The scary man
Noortje stares at the window. She taps a familiar tune with the back of her coloured pencil. If that tune once is in her head, she finds it hard to stop it. Sometimes she can hum it all the way home and now, yes, it is back again.
Suddenly she recognizes the scary little man. He is just sitting in the window frame. She cannot believe her eyes. How is that possible?
‘Noortje, do you want to stop that ticking. The other children want to be able to draw in peace,’ Miss Mary says smilingly.
Noortje looks up and wants to tell her that the scary little man sits in the window frame, but she does not dare. Miss Mary looks questioningly at her. ‘Is something wrong?’
‘Nothing Miss,’ and she puts the tip of her pencil on the still empty paper.
‘Hello Noortje, don’t be frightened, it’s just me,’ the scary little man suddenly says and sits down at her table. ‘Don’t be afraid. The others cannot see me. Shall we become friends?’
‘I don’t know. You don’t seem nice to me.’
‘Who isn’t nice,’ the teacher asks.
Noortje looks up and sees that the others are staring at her and some are laughing at her.
‘Stop,’ ‘miss Mary shouts sternly. ‘In my class, nobody laughs at another. Do you all understand that?’
‘Yes, miss,’ the children shout.
Noortje gets it extremely hot and she feels her cheeks burning. She is ashamed and looks at the teacher with tears in her eyes. The teacher comes and stands next to her and asks what the matter is. Noortje wants to tell her, but she cannot see the scary little man.
The male taps with his curved finger on his mouth and whispers, ‘I wouldn’t do that. They don’t believe you anyhow!’
She looks shyly at the teacher. She does not know if she can tell her. No, the only one she can talk to about this is Dad, but he is not here. She sighs deeply and the lady strokes her head.
‘Go further with your drawing,’ she says.
Noortje looks at the scary little man with his weird hat and gets to work eagerly. First, she draws the weird hat, then his scary face and finally his crazy arms and legs. When she is ready, she must giggle herself.
The children do not get it and look from Noortje to the teacher. Miss Mary comes to her again and looks carefully at the drawing.
‘It didn’t succeed well, but he really looks like it.’ Noortje is anxiously waiting what the teacher will say about her drawing.
‘But my dear. I don’t see a drawing.’
Noortje looks at the paper and now she sees that the sheet is empty.
‘How is that possible, I really drew the scary little man with his weird hat. I…,’ and then she starts to sob.
The teacher squats down and whispers. ‘Try again. You will certainly succeed.’
Noortje does not understand what is happened but does what the teacher says. Occasionally she looks up and sees the children look at her with a grin and one of them is ticking on his forehead. As if he wants to say. ‘You are out of your mind.’ Occasionally the teacher walks by and encourages her. The scary little man who is invisible for the others whispers that the drawing looks like him.
Noortje gets angry with him and with a quick arm movement, she hits him off the table and calls. ‘Get out of here. Stay off my drawing.’
Again, her classmates laugh at her and Noortje feels bad. She knows some think she is crazy, and she does not blame them.
‘It’s all your fault,’ she shouts at the weird little man.
The children in the class are getting busier and laugh Noortje out. For a moment, the teacher also does not know how to calm down her pupils.
The man jumps on the table again. ‘Don’t cry, darling,’ he whispers. ‘I will get them. how dare they to make fun of you. Just wait.’
‘But not Mellie, my girlfriend. She never is teasing me,’ answer Noortje.
He promises her that and mumbles a few spells.
Suddenly all her classmates walk through the classroom. Some make the sound of a sheep or like a wolf. Another child thinks he is a snake and wriggles and hisses on the floor.
‘Stop this at once,’ the teacher shouts.
Noortje thinks they get a taste of their own medicine. They should not laugh at her like that, but after a few minutes, she thinks it is enough. She asks the little man to stop it and by accident, she punches the weird hat off his head.
The teacher looks at her in an unusual way. Now she can also see the scary little man on the table.
‘Fast Noortje, put my hat back on, otherwise, the others will see me too. Please, I will disappear forever,’ he begs.
Noortje doubts. He says he will stop, but she does not believe it. Something in her wants that the little man to remain.
‘Okay, but then make sure everything gets back to normal,’ and she points her finger sternly. ‘They’ve been punished enough.’
‘I promise, but please put my hat back on my head. Snip whit your fingers and everything will return to normal.’
She snips her fingers and the children look at each other in surprise. The teacher is still standing shocked by the wall and carefully lowered onto a chair. She does not understand. She has never experienced this. Fortunately, peace has returned, and everyone is back on their task.
The scary little man thanks Noortje and disappears from the classroom like a white cloud.
‘Noortje is your drawing already finished,’ the teacher asks.
‘Yes,’ and she brings him to the teacher.
The teacher looks carefully at the drawing, but wisely she keeps her mouth shut. She praises Noortje ‘He has become really beautiful. It looks just like the little man.’
Noortje looks at her and asks. ‘Do you know him too?’
The lady smiles and shrugs her shoulders.