Suddenly, the boy in front of me left the hold of his teacher and mounted the stationary bicycle close by. He started riding vigorously in spite of appeals by his teacher to go for breakfast. The boy was so engrossed in his little world nothing seemed to reach him, including the teacher’s implorations. “He must be autistic”, I said to myself. My eyes wandered to other parts of the refectory where I saw children eating, others had cases so severe they had to be fed. It was a moving sight.
Before I set out that cold June morning with other members of my class, 300 level psychology students of the University of Nigeria, and Dr. Euckay Onyeizugbo, our supervisor, my only contact with mental disabilities had been in textbooks and television. I had read that mental retardation is a generalized disorder appearing before adulthood, characterised by significantly impaired cognitive functioning…
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Drawn by its exuberance and the promise of nectar, a butterfly highlighted on the petal of a sunflower. Immediately, the winged guest settled to enjoy its sugary find while the benevolent host discretely placed some pollen grains on its wings.
Unknown to the butterfly, some soldier ants saw its descent, and made to profit from the ensuing trade. So, as the happy butterfly dined, the hungry soldier ants climbed.
The leader of the army was within reach when a gentle breeze shook the plant. The disturbance caused the now-filled butterfly to abandon the bounteous feast.
…yes, it left enough for the irate soldier ants.
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