When Max arrived in Kindergarten, he received many sidelong glances. It wasn’t just from the children, either, those tiny humans with their not-quite human motions, their bizarre ways of stumbling through the life around them. The adults also stared at Max, unsure about him, or about leaving their children in the class with him. Indeed, some had already moved their children to the other elementary school.

Even as the teacher called everyone to order, the parents and children were looking at him. She began the class with a welcome, introducing herself and having everyone say her name. Then she gestured to Max.

“I know everyone is a bit unsure about the man with his own desk. This is Max, and he didn’t go to school as a child. He’s decided to join us here, to try learn what he wasn’t able to previously. Everyone, please welcome Max.”

“Hi Max,” came a chorus of youthful voice.

“Hi everyone,” Max said, his baritone filling the room. “Tanks for having me.”

“For the parents, just so you know, he’s had a full background check, and has agreed to be monitored closely. He has also spent time working as a private security guard for a day care, where he comes well-recommended.”

The parents all looked more relieved, nodding to each other.

“So, shall we begin?” the teacher asked.

A chorus of “yes”es greeted her, all with the tiny, undeveloped voices, backed by a strong baritone. The teacher turned and started to write on the whiteboard.


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