Mrs. Muggenbauer came over to both children again, to see how they were getting along. She looked at Lenny’s sketch. “Very nice,” she said. Then she and Lenny turned their attention to Cara’s sketch block. Cara had drawn Lenny’s face from the front. The picture she sketched had hair and she had given it eyes; but there, right in the middle of the face where the nose was supposed to be, was just a single dot.
“Hmm …,” said Mrs. Muggenbauer.
Cara slammed her pencil down onto the table. It rolled over the edge and fell to the floor.
“Well, Cara, a caricature is really a nice idea. But even then, you know, it takes a lot of practice, and first you will need to learn to draw your subject as realistically as possible. Would you like to try it again at home? I am sure that you would have a little more peace and quiet there. I am sure, too, that Lenny would be really happy to have a nice portrait.”
Cara folded her arms and scowled. Lenny nudged her from the side. She still had not looked to see what a really good job he did, drawing her nose.
Cara finally shot a glance at Lenny’s drawing. She lunged at his sketch block and, in one hefty sweep, slammed its cover shut. “You are really mean!” she blurted, and her eyes began to fill with tears.
The closing bell rang. Cara stuffed her things hastily into her schoolbag. “I am going to go home, if you are going to be so stupid!”
Lenny stared at her, taken aback. After school they had always gone to his place together to play or do their homework.
Cara dashed straight out of the classroom leaving her pencil on the floor just where it had fallen. What was wrong with her?
Lenny could not find the courage to go over to Cara’s house until later that afternoon. He was clutching a plastic bag. He limped past the now deserted school. He still had to wear an elastic bandage because of the sprained ankle. And he had a sprained ankle because Slide Tackle Monster had fouled him so badly playing football. Actually, the plan for the day had been to work out a strategy with Cara against that kid, but she would have to be in a better mood for that.