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Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Stranger Danger

Because it's the end of the semester, and I'll do anything to procrastinate, I decided to go for a run this afternoon.  (I am not a runner.)  I ran past a group of three girls coloring in chalk on the sidewalk.  They looked to be about 3 and 4 or 5.  As I was going past, I smiled, said "hi," and kept going.  As I was leaving them, I heard the following:

-Who was that?
-I don't know.
-Do you know her?
-She was a stranger!
-You just talked to a stranger!  You're not allowed to talk to strangers!

I go to school in a small town.  People say "hi" to one another as they pass them on the street, so I can't imagine these girls hadn't been spoken to by a stranger in the past.  The whole thing made me laugh.  I'm not exactly what one thinks of when they think of a scary stranger (which doesn't mean I'm not, of course.  And we teach the kids that in the "Safety Class" I work at for a week in the summer.  Strangers aren't just scary-looking men in dark coats.  They also could, theoretically be a 5 foot tall female out running in a tank-top with her mp3 player plugged into her ears...)

On my way back, I passed by the house again.  This time the girls were eating dinner with their family at a table in their front lawn.  One of them waved to me.  Maybe I wasn't a strange anymore?


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