“Of course you can!” “What nonsense!” “Sing with us!” the little voices rang out. She wanted to sing more than anything, but something wouldn’t let her. Her body was made of lead and wouldn’t move. She had lost her voice and there was a dark fog inside her head that made it hard to think. She even felt an invisible boulder on her shoulders.

The little girl wanted to sing. She wanted to smile, jump, and twirl. But she just sat there. “I can’t,” she said to the fruit who seemed to be dancing on their stems. It was like they couldn’t contain their joy for one moment. They were so happy to be alive, so happy to be themselves that not showing it hadn’t even occurred to them.

She jumped over the fence and kneeled down to the first bush she came across. “Hello,” said the little girl softly, with a nervous and shy voice. “Hello!” the strawberries shouted joyously. “Isn’t it a lovely day?” said one strawberry. “Sing with us!” said another while the others kept singing: “Oh, what a life! Oh, what a life! A strawberry is a fine thing to be. Sweet and sunny and bright, I love being me!”

Once upon a time, there was a lost strawberry who couldn’t find her way home. She had forgotten who she was and looked like a little girl on the outside. Sometimes strawberries are concealed. They are covered up by skin and bone and experience. When she tried to be a strawberry, the people around her didn’t understand. Sometimes they would get mad, and sometimes they would do very scary things.