Image Credit; Lisa Fotios- Pixabay
When Jeremy was born, not only the nurses but the doctor remarked in the chart that he was suspected of having a condition called, hirsutism, which is a medical term for very hairy. At birth his “fur” was a fine blond fluff, but by the time he was a year old, Jeremy looked more like a bear cub than a human infant.
None of the other mothers in the neighborhood wanted their babies to have playtime with Jeremy, as they thought he looked, in their term, “wild.” But Jeremy was anything but wild. His gentle nature made him beloved by his parents, siblings, and extended family.
When Jeremy started school, the teasing began. He couldn’t walk down the hall without another student howling, growling, or scowling at him. Jeremy’s gentle nature and wise spirit were somewhat confused and a little disappointed. Even the children who could accept Jeremy’s furriness were afraid to be friends with him because the bullies might pick on them if they did. This left Jeremy with his older siblings and his many cousins to be friends with outside of school.
June arrived and summer vacation was about to begin. Mrs. Heartwise, the school social worker had noticed how Jeremy’s condition had alienated him from the rest of the kids. She’d done some research into camps within a 100-mile radius and found Camp Muk-a-luk-a-lee and was certain the camp would be good for Jeremy. Once Jeremy’s parents signed the permissions slips, Mrs. Heartwise sent in the paperwork and scholarship funds.
Jeremy’s mom came up to the school on the last day and Jeremy came to Mrs. Heartwise’s office for a meeting with her and his mom. Camp Muk-a-luk-a-lee was the topic of conversation. Jeremy was excited but nervous on the drive home with his mother. He had 5 days to pack everything on the items needed list. He’d be at camp on Saturday!
Jeremy’s mom and Mrs. Heartwise left for camp with Jeremy at 9 a.m. They pulled up into the dirt circular drive by 10:30 a.m. Sally Jane, a young camp counselor of about 19 met them at the car. The first thing Jeremy noticed about Sally Jane was that she had no hair. No hair on her head, arms, or even eyelashes. Jeremy looked to his mom and Mrs. Heartwise and they had big smiles on their faces. Sally Jane introduced herself and asked if they wanted a tour of the grounds.
It was soon apparent that Camp Muk-a-luk-a-lee was all about different hair, including no hair. Mrs. Unisom, the director of the camp, wore her hair down to her waist. The gym teacher, Mr. Orlando, wore a turban to cover his hair. Some campers were furry just like Jeremy, while others were hairless like Sally Jane. One thing they all had in common was their friendliness.
Jeremy’s life changed that summer. He left to go home with a new outlook on his beautiful fuzziness.
Sadje is the host of What Do You See?