By the time she reached the shack, Jessie had calmed down some. A crowd of contented stray cats greeted her, having wasted no time in finishing off her fish. Angry at herself for having left the door open, she shooed the cats out and closed it behind them.
Immediately, Jessie got out of her dress and put on the shirt and trousers. She felt strange. Her head was much lighter without the hair, and of course she ahd never worn pants before.
Jessie opened the door and stopped, suddenly self-concious. What would her father think if he could see her now? He was the only person who had ever said she was beautiful. He had told her she looked like her mother.
"You have her face and her hair," he would say. "Your eyes shine just like hers did."
Jessie's mother had died when Jessie was just three years old, so Jessie would often ask her father, "Tell me about mum, please?"
"Your mother Mary was a bright and cheerful woman," he would tell her. "She always saw the good in everyone. And when she laughed, oh, she would too her beautiful ahir, and she would sound just like a songbird, singing its heart out just for me. You are all I have left of you, me Jessie."
And now he was gone, and Jessie had sold her hair to look like a boy.
"Please, Papa, forgive me," she wispered, then wiped away the tears and stepped out into the fading afternoon light.