Diane was different than all the other kids. Explorer had explained
it to her. Explorer was the reason that Diane was different.
Explorer had come from another world. Diane could hear her in her
mind, and talk to her just by thinking the words. No one else in the
world could hear or talk to Explorer.
All the grownups who knew that Diane talked to someone named
Explorer thought that she was just pretend. But Diane knew she was
real. And besides, Explorer did things for Diane.
For example, today was her first day of school, and Explorer wanted
to give her something grownup for the occasion.
"Diane, as you walk to school, look for a piece of scrap metal."
Diane remembered the junk yard that was on the way to school.
At the junk yard, Diane first found a piece of pipe.
"That is a lead pipe", said Explorer, "I cannot use it for your
Next Diane found a piece of door lock.
"That is a brass bolt", said Explorer, "We need to find a different
type of metal."
Next Diane saw a broken light bulb.
"This would not be enough metal, Diane. Look for something larger."
Diane saw a toy train boxcar then, but when she picked it up, she
saw that it was not metal, but plastic.
Finally, Diane found an old broken electric fan.
"That is perfect It's even twice as much as I need.", said Explorer. "Now hold the fan in one hand."
Diane picked the fan up and balanced it in her right hand. To her
amazement, the part of the fan touching her hand begin to vanish. Soon
the fan was completely gone, and in her open hand, an elegant watch began
to form, complete with watch chain, and three safety pins.
Diane studied the ring at the top of the chain, and the two small
rings at the top and bottom of the watch itself. She used these rings
and the safety pins to fasten the watch to folds in her dress. Happily,
she skipped the rest of the way to the school yard.
When she got there she saw several other kids her size. She did not
know them yet, so she ignored them, and played with her watch. She
noticed her initials inscribed on the back of the watch.
"May I see your watch?" Diane looked up. There was a boy looking
down at her. Diane did not want anyone else to take the watch.
"I just want to look at it. I won't hurt it", said the boy.
Reluctantly, Diane handed the watch over. The boy studied the watch for
a few seconds, then suddenly he turned and ran away with it.
"Hey, come back with my watch!" Diane yelled. Diane started to run
after the boy in order to get her watch back. Although the boy had a
good head start, Diane gained on him and had almost caught him when she
heard Explorer say "Wait Diane." Diane skidded to a stop.
"How come?" asked Diane.
"I saw what was going to happen", said Explorer. "You would catch
up with that boy, and fight with him to get the watch back. During the
fight, the watch would have been broken."
"So what can I do? How can I get my watch back now?" Diane was
feeling very sad.
"Wait until the school bell rings and we go into the class rooms.
There is only one class for your grade, so you and the boy will be in the
same classroom. Then you can ask the boy to give the watch back."
"Ok. You are very smart. I will do what you say." Diane felt much better now.
The teacher asked the students to raise their hands as she called
the roll. Diane looked around, to see who would raise their hand, as the
teacher called out names. The teacher began to call out the names:
"Diane Novell Athens";
Explorer prompted her. "Diane, the teacher just called your name." Diane raised her hand.
The teacher continued to call names: "Bobby Anson Dewitt"; The boy who
had taken Diane's watch raised his hand. Now Diane knew his name.
As soon as the teacher finished the roll call, Diane jumped up from
her seat and marched back to where Bobby was sitting. "Please give me my watch back."
Bobby looked at her and grinned. "Beat it my little sister. The
watch is mine now."
Diane was speechless. What was going on? Suddenly the teacher was
beside them. "What is the problem here?", she asked.
Diane, in tears, said, "Bobby stole my watch."
The teacher looked at both Diane and Bobby. "Bobby, do you have her
Bobby replied, "It is really my watch. She is trying to trick you
into making me give it to her."
The teacher frowned. "Let me see the watch". Bobby handed the
watch to the teacher. The teacher studied the watch and turned it over.
Then the teacher smiled. "Bobby, what letters are on the back of the watch?"
"What!" yelled Bobby. "I never looked. How would I know what letters they were?"
"Diane, do you know what letters are on the back of the watch?"
Diane smiled. "Of course. They are my initials, DNA."
The teacher smiled and handed Diane back her watch. "Bobby, stay
after school because I need to talk to you. And now Diane, go back to
your desk so I can introduce myself to the class, and get on with your
first day of school.
After school, Diane waited for Bobby. She had agreed with Explorer
to wait because Explorer wanted to meet Bobby again. Finally, Bobby came
out. Bobby came up to her and said, "What do you want sister? Haven't
you caused me enough trouble already?"
Diane said, "I wanted to talk to you Bobby. Why did you take my watch?"
Bobby stared at Diane. "Why do you care? I wanted the watch.
Besides you are a girl, and watches are for boys."
Diane laughed. "I could still be your friend if you want."
Bobby stared at her again. "Prove it. Give me that watch pinned to
Diane replied, "I can't. Besides, it has my initials on it." Then
Diane had another idea. "Maybe I could give you a watch just like it
Bobby smiled. "Shake on it", he said, and held out his hand. Diane
extended her hand and they shook hands. When the handshake was complete,
Bobby was holding another watch in his hand.