Young Amish girl running awayArriving at the local Amish school, she strolls from the bike rack to the schoolhouse, stray strands of hair fluttering rebelliously outside her covering. The hair shouts not so much of rebellion, but of a relaxed attitude about perfection, or the lack of it. Here is the story of Wisecrack Wanda, who has a tendency to alternately render her teacher helpless in peals of mirth and frustrate him to the point of pulling his hair out.

Walking in a relaxed manner, even a slight slouch, toward the schoolhouse, her lunch pail is swinging like a pendulum. Wanda stops to observe some of her fellow scholars engaging in an energetic snow fight prior to the morning bell. Wanda happily shouts encouragement to the snowy participants. She points out one unlucky boy’s resemblance to Frost the Snowman, cheerily asking him if he bit off more than he could chew. The boys holler back, offering grave threats of face washings and such like, the moment Wanda chooses to enter the fray. Wisecrack Wanda is well-known by all the pupils here at school. She is known for her ability to come up with smart cracks at the drop of a hat as well as for her lax attitude about the minor details of life. Details like keeping her hair neatly combed or getting all the dirt off the floor when sweeping the schoolhouse are of small consequence to Wanda.

Amish schoolhouse in northeast IndianaThe boys at school are quite found of Wanda. Her keen wit and rib-splitting come-backs help her to fit right in with the boys in their friendly bantering. Tomboy characteristics flash through occasionally, whether it’s exchanging threats of imminent face washings in the winter, or informing the boys in no uncertain terms that she’s going to burn them once she gets up to bat during softball games when the weather is warmer. Wanda can hold her own with the boys when it comes to friendly “trash talk”.

Wanda also possesses the athletic ability to back up many of her threats. Though slender as a sapling, Wanda can be seen hitting screaming line drives over the infield or leaping to catch a softball almost beyond her reach. Occasionally her God-given athletic ability is put to use to give an unsuspecting boy a face full of snow when the situation demands. Behind the feisty façade however, lurks a kind heart.  A heart that endears Wanda to her schoolmates. And a  willingness to reach out and be friends with those less fortunate, helps Wanda to be held in high esteem with the girls at school.

One chilly noon recess on the snow-covered playground, pupils gathered to play a game of “ten eskimos”. The five “itters”, one of whom was Wanda, gathered at the “jail” in the middle of the playground. All other pupils scattered, knowing if the itters tagged them, they would be required to go stand in the frigid jail. To get the game underway, all the itters shouted in unison, “1, 2, 3, GO!” One young lad, enjoying his “free” status, made the mistake of needling Wanda, “Go? Where shall I go?” he inquired, chuckling at his own wit. Wanda, still in an easy trot outward from the jail, turned her attention to the now-concerned offender. In a flash, it was all over. Wanda turned her prolific physical and mental abilities on at the same time. In a few quick strides she caught up with the lad and as she tagged him, retorted, “Go? Go to jail! Go directly to jail! Do not pass go! Do not collect two hundred dollars!”

Wisecrack Wanda strikes again!