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I was riding the Greyhound bus on a Friday afternoon on my weekly way home from orthopedic school with my fellow classmate, Harriett. Both of us were fourth graders and familiar with cerebral palsy and the sometimes-strange but-relatively-safe culture of public transportation in the 1950s.

Suddenly the woman in the seat behind us placed a garish ceramic horse with a menacing bite and a missing tail on Harriett’s lap.

“Please take this,” she chortled lovingly. “It’s yours.”

I watched Harriett roll her eyes but recover quickly to thank the lady, who apparently thought she had done her good deed for the day.

“How am I going to carry …”

“I’ll take it,” I broke in and slid the awkward, not-so-light piece onto my lap from Harriett’s. I was the first to get off the bus, after all, and Mom usually came on board to get my suitcase.

Soon thereafter the lonely horse had more than a missing tail.

* When were you in a stressful social dilemma you now find amusing?

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