There was no time for fun in the orphanage. But at home in America, four-year-old Jesse discovered water balloons, trampolines—and his inner Hercules.
by Melissa Fay Greene
In March 1999 I took an orphanage child on an outing. The front door of the old, two-story stucco building in rural Bulgaria opened onto an avenue of grass. Geese scuttled back and forth through the puddles. The little boy had just turned four years old, a Romany child (a Gypsy), with dark brown mischievous eyes, black hair, brown skin, a smile of white baby teeth. He gave a shriek of happiness when he saw the geese, and he pointed, but he didn’t know the word for geese. He knew the word for dog—kooche!—and screamed it happily again and again, because there were plenty of mongrels in the park to which I took him….