Contributions by other people

Katie Schmitt, USA

In the book I read, Anne, the main character hated one thing about herself. Actually, she hated many things, but she had the ability to imagen them all away-all but one. That is why she hated it so much more than the others, because she couldn't even imagen herself without it. What she hated so much was her hair. Most people, including me, thought it was beautiful, but Anne despised it. Her hair was red, bright red, and she thought she would like any other color, especially black. Anne didn't like red hair, because she didn't know anyone else who had it. Also, many people in her time disliked red hair. I don't know why-I would love to have red hair! The book is based on what a fantastique imagenation Anne had, and how that made her special. Her hair made her special, too, because it was a sign that she was different, and she was, not just in her hair.

Anne Shirly was an orphan, and lived in a poor asylim. She wore skimpy dresses, ate horrible food, and was crowded in with other children. With nothing to do all day, Anne would imagen. She had an exceptional imagenation. So exceptional, that when she was on a train going to her new home, wearing an ugly, skimpy dress, she was able to imagen that her dress was blue silk and had puffy sleeves and a white sash. For the rest of the ride Anne was not worried about people looking at her-of course they would look at her-she was the lovliest girl with a rosy leaf complexion, a beautiful dress, and diples in her elbows-and red hair! That was the only thing she could not imagen away.

Soon the train ride is over, and Anne is picked up by Matthew Cultburt. He is expecting a boy to help out with the chores, but, being shy, he couldn't demand of her why she wasn't a boy. He would let his sister do that when they got home. His sister, Marilla, was very sensible and practil, and still couldn't tell this girl that she wouldn't keep her. So, Anne had a home. All her imagening was over, she thought-this was a dream come true! How could she imagen anything better than this? Her only dream that hadn't come true was her hair. It was still red. Her freckles had started to go away, but her hair was still red. At one point in the book, Anne is desperate to get rid of her red hair. She has tried to use lotions and gells, but every time she found one the storekeeper wouldn't sell it to a child, or Marilla would catch her with it before she got to use it.

Finally, one night when Anne was out on the porch, a pedaller traveling through stopped on the road. Anne jumped up. The man said to her: "Why, hello, there, young lady! Come out, there must be something you want! Whatever it is, I've got it! Come have a look!" Marilla was at a church meeting that night, and Matthew was in the barn. Anne was alone. She went out to the wagon and looked around. She didn't see anything she wanted, so she thanked the man and told him she didn't expect him to have what she wanted. "Oh, young lady, tell me what it is you want! I'll have it. I am only doing this to save my starving children from poverty and earn a little money for them. Now what do you want?" Anne was a very good person, and not quite old enough to see he was a liar. Then it caught her eye-a small black bottle. "I would very much like this, if it works. Will it really turn my hair black?" "Ha, ha! Black as the raven's wing!" "Is it very expensive?" "No, not at all! Only fifty cents!" Anne didn't have that much money. "I only have a quarter". "That's O.K. You can have it. It will not come out in washes-it will stay black forever, I say!" The man was off. Anne went inside and followed the instructions to apply the lotion. She put it in her hair, and waited for it to dry. In two hours she would have black hair! Anne could hardly wait.

As soon as the two hours was up, Anne looked in the mirror, and........ She found out that half the things the peddaler had said were true, half were false. The part about her hair turning black was false; the part about it never comming out was true. So, Anne was stuck with green hair for the rest of her life, she thought. Of course she tried to wash it out imediatly, but no, the peddelar was not a complete liar. She washed it four times, when eventually Matthew came in. Anne was weaping her heart out--how could she go to school tomorrow? How could she face Marilla? How could she--she couldn't go to church with green hair!

When Marilla got home, she went to put Anne to bed. She was surprised to hear Anne crying when she reached her room. "Anne? Whatever is the matter? Do stop crying, it won't help you". "Oh, Marilla! My life is over!" "Stop with your nonsense. What is wrong with your life?" "Oh, I want red hair! I want it so badly!" "Well, that's good. You never liked it before. It's good you're learning to accept what you have. But why are you crying?" "Oh, look at my hair! Look at it!" Marilla came into the room. "'s green! What have you done to your hair?" "I tried to dye it black! The man promised it would make my hair black as the raven's wing! And Look!!" "Well, don't just cry about it. Wash it out. Such a cheap dye certainly should come out easily". Anne tried. She washed her hair twice. But her hair was still green.

For the next week, Anne washed her hair every day, but her hair looked as green as it had when she first discovered it. Finally, it was Sunday, and time to go to church. Anne couldn't go to church! She begged Marilla to let her stay home, but Marilla said that would be unfaithfull. Of course, Marilla didn't want Anne to go to church with red hair, either. "Well, I guess there's only one way to solve this", she told Anne. "Come here". She held a scissors in her hands. Anne didn't want her hair to be cut off, but there was no other way to go without green hair. So, her hair was cut off. She wore a bonnet everywhere she went, and learned to accept herself for who she was and not try to change that.