Miss Curly Red Top

by Jan Bester

Miss Curly Red Top by Jan Bester

Look in the mirror and what do you see? You see you and I see me. We are all different, yet we each have two eyes, one nose, two arms and five fingers on each hand and two legs.

When Missy looks in the mirror she doesn't notice her eyes, or nose, hands, or arms, all she sees is her red curly hair. No one else she knows has hair this color, or this curly. Her friends have black or brown hair, but not one red curly hair on anyone. The kids at school tease Missy and call her Miss Curly Red Top. Sometimes they pull at her locks and giggle when her hair springs back into a tight red curl. Missy cries and wonders why she is so different from everyone else. What do I have to be Miss Curly Red Top?

Missy sat on her bed and wiped the tears from her eyes. All she could see in the image looking back at her from her mirror across her room, was that red curly hair. She fell back on her bed as teardrops fell upon her pillow. Missy sobbed and closed her teary eyes and pretended she was in a new world.... a world of make believe.

Missy thought and thought. What if all the girls had red curly hair, then no one would tease her. Missy started imaging how it would be if everyone had hair just like hers and all the girls were the same as Missy in every way. No one would tease her then and no one would pull on her hair. Then there would be no more crying or feeling so different. Missy smiled to herself.

She pictured in her mind walking to school and sitting at her desk. All the girls looked just like her now. No more girls with long black, or brown hair, only tight red curly hair girls sitting at their desks. The teacher was really surprised when she walked into the classroom. “What do we have here“? All the girls looked like Missy. Which one of the girls was the real Missy? No one teased or pulled at Missy’s hair now, because all the girls looked just like her.

At recess the children ran outside to play, but Missy’s favorite swing had Missy look-alikes, waiting in line for their turn on her swing and when she went to her favorite place where she laid on the cool grass and looked up to the sky to watch the clouds pass by, there were many more Missy look-alikes already there.

As Missy hugged her pillow tight, she pictured in her mind she was shopping with her mother and father and now everywhere, all the girls looked like Missy and they all liked everything Missy liked and even wanted the same flavor ice cream and the exact same toys Missy wanted. Missy closed her eyes tighter, pretending she was at the toy store in town, but she found Missy look-alikes were coming out of the store with the exact toy Missy wanted. By the time Missy reached the shelf where the pretty dolls with the dark hair had been, there was not one doll left Missy had wanted. The only doll left on the shelf had red curly hair like her own, but Missy didn't like this dolls at all. Missy couldn't find a pretty dark haired doll anywhere in the store. She looked back to her mother and father, but there were so many Missy look-alikes in the store, her parents didn't know which Missy was their daughter. All the girls looked exactly like Missy. Her mother and father were very confused. Which Missy was their little girl?

Missy sat straight up in her bed. I don't want to be like everyone else, or want everyone to be like me anymore. No one would know who I was if everyone looked exactly like me and if everyone liked the same things, that wouldn't be much fun.

Missy looked back to the mirror across her room. She stood up slowly and found a pretty girl with a big smile on her face looking back at her from the mirror. No more tears. I am different because I am me and there is only one me. I am Miss Curly Red Top!

The next day was a big day for Missy. It was Missy’s birthday so her parents took Missy to get a big bowl of her favorite ice cream and then they went to the toy store. Her mother said she could buy a special toy for her birthday. Missy raced down the aisle and picked out the pretty doll with the red curly hair. The doll looked a lot like Missy, but this beautiful doll was just what Missy wanted. Missy was happy knowing she was very special and when the other children called her Miss Curly Red Top, she always smiled, knowing she was the one and only Miss Curly Red Top.


About the author...

Jan Bester enjoys writing children's stories and also painting scenes of the Caribbean, especially Montserrat. She has combined her love of the Caribbean, writing and painting in her "Mama and Me On Montserrat" stories. The beautiful Caribbean with the warmhearted people is where her heart will always be. Her writing and illustration appeared in the inaugural issue of Anansesem.

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About Anansesem

Anansesem is an online magazine of Caribbean children's and young adult literature by adults and children. We strive to bring you the best in news, reviews and creative content from the world of Caribbean children's publishing.
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