The secret of the silver horse

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The secret of the silver horse

The secret of the silver horse
Éditeur: Ottawa - Ontario : Justice Canada
Année de parution: 1989, reprinted 1999
Nombre de pages: 15
ISBN: 0-662-27884-4
"Secrets are a part of our lives, and while we should teach our children to respect these confidences, they must know that secrets about sexual abuse should be told. In this publication, children are shown the difference between a good secret and a secret about sexual abuse, and between good touching and sexually abusive touching."--Page 1.

While parents should teach children to respect confidences whenever possible, they should also know that they need to report any inappropriate sexual behavior exhibited toward them. In this story, two friends help a third child disclose the secret of his sexual abuse, and persuade him to tell a grown up who can help. The story also teaches that if a child tells an adult about sexual abuse and the adult does nothing or does not believe the child, the child should be persistent and tell someone else. (US Department of Justice)
Jennifer paused at the door of the shed and turned to her two friends. "Ssshhh," she commanded. "We don't want anyone to hear us. This is a secret." The shed door creaked open on its rusty hinges and Jennifer stepped inside. Manuel and Terry followed, pulling the door shut behind them. Soft sunbeams came through the dusty window. Jennifer's parents kept lots of things in the shed. There were gardening tools, old car tires and wooden boxes. Manuel climbed onto a box and peered at the things on the shelves. "I don't believe you," he sniffed. "There's no flying horse in here." Terry turned to Jennifer and said, "Let's see it." Without a word, Jennifer picked up a flower pot hidden under a sack and tipped something out. It was wrapped in blue cloth. 
Manuel and Terry leaned forward for a closer look. Jennifer removed the cloth and held the object up to the sunbeams. There was a gasp from the others as the light touched the silver horse's magnificent wings. "There!" Jennifer said proudly. "Isn't it beautiful?" "Wow," said Manuel. Terry said nothing. "But you'd better not tell anyone," Jennifer said sternly. "You promised, remember. It's our secret." The silver horse was no bigger than Jennifer's hand. Its wings were swept back, as if it were going to fly away. "Where did you get it?" Manuel asked. "It was in a box of stuff my mother was going to throw out," Jennifer said. "She told me that it flew for years and years on the hood of a big car, until the car wore out and went to the junk yard." 

Manuel said it was the neatest thing he had ever seen, neater even than the old coins he once buried in a cookie jar in the pumpkin patch. 
Jennifer looked over at Terry, seated on the tires. Terry looked sad and was scuffing the dusty floor with one foot. "What's wrong? Don't you like my secret?" she asked. Terry said without looking up, "I have a secret, too. You're not the only one, you know." "I told you mine," said Jennifer. "You have to tell us yours." "Can't." "Terry doesn't have a secret," snorted Manuel. "Do too," muttered Terry. Jennifer began to wrap the horse in the cloth, then stopped. "Here. I'll let you hold it, if you'll tell us your secret." Terry looked at the horse, at the swept-back wings, at the flying hoofs and flowing mane, and wanted very much to hold it. "Can't," said Terry at last. "I'm not allowed to tell." "Who says?" demanded Manuel. "Big Person," replied Terry, in a low voice. "Don't be silly," said Jennifer. "Why can't you tell us?" Terry frowned. "Big Person said I'd be in real trouble and bad things would happen to me if I told anyone." "You can tell us," said Jennifer, polishing the horse gently. "We're your friends. That is, if you really do have a secret."

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