Children of the Evening




Smith, Bert Kruger

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Hogg Foundation for Mental Health



Daytime belongs to normal children. It is a world to be shaped like bright clay between their eager hands. Daytime is a symbol of beginning and brightness, of warmth and living. The sounds of daytime children, too, are mostly delighted giggles, excited shouts, or earnest, exploratory talk. Symbolically, there are evening children— disturbed youngsters who have turned away from the brightness of youth and who have entered a gray, shaded area of life. For them, the nightmare of prolonged mental illness may be close by. Even the sounds they make are different—the almost no-noise of a sigh rising from a chest too small to contain the weight of worry, the rustle of paper being torn, or the scurrying of feet when a little one attempts, in a frenzy of nonunderstanding, to find the daytime path.

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