Start With A Brownie

A number of years ago, in a mental institution outside Boston, a young girl known as “Little Annie” was locked in the dungeon. The dungeon was the only place, said the doctors for those who were hopelessly insane. In Little Annie’s case, they saw no hope for her, so she was consigned to a living death in that small cage which received little light and even less hope. About that time, an elderly nurse was nearing retirement. She felt there was hope for all of God’s children, so she started taking her lunch into the dungeon and eating outside Little Annie’s cage. She felt perhaps she should communicate some love and hope to the little girl.

In many ways, Little Annie was like an animal. On occasions, she would violently attack the person who came into her cage. At other times, she would completely ignore them. When the elderly nurse started visiting her, Little Annie gave no indication that she was even aware of her presence. One day, the elderly nurse brought some brownies to the dungeon and left them outside the cage. Little Annie gave no hint she knew they were there, but when the nurse returned the next day, the brownies were gone. From that time on, the nurse would bring brownies when she made her Thursday visit. Soon after, the doctors in the institution noticed a change was taking place. After a period of time they decided to move Little Annie upstairs. Finally, the day came when the “hopeless case” was told she could return home. But Little Annie did not wish to leave. She chose to stay, to help others. She it was who cared for, taught, and nurtured Helen Keller, for Little Annie’s name was Anne Sullivan.

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