Pearly Rites

When Maura was 12 and her “big teeth” were firmly in place, she orchestrated a playground accident that had her falling on her face onto the blacktop seven feet below the monkey bars where she had stood, peeling a pretend banana.
When the dentist remarked that she was brave to be grinning when she broke eight teeth, Maura said, “I don’t care, because you’re going to replace them with pearls!”
The dentist laughed and said, “Not real pearls, but just as pretty.”
Maura said she didn’t mind if they were cultured or natural, just as long as they were pearls.