Suri Badenhorst, Grade 6
Mum is cutting the beetroot as if she wants to demolish it, blood-red juice dripping from the sharp knife. “No, you can’t, Lesley. I told you a thousand times before, no shaving your legs until you are old enough!” I see an image of myself as an old lady with a walking ring, still tottering along with legs full of curly little hair. I had to do something to convince Mum! Time for a strategy...
“Mu-um, I am the ONLY girl in my class that is not shaving!” I look at her with my big, frightened-antelope eyes. It usually works to soften her heart. Not today! She turns around and delivers a final shot with a hunter’s determination: “NO. And that,” she says, the knife punching
exclamation marks after every word, “is that.”
I look down at the two legs in question. My legs are not bad at all: Not too skinny and not too floppy, but boy, are they hairy! I guess a gorilla could be happy with these legs, but I am only a human girl wanting to attract the attention of the Beautiful Bobby Brown. He is everything I dream
about: Chocolate sweet smile, and he loves computer games – just like me!
Unfortunately, we also have hairy legs in common...
* * *
The day after the Hairy Tangle, it is Parent/Teacher Interviews at school. What if somebody sees the bushes I grow Down Under, and spread a story about me being related to a hairy huntsman? I could never hope of attracting Bobby’s attention then! As I wait for my parents to come out, I wish upon every little star that nobody will see my legs.
That is when I see him: Bobby Brown, walking in my direction, with his mum… and her legs are really hairy too!
“Hey, Bobby! When’s your interview?” I ask him. “Dunno. Think it’s after yours,” he replies. Suddenly I see the Fashion Diva, Queenie, a Cheshire cat’s grin on her face. She struts over to us on shiny stilts of legs. “Bobby is hanging around his girlfriend!” Queenie squeals. Relief! She has not noticed the native grasses ...
...and she called Bobby and me a couple!
“No, actually,” Bobby grins, “she’s just a special friend. My mum’s my girlfriend.” Queenie’s smile evaporates like bad body odour. I beam. Bobby called me special, and a friend...
* * *
Eating beetroot salad for tea, Mum offers an unexpected cease fire: “Lesley, sorry I had the emotional range of a used teabag. You can shave your legs if you want to.”
Well, Bobby said he liked his mum best... and her legs were so-o-o hairy! Maybe...
“Mum, I don’t think I want to shave anymore. On second thought, I think they are not hairy enough!” Mum is completely disarmed…and smiles! If hairy is what it takes to get Bobby,
then the hairy look is what I will go for.
I wonder if beetroot juice is any good for growing hair!