I saw a group of tiny third grade boys crouched around a perforated fabric box, quite similar to my laundry hamper, in the hallway. Inside was a plant but their total concentration implied something more interesting.

“Is it a butterfly?” I asked in Korean. Three of them looked at me with huge, dark eyes.

I crouched down next to them peering around the cage. “Where is it?” I murmured.

They directed my eyes with their tiny fingers to the top where a plain yellow butterfly hung upside down. “Wow, it’s so small!” I commented but the boys stayed frozen next to each other in shyness.

The shock of a real butterfly and this foreign teacher talking to them in Korean was a wonder, I’m sure. Their faces were so impossibly sweet and innocent that I missed teaching third grade.

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