The Hummingbird Tree by Ian McDonaldAlan was too young to understand why his parents preferred him to play with the other white boys on the estate. But gradually, he learned that if he was going to meet Kaiser and Jaillin, he had to pretend he was going to meet someone else, he had to pretend he didnt enjoy spending time with his friends, he had to pretend he didnt mind when he wasnt allowed to invite them to his party. Sometimes, horribly, the pretending became real, and Alan found himself in betrayal of the friendship that meant so much to him.
The Hummingbird Tree
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The mind of a child is traditionally described as malleable and unfathomable. It is in this state of childhood innocence that the young and rich white Master Alan finds friendship among his poor servants Kaiser and Jaillin, two Indian villagers. Alan did not understand why his parents forbade him from playing with his two Indian friends. Alan, despite many efforts to convince himself that he is not ashamed of his friendship with the Indians, does not play with them in the presence of his white friends and he insists to his parents and white friends that the Indians are not his friends. Kaiser and Jaillin know that they are not allowed to play with Alan in the presence of other whites.