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as well. Knowing very well that the enemy would not be that happy about the coming audition. At last - it was time to fetch the girls from school. Lydia picked up Suzan from the House of Safety and then headed to school. Both were quiet – thinking, praying, trying not to look nervous when they picked up Nina and Grace. The girls were already waiting at the gate – this was a first! Grace was usually the last to come around the corner from the classroom. The same silly grin broke out on both adult and children’s faces when they saw each other. “So much for trying to hide the nerves” – the two grownups thought to themselves. The girls jumped in and started talking at a hundred miles an hour. Usually Lydia would tell Grace to calm down and speak slower, but today there was no use. The happy chatter was actually a relief because it was to let out some of the nervous energy. Traffic was hectic, but they soon reached the town hall. There were a few other mothers also getting out of cars to escort their children to their auditions. All headed inside to take their seats – whispers replaced the chatter.

The Day Of Grace

A Children’s Story written by Engela Herbst

Monday dragged past for both Nina and Grace at school and for Suzan and Lydia at home. They all tried very hard not to think about what lay ahead that afternoon, but they just couldn’t help it.

Every now and then Lydia found her mind wandering off. She was trying to do some sewing this morning. Luckily nothing too complicated, only hems and buttons and so on. She kept thinking about Nina’s big audition that afternoon.

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Nina wasn’t even her daughter – she was just Grace’s best friend and it felt as if she would explode from the excitement. While she was sowing she was praying

All the contestants were taken backstage to the green room, issued a number and briefed on the procedure and all the nervous mothers were left in the dark hall so that the children couldn’t identify their mothers. Through years of experience Mr. Grossen (the choir conductor), had found this to work best, especially with smaller children. The singers came one by one, each sounding sweet in their own way. Then at last it was Nina’s turn. She walked to the middle of the stage and she looked even smaller – outsized by the hugeness of the stage and the hall. She was a bit pale and she looked up for a while, then she gave the queue and started singing. Immediately the atmosphere changed in the hall, the mothers started shifting and looking at each other. None of them had ever heard such a voice from such a small body and then it happened – Grace, Lydia and Suzan all saw it at the same time! An eight foot angel behind the tiny little girl and they knew – it was really not Nina singing... RM

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