The students were circling the room and admiring the dress designs made by Wanda. A notice from the principal’s office came. Miss Mason told the class that she had received a letter from Wanda’s father. She said that she was going to read it before the class. The students got ready to listen. In his letter, Wanda’s father had informed Miss Mason that Wanda would not come to school anymore. They were moving to the big city. In that city, nobody would consider her name funny and laugh at her.
The entire class became silent and felt bad about Wanda. Miss Mason understood their feelings. She told them that no one should hurt anyone’s feelings because his or her name was long or funny. She said that what had happened in the school about Wanda, was bad. She asked them to think about that. Maddie listened to what Miss Mason said about Wanda. She could not concentrate on her studies. She had a sick feeling. It was true that she had never made fun of Wanda herself. But at the same time, she had not enjoyed Peggy’s asking Wanda about her dresses. On such occasions, she said nothing and stood silently. But that was also bad. She felt that she was a coward and never stopped Peggy from making fun of Wanda.
Maddie wondered if she could do anything. She wanted to meet Wanda and tell her that she had never meant to hurt her feelings. She made up her mind to go to her house and tell Wanda that she had won the contest and her hundred dresses were beautiful. She decided that she would find out Wanda Petronski. She and Peggy would go to her house to meet her. When school was over, Maddie told Peggy to go to Wanda’s house. They walked towards her colony. On the way, Peggy said that she had never called Wanda a foreigner. She always thought that Wanda was a dumb girl. She never imagined that Wanda could sense the girls had been making fun of her. Maddie said nothing. She just wanted to meet Wanda and tell her that they were sorry for their node treatment. She would request her not to move away.
After some time, Peggy and Maddie found Wanda’s house in Boggins Heights. The house looked shabby but clean. It reminded Madden of Wanda’s one dress. But there was no one in the house. Peggy knocked on the door. There was no response. Wanda and her family had already left the place. They came back. Peggy said that her asking Wanda about her dresses actually helped her. Otherwise, perhaps she might not have won the drawing contest. But Maddie was not satisfied. She could not sleep that night. She thought of Wanda, her drawings and her house. At last, she made a decision. She decided that she would not keep quiet if someone made fun of anybody before her. She would not mind even she had to lose Peggy’s friendship. She had no way of making things right with Wanda, but now she would never make anybody unhappy.
On Saturday, Peggy and Maddie wrote a letter to Wanda. It was just a friendly letter. They praised Wanda’s drawings. They wrote to her that she had won the contest. They mailed it to Boggins Heights with the request that it be sent to her new address. A number of days passed but there was no answer from Wanda. Peggy had begun to forget the whole incident. Maddie tried to sleep at night making speeches about Wanda.
Then it was Christmas time. On the last day of school, Miss Mason received a letter from Wanda. She showed the letter to the class and read it. Wanda had written that the girls could keep those hundred dresses because in her new house she had a hundred new ones. She had gifted the green dress with the red trimmings to Peggy. She wrote that Maddie could have a blue dress. She wished Merry Christmas to all. They accepted the drawings. On the way home Peggy and Maddie held their drawings very carefully. They pinned the drawings in their bedrooms.
Maddie was missing Wanda too much. There were tears in her eyes. She felt sad to think that she would never see Wanda again. She felt that Wanda had been nice to her. She gazed at the drawing for a long time. Suddenly, she noticed the face and head in the drawing. It looked like her own head and face. She was excited to find that Wanda had made that drawing especially for her. She ran to Peggy’s house. She told Peggy that Wanda had drawn the drawing for her. Then they saw her drawing also. There was Peggy’s face in the drawing. Peggy was also happy to see that the face and head of the drawing looked like her. Peggy told Maddie that Wanda really liked them. There were tears in Maddie’s eyes every time she thought of Wanda Petronski.
DETAILED SUMMARY (2)
1. A Letter from Wanda’s Father: Miss Mason received a note from the principal’s office. She read it several times. She studied it thoughtfully. Then, she read the letter to the class. Wanda’s father clearly made it clear that both his children Wanda and Jake would not come to their previous school anymore. They would not be insulted for having their ‘funny names’ anymore in the new big city as they faced it in their previous school.
2. Deep Silence in the Class: The letter had an immediate effect. A deep silence prevailed in the room. Miss Mason spoke in a low voice. She wished that none of the boys and girls in Room Thirteen would purposely and deliberately hurt anybody for having a long and unfamiliar name. What was said in thoughtlessness? It was a very unfortunate and sad thing that Wanda had to face such a situation.
3. Maddie Had Sick Feelings: Maddie was highly disturbed. She could not put her mind on her lessons. She had a very sick feeling at the bottom of her stomach. She cursed herself for remaining silent when Peggy teased Wanda Petronski. She only stood by silently and said nothing. It was as bad as what Peggy had done.
Worse. She was nothing less than a coward. She put herself in Wanda’s shoes. She decided to find Wanda. It was possible that she had not left Boggins Heights yet. Peggy had also the same idea. Both the girls planned to visit Wanda’s house at Boggins Heights.
4. Peggy and Maddie Visited Wanda’s House: The two girls set out for Boggins Heights, the place where Wanda Petronski used to live. Peggy felt that she never called Wanda a ‘foreigner’ and made ‘fun’ of her name. She thought that Wanda was too dumb. She praised her drawing skills. At last, they reached Wanda’s house. It was a little house with a shabby but clean courtyard. They knocked firmly on the door but got no answer. The Petronskis had gone. Peggy said that if she had not asked Wanda about all her dresses, she would have no ideas for her drawings. She might not have won the contest either.
5. Maddie Resolves: Maddie thought about Wanda, blue dress and the little house she lived in. She reached an important conclusion. She was not going to stand by and say anything again. She would never forgive anyone insulting others because they were funny-looking or had strange names. She would stand up and speak up. She would oppose injustice even if it meant losing Peggy’s friendship.
6. Peggy and Maddie Write a Letter to Wanda: Peggy and Maddie decided to write a letter to Wanda. They wrote how pretty her drawings were. They asked her if she liked her new place and her new teacher. They wanted to feel sorry but they ended up writing just a friendly letter.
7. Letter from Wanda Petronski: On the last day of school before the Christmas holidays, Miss Mason received a letter. It was from Wanda Petr on the ski. She wished that the girls of Room Thirteen could keep those ‘hundred dresses’. She had a new hundred dresses in her new house. She would like Peggy to have the drawing of the green dress and Maddie to have the blue one. She wrote that she missed school. Her new teacher didn’t ‘equalize’ Miss Mason.
8. Wanda Liked Peggy & Maddie: Peggy told Maddie that Wanda actually liked them. She replied to their letter. There was no ill-feeling among them. Everything was all right. Maddie felt sad that they would never see the little Polish girl again. She went home. She pinned the drawing on the wallpaper. Tears blurred her eyes. She looked intently and found that the face and head of the drawing looked like her. Excitedly, she ran over to Peggy. She showed Peggy her picture. The head and face of her picture also did look like Peggy. Peggy replied that Wanda must have really liked them.
Main Points of the Story
- The teacher, Miss Mason got a letter from Wanda Petronski’s father.
- Then, she read Wanda’s father’s letter to the class.
- He informed that his children Wanda and Jake would never come to their school again.
- Miss Mason spoke in a low voice to the class.
- Perhaps what was said was very sad and unfortunate.
- True, Maddie didn’t like Peggy putting embarrassing questions to Wanda Petronski.
- Maddie felt guilty as she stood silently and never opposed Peggy when she was teasing Wanda.
- She wanted to tell Wanda that her ‘hundred dresses’ were beautiful.
- Both the girls Peggy and Wanda set out for Boggins Heights, the place where Wanda used to live.
- They knocked on the door loudly but got no answer.
- It was clear that Wanda Petronski and her family had gone.
- Peggy told Maddie that when she was asking Wanda about her dresses, Wanda probably was getting good ideas for her drawings.
- Maddie made an important decision.
- Both Peggy and Maddie decided to write a letter to Wanda Petronski.
- They asked Wanda if she liked her new place and the new teacher.
- They also wrote that their drawings were very beautiful and she won the girls’ medal.
- They also wanted to feel sorry but they ended up writing a friendly letter.
- On the last day of school before the holidays, Miss Mason informed the class that she received a letter from Wanda Petronski.
- In the letter, Wanda wished that the girls of Room Number Thirteen could keep those ‘hundred dresses’.
- She wished that the drawing of the green dress be given to Peggy and of the blue one to Maddie.
- Maddie went home and watched the drawing intently.
- Peggy could only say to Maddie “She must have really liked us”.