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  • Rainey Knudson

Imagine If It Never Said "He" (122 words)

The evening kitchen is quiet save for Sidney Bechet playing clarinet in the background and the low sizzle of chicken tenders in the skillet.

Suddenly the 13-year-old boy, hunched over his vocabulary homework, says wryly, "I love it when they use 'she' in the example."

The mother lifts the spatter screen and checks the tenders by pressing them with a fingertip, which she licks. "Imagine if it always said 'she,'" she responds, not looking up. "Imagine if it never said 'he.'"

The boy frowns. "Well, I wouldn't care!" he cries.

"I thought I didn't care either when I was growing up," the mother replies. "But think about that: It was always 'he,' never 'she.' That's a little weird when you're a she."

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