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Debbie Ridpath Ohi reads, writes and illustrates for young people. Every few weeks, she shares new art, writing and resources; subscribe below. Browse the archives here.

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sara's adventures at the ballet

My sister Ruth and her 6-year-old daughter Sara went to the ballet to attend a performance of Don Quixote. During the performance, Sara would whisper the occasional question to Ruth; Ruth would whisper back. At intermission, an elderly man (henceforward referred to as GOM, or Grumpy Old Man) seated in front of Sara turned around and shouted at her, telling her she shouldn't be in the theatre, saying she was badly behaved, threatening to report her to the ushers.

Shocked, Sara retreated into silence and tears, turning to Ruth and asking if they could go home. Ruth was furious, of course, but didn't want to upset Sara further. Several adults from nearby seats offered to trade seats with Ruth and Sara so they wouldn't have to sit behind GOM, but Sara was too upset. On the way out, an usher caught up to them and said that several people had told her about the incident and had expressed concern for Sara. The usher encouraged Ruth to write to the National Ballet of Canada explaining what had happened, and to ask for a replacement ticket for a future performance.

Not having much hope, Ruth did. To her surprise, a package arrived for Sara in the mail very soon after. Inside the package was a letter to Sara, autographed ballet shoes, The Nutcracker CD, and a poster of The Nutcracker, autographed by all the dancers in the company. Some had scribbled personal messages to Sara: "Dear Sara, hope to see you at the ballet soon!" etc.

Sara was delighted, of course. So was Ruth, who also found out that adults who witnessed the incident had complained to the ballet company. The grumpy old man was officially chastized (apparently he was on some board associated with the National Ballet of Canada). They also got front row tickets to an upcoming performance of The Nutcracker.

Many cheers to the National Ballet of Canada!

Today's Blatherpic: autographed ballet shoes sent to Sara from the National Ballet of Canada.

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