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‘I held your then little hand and tried to lead, but I kept losing the way.’

‘It’s ok, Mama.  You really were too young to know.’

‘And you know, I really thought I was doing what was best.’

‘I know, Mama.  And you were doing your best.’

‘But you came out fine.’

‘Fine like you, Mama.’

‘Mama, am I pretty?’ the little girl asks.

‘Yes, you are.  Prettier than the moon and the stars.  Prettier than the flowers and the butterflies.  Prettier than the rainbows and the clouds.  Prettier than the streams and the pebbles.

Prettier, prettier in my eyes than any, any boy will ever, ever see you.’