I lived next to a primary school for a dozen years. And one of my consummate delights was the parade of little girls who had an inner compulsion to test the power of their lungs and the resiliency of their vocal chords. These little girls--or "screamers," as I dubbed them--seemed to possess all the qualities of super athletes, those individuals who are born to compete with one another. With respect to the girls, however, I'm not sure their screaming is competition for competition's sake. I think it's simply an unabashed expression of feminine childhood.
     The screamers seemed to have four basic trials in mind. The first, and most frequent, was simply to see who could scream the loudest. The second was to see whose scream was the shrillest. And the purpose of the third seemed to revolve around whose lung capacity allowed the longest scream. These were the common trials of the "Feminine Playground Olympics."
     Finally, however, there was the "vocal triathlon." This triathlon demanded such skill of voice and endurance of lung that it was performed by only the most intrepid of athletes, those screamers who, by virtue of extraordinary focus and physical abilities, could meld the three contests into the quintessential feat--the loudest, shrillest, and longest of all screams performed in a single moment of sheer brilliance.
     I thank God for the screamers. They imbue my soul with such joy every time they exercise their right of free speech, which is, after all, only controlled noise emitted via our human vocal chords. And what, you might ask, do the screamers hold in common?
     They hold the wonder and enthusiasm of childhood, which is, at best, fleeting for the young of today. As for me, the screamers bring forth the purest sounds of innocence to come out of the eternal silence, whence they shall return as contemporary maturity steals--far too early, in my opinion--the heart of childhood. But for now, I smile inwardly every time I experience the good fortune of hearing the heart-felt joy and vocal confidence of a little screamer.

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