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Watching her play was like seeing the ghostly play of the northern lights. In her playfulness, Pearl was not that different from other bright children. But Pearl, with no other children to play with, relied far more on the hordes she imagined. And the truly unique thing was the hostile way she regarded the creations of her own heart and mind. She never created an imaginary friend. Instead, she always seemed to be planting dragons’ teeth out of which would grow a crop of armed enemies for her to battle. It was unspeakably sad—and sadder still for the mother who blamed herself for it—to see the knowledge of the world’s cruelty in someone so young. Pearl already understood that she would need to be well trained if she were to win in her fight against the world.