I don’t remember exactly how we found Queen Noor, but at the time it seemed to be a match made in heaven. There we were, two-dozen hippies with a burned down house, no food, the great frozen outdoors as our refrigerator to keep the scraps in, and a dozen kids with no toys. And there was Queen Noor, in a palace filled with toys - talking toys, walking toys, educational toys, toys that spoke and toys that played music, furry stuffed toys, toys with hearts and toys without hearts - and almost no kids to play with them. Not to mention the Queen’s fully equipped kitchen and her fully stocked larder.
Some of the women at the commune had heard there was a wealthy woman going it on her own in a centuries old brick farmhouse that had a preschool attached on the Shakerville Road and that the Queen was looking for additional kids to share the facilities with her son and the two or three other kids she’d found who thus far had joined her … all offspring of faculty at the University in the state capital, about twenty minutes east.
“No, we couldn’t conceivably pay tuition,” the women told Queen Noor when they met her at the Schoolhouse. “No, not even a token payment. But what we can do is add a dozen kids to your enrollment, and provide creative teachers to your staff - musicians, bakers, gardeners, artists, craftspeople, unemployed licensed reading specialists with Masters degrees in education, woodworkers, maple-sugar makers.
“OMG,” Queen Noor spoke her pleasure, “Are the gods now making house calls?”
“Holy shit,” spoke the commune women, “Have the gods just answered our prayers?”
Well, actually, what Noor asked is “Do you have lice?” And “Do you use drugs?”
And what the hippie women answered was, “We’ll all be here tomorrow, Nori. Come on kids, time to go home.”