Gwinnie Garamonde grew up in a nice neighborhood among very charming people with perfect little homes and yards. All their children were polite, their dinnertimes were punctual and pleasant, and their lives were uncomplicated and without complaint. How strange then, when little Gwinnie at age 8 took an umbrella, cut it free of its metal frame with a hunting knife she'd found down by the riverbank, and fashioned herself a pair of "wings... you know, like a bat!", she told the grown-ups at school. Of course, there was nothing particularly disturbing, dangerous, or illegal in what she was doing, although it was agreed on by all the adults present that a little girl with broken umbrella bat-wings was NOT especially "pleasant".
As she grew up, her family kept her from the public eye more and more. She was not what everyone in the neighborhood or indeed the entire town considered "nice", NOT because of her manners or conduct which were impeccable, but because genteel ladies weren't supposed to even talk about bats, dress like them, or aspire to be one! Gwinnie continued growing and creating ever larger sets of wings for herself, using more and more elaborate materials and designs. Her workmanship and finishing details were admired greatly by local seamstresses who would secretly hire her for fine detail work on wedding dresses and elegant bridal trousseaus. It all made her fairly wealthy, though still not accepted by "polite society"... Gwinnie often chuckled to think that so many of them would be shocked to know that their society weddings were dressed in so much of her beautiful work.
Things in nice neighborhoods among very charming people with perfect little homes and yards often continue on day to day, year to year with no complications. And Gwinnie's eccentric life fit right into the rhythm of their routine smoothly... if not embraced completely. Really, as the years went by, she would have been quite popular and welcomed into the bustle of the town especially by the young brides and appreciative families celebrating upcoming weddings, except... that she continued to eat bugs and small reptiles... usually at ice cream sociables and church picnics... WITH HER HANDS!
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