Nits Grow Into Lice…



A few years ago, I was working as a substitute teacher’s aide for our local school system.  This job afforded me a chance to get out of the house and be something other than being a “domestic engineer”.  Yes, I am a Housewife and stay-at-home horse trainer, and grateful to have been so for the years while my boys have been growing up.  However, being able to go out and make a little extra income during the hours my boys were in school was a great benefit.

One day, I was working in a Kindergarten classroom in town where a little girl latched on to me.  It seems that many of the kids I worked with needed the motherly attention that was missing in their homes.  While the girl was sitting next to me (little velcro shadow for the day) I saw something tiny jump from her hair to the shoulder of my dark blouse.  I looked closer, and sure enough it was the big nasty.  LICE.   I reported this to the teacher and we took the girl out of the room to check her hair.  I had never seen anything like it!  If we had a louse comb, we could have harvested enough nits to fill a teaspoon.  Thouroughly disgusted and absolutely not wanting the child to sense it, we sent her back to the classroom so we could discuss what to do.

First thing was to call the girl’s older sister out of the other Kindergarten class and check her.  She had been held back the year before and was in the next room.  Upon checking her hair, we found the same lice condition.  In addition, there was a sore on her pretty little face and I asked her about it.  It turned out, her “father” (mother’s flavor of the month) had burned her with a cigarette the evening before.  The older sister then proceeded to tell me how she had to fix dinner for her FOUR younger siblings most evenings because her mother was generally “sleeping” at supper time.  The family was living on cereal and peanut butter sandwiches fixed for them by a six year old little girl!

The teacher sent me to the office for the obligatory phone call to the girls’ home.  The secretary called the mother and told her what we had found.  Mom refused to come get the girls and claimed harrassment by the school and used the magic word to get the secretary off her back–“LAWSUIT”.  Nearly in tears, I asked the secretary about calling social services.  Apparently, calls had been made several times to no avail.  That mother had RIGHTS.  There was innadequate evidence of abuse.  Nothing could be done.

Looking out the window in my pasture the other evening, I saw Bacardi, the little pony colt who lives with us, lying on the ground alone.  Startled, I ran outside to check on him.  When I got closer, I saw Che, a dark pony mare standing close.  Because of her coloring I couldn’t see her standing in the shadows until I was close enough to see the contrast of her silouhette against the hillside.  You see, with the horses, if a baby is laying down for a nap, I expect to see a mare close by.  That’s how it is with horses.  If a young equine is lying down and a mare is not there, something is wrong.  Guaranteed!  No rights, no lawsuits, no phone calls.  The mares of the herd take care of their young.

Who is standing by our children???

LaVerna Huey