Tuesday, May 18, 2010

a seemingly innocent thing

Today I got a message that Iris had injured her head at school and that I needed to pick her up. I was worried as I drove over, thinking it must be a concussion or something needing stitches. I'd barely parked when our unflappable office manager led a softly crying Iris out to my car, with an icepack on her head.

"What happened, Iris?" Between sobs, Iris said she'd been struck in the head with a recorder by accident. I asked who hit her, and it was a friend, a very warmhearted girl I knew would never physically attack Iris. "It must have been an accident," I said. "But. I just can't visualize it." I couldn't imagine a recorder doing that much damage unless it had been forcibly whipped onto Iris's head with both hands, and I knew the girl in question wouldn't do that. Iris couldn't understand it fully, either. I went ahead and claimed little sister Lola early and took them home, where I gave Iris ibuprofen, put her to bed, and later fed her comfort foods: soup, edamame, and ice cream.

The music teacher called to check on Iris and explained. She hadn't seen the incident but had reconstructed it after the fact. Iris's friend was walking across the classroom on her way to sit next to Iris. As she swung her recorder in the air as she walked, the bottom piece of her recorder flew off, and the rough, somewhat jagged metal inside piece, exposed only when the instrument was taken apart, struck Iris's scalp. "There was a lot of blood," said the teacher sadly.

It made a little more sense when it was explained. The music teacher started to explain how terrible Iris's friend felt, but I cut her off. "We know it was an accident. I knew as soon as I heard who it was that it was an accident."

Having been afflicted by a loathsome clarinet for many years of my childhood (I got stuck having to take the clarinet because my parents had bought one for my older sister, who quickly gave up on it, and already having one musical instrument, they had no interest in buying another), I always instinctively mistrusted the recorder, the clarinet's cousin. "It's the devil's own instrument," I said to Iris, who sobbingly agreed.

4 comments:

Silliyak said...

Recorders only make my ears bleed. I can hear it now, "Don't run with recorders, someone could lose an eye!!"

Emma-Louise said...

Poor Iris. I once lost a tooth to an evil recorder. They're horrible, horrible things.
I shudder just thinking about it. I hope her head recovers quickly. <3

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