Before Tangles was born, her father was absolutely sure of him being a boy. He was jublious about becoming a father and nothing could convince him that he would be a father to anything less than a son. Mighty preparations were made for the welcome of the family’s heir. However, the would-be mother was scared and uncertain. She could hold with such conviction as her husband, the fact that her unborn child was a boy. What if the baby is a girl. What fate awaits her then?
And with the birth of Tangles, her mother’s fears were realized. As the little baby girl slept blissfully in her cradle, a grim shadow of gloom fell upon the family. It hovered over them for about a day, when suddenly the next morning, the father went up to the cradle, took the baby in his arms and said, “Its no matter. She will have the longest tail. Longer than mine or my father’s. This I’m sure of. She shall be the glory of this family.”
But as years went by, it became evident that Tangles would not have the longest tail, simply because she did not have one at all.
Every child would develop a little tail by second year of birth. A tail which steadily grew in length thereon and which would be the glory mark of every kid and his family. Different children had different kinds of tails. Of various colors and types and lenghths. The grandness of this tail was directly proportional to madness of the proud parents. Some children had a long and strong tail, like that of a panther. Others had furry or feathery ones. A lucky few even developed a peacockish tail, brilliant, huge and fancy. The parents of these fortunate children would almost twitch in pride.
All of Tangle’s family members had exemplary tails. Her parents. Aunts, uncles, cousins, everyone. So when it became apparent that this child was tailless, the graveness of the calamity that befell the family could not have been described.
A lot of endeavors were made to aid Tangles grow a tail. From medicine to magic, everything was tried. It was a matter of great shame for the family to have a child, that too a daughter, without a tail. To their exasperation and utter disappointment, nothing worked. However in the meantime something was happening to Tangles. Her ears, unusually large, even at birth, were continuing to grow larger. By the time, she had to start school, they were as large as the palm of her hands.
The father couldn’t believe his misfortune. First, a daughter, then tailless and then with such funny, ridiculous, flappy and large ears! He could never have imagined that his firstborn will cause him such agony. She had taken away from him the joy of being a father, a proud father. All that people ever did was laugh at her. They were amused and bewildered at how different she looked. He was so distraught by these instances that he grew increasingly distant from her. There came a time when he stopped acknowledging her presence and in case he was forced to do so, he would react with anger and irritation. Tangles, though an incredibly loving and affectionate child had by now begun to understand that she would have to stop craving for the love of her father and any sort of friendship from the society. By the tender age of six, she had realized that she was an anomaly, an unwelcome misery and an outcast. Her classmates looked down upon her and laughed at her and her teachers treated her as invisible. The only person that loved her unconditionally was the mother. She was her only refuge, the only person who knew that though Tangles did not have a tail, her ears were very special in their own way. While the rest could only hear, Tangles could listen. She could listen to the music that others were deaf to.
She was not defective, she was different.