Margaret Anne Jacobson walked into the room where The younger orphans slept.
The toddler, just recently turned three, tossed and turned in his sleep, his little fingers clutching the down pillow of his little bed.
Sitting in the edge of the bed, Margaret Anne stroked the boy's hair. She felt like her heart would break at the idea of the abuse the child must have suffered for his dreams to be so troubled.
"Sweetie," she said, " wake up. It's okay. It's just a bad dream. "
The boy awoke, golden eyes looking up at his favourite caregiver.
Margaret Anne had once been shocked when his eyes changed after a nightmare, but she had grown used to it. She kept it secret, not wanting the boy shunned. It wasn't as if he could help it.
"What did you dream about?" She asked him.
"I dreamt I was a big boy," the child told her as she wiped his tears away. "I was scared cause this mean boy was hurting me and my famiwy and friends. Incwuding my specia girl. And I was a bird too, but someone shot me and I fell out of the sky and landed in the water by the big cwiff."
Margaret Anne didn't bother correcting his words. He needed comfort, not teaching.
"Well, you're a little boy now and you get to play and learn fun things."
"Like sharing?" The child asked.
"Like sharing, yes," Margaret Anne replied with a smile. "I'll sit here until you fall asleep."
" What if I turn into a bird? " the toddler asked, his eyes wide.
"I will give you plenty of bird seed and worms and you can perch on my window sill as much as you want," she replied , tapping the tip of his nose in motherly affection.
"If he gets to turns into a bird, can I gets to be a puppy?" A little girl asked.
"You get to turn into a little girl who is sound asleep." Margaret Anne told her as she covered the nameless boy whom they had found half drowned in the water near the beach that afternoon.
"Good night, Miss Maggie," the girl said, closing her eyes. " I'll be the best puppy ever when I grow up. "
"I'll be a good bird, too," the boy promised as he drifted off to sleep.