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At five, the girl was known to the playschoolers as the Biter. Anything: pencils, cookies, other kids' arms. She was noisier than most of the others, and if it could be hit and make a sound, she'd hit it too. Tapping those chewed sticks, whomping on the picket fences with a board, rattling gnawed-on spoons. Her parents managed to keep the sharps away from her, and luckily (for them) had a garden shed they could designate as noise-pen.
At ten, she'd learned she wasn't supposed to bite other kids, though that didn't always keep her from doing it. And still her pencils bore toothmarks. Kept other kids from stealing them. She gobbled her lunch too, for the same reason. Her hair didn't seem to stay brushed, either, which first earned her the nickname 'Bird's nest'. This eventually became, no one quite knew how, 'Thrush.' Perhaps it was a pun off diseases of the mouth. She rather liked the tag, though, and kept it. Teachers gave up on getting her to be quiet and still, and tossed her into 'Special Ed' instead.
At fifteen, she saw the musical 'Stomp.' ( check out http://www.stomponline.com/ ) Everything changed.
Four years later, she's dropped out that godforsaken fool of a high school that couldn't see a gift if it was in front of 'em, earned her G.E.D., hooked up with a band, and works for a local milling company, where she can chew as much wood scrap as she likes, bang around as much as she likes, and enjoy the loud sounds of machinery. Sure, most of the work is straight up milling crap pine to 2-by-4s, but sometimes they get an order in for some nifty hardwood molding. Leo gives her any scraps she wants for drumsticks, which she turns, carves, and finishes herself.... before gnawing them to stubs too, either by tooth or overuse. There's plenty of time for drumming when you get out of work at 3:30 every day.
And they still call her Thrush.
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