“It Is Not!"
[Clara age 8]
[Rated G]

After church, Clara ran outside to play with the other kids while Martha and Jon spoke with the Pastor. When they went to look for Clara a couple minutes later, she was gone. They asked some children who were skipping rope if they had seen her. One little boy pointed down the road and said, “She went that-a-way!”

Jon convinced Martha that everything would be okay and that Clara would probably be waiting for them at home. She wasn’t. An hour passed, then two. Finally Clara came in the back door. The skirt of her Sunday dress was now noticeably shorter and charred around the edges. Her face was bright red and contorted in anger. She shouted, “THEY SHOULDN’T OUGHTTA LIE LIKE THAT! They didn’t even leave the church yard before they started lying! They’re just a bunch of CHICKEN LITTLES, that’s what they are! I went all that way … and it wasn’t … it WASN’T!!”

Jon asked, “What wasn’t?

Clara said, “The bridge wasn’t!”

With grave concern, Martha asked, “The bridge wasn’t what?”

Clara said, “Falling down! London Bridge WASN’T FALLING DOWN!”

Martha quickly covered her mouth and turned away.