He patted my shoulder encouragingly. “You’re doing great!” he said. When I sighed, he said, “Don’t be so discouraged. Let’s try again.” He pulled the finger away from my face.
I closed my eyes. I heard some movement. After a moment, he asked, “How many fingers am I holding up?” I took a deep breath and opened my eyes.
The counting was quick. “One.” I said, again. I felt exhausted. I wanted to move but it was learning time, so I stayed put.
“Yes!” he shouted. “Correct again! You’re getting so good at this!” His overly large smile stretched across his whole face. He was much happier than I was. In my head, I was happy. I couldn’t show it very well.
Without him needing to tell me, I closed my eyes. A little bit of time passed. He asked again, with a slight giggle, “How many fingers am I holding up?”
I opened my eyes. “Two.” I hated when there was more than one. It’s so hard to concentrate.
His face broke out into a look of awe and admiration. “Wow!” he shouted happily. “I haven’t even taught you ‘two’ and yet you got it correct! How did you come to know it?”
I shifted uncomfortably, and as I was about to answer, he said, “Let’s try one more time.”
I closed my eyes. It took a longer time this round. Finally, he asked, “How many fingers am I holding up?”
“Five.” I said, as I looked slowly down at the bloodied, wrapped stump attached to the end of my left arm. This was now stump number two, as my right arm had a stump at the end already. I heard the crunching begin, and I knew he was busy eating his fresh cut dinner. It made send why he changed my lock and chains. In tomorrow's lesson, we’ll be counting toes.