6. The Nursery School
If you were to come with the rest of the children to first grade, Platero, you would learn your alphabet and how to form you letters. You would be as wise as the donkey among the wax figures, the companion of the sea siren who, crowned with artificial flowers, appears through her glass case all flesh colored, rose and gold, in her green element; and wiser than the doctor and the priest of Palos, Platero.
But though only four years old, how big and awkward you are! In what little chair would you sit, at what table would you write, what notebook and what pen would be large enough for you, where in the circle, tell me, would you sit to sing the Credo?
No, Sister Domitila, in her robe of the sisterhood of Jesus of Nazereth, all purple with a cord of yellow like that of Reyes, the fishmonger, would probably keep you for two hours on your knees in a corner of the patio with the plane trees, or would beat you with her long dry cane, or eat up the quince cheese from your lunch, or hold a burning paper under your tail and turn your ears as red and hot as those of the wheelwright’s son when it is going to rain.
No, Platero, no. Come along with me. I shall teach you about the flowers and the stars. They shall not laugh at you as at an overgrown dolt, nor shall they put on you, as if you were one of those things they call donkeys, the cap with the large eyes bordered in bright red and blue like those on the river boats, and with ears twice the size of yours.