The bonnet would not even cover half of my red scalp.
My father stepped back and examined me. Whereas Serena Jane possessed the limbs and features of a vain little pixie, my physiognomy brought to mind the heaviest and roundest of objects-a cannonball, perhaps. Something impervious to smashes and collisions. Since I began walking at the unprecedented age of seven months, I had fallen down the stairs twice, plunged unharmed into the flower beds from the front porch, and survived being pushed into oncoming traffic by Serena Jane in our rusted red wagon.
After each disaster, my father patiently checked me for signs of concussion, broken bones, or ravaged flesh but observed nothing. I never had any welts or bruises-I never even cried. In fact, the only way he ever knew about any of my early calamities was the unholy noise I made when I fell. It was, he told his customers in the barbershop, like an asteroid colliding with the earth. Except for that, I could have been made of rubber." -from The Little Giant of Aberdeen County
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