By the way, you pronounce my first name TaLEETa.

And 'Freeman' ought to be 'Freewoman', but I can't do anything about that till I'm 18. I think Kevin's suggestion of 'Talitha Freeperson' sounds stupid.

'Talitha' means 'little girl' and that's what I was when I was born.

I weighed just under 2 kilos.

I stayed small till the time of Big Log at my old school, Westport Primary. While Big Log was there I grew pretty fast, of course. I've slowed down a bit now but I'm still tall for my age.

If you want to find out about Big Log the easiest way is to read the story that Duk San wrote about himself (in the third person, of course, as Mr PB suggested then). You'll get a pretty good idea about what happened. Although no one knows why or how it happened, of course.

Except Kevin. I still think he knows. But I'm not sure.

Anyway, back to being small, then tall.

My mum says that it will be interesting when I reach puberty. Maybe I will shoot up like a beanpole (what's a beanpole?) or maybe I won't grow much at all.

I don't care either way, really. As long as I stay reasonably good-looking and don't run to fat. But that's unlikely when you look at my parents. They're both practically midgets--and skinny, too.

I'll just have to wait and see.

It won't be long, probably. Hilary has had her first period...although Mum says that there's no relationship between size and when your periods start. She says it depends on your genes and your hormones.

Hilary said her first period was no surprise. Her mother had told her all about it when she was still in kinder. For a good reason. Her mother had her first period when she was in Grade 2(!!!) Now that was young. Her mother said that of course she hadn't known what to expect so she thought she was dying when she saw the blood between her legs. But no one at school was embarrassed. (Yes, it happened at school.) For more details--ask Hilary. She's the expert.

These days every one always knows everything anyway--if they want to, that is. It's so easy just to look it up on a CD-ROM or something...or to talk to someone about it.

As long as it's not Sally. What a relief that she's gone. I don't know how we would have coped if she had stayed. What a bitch she is. I pity the poor kids at the school where she's gone now.

The last straw was when she stole Ms Ruby's diary. That was so mean. And to show Ms Ruby's personal thoughts all over the school!

She should have been shot.

I used to go to the same school as Duk San and Hilary--when Big Log was there. Duk San and Hilary and I started here at Karnyalimenya last year.

We were in Mr PB's class then. He was a reasonably cool sort of person. At first I didn't like him because he made us work so hard. Even though the Karnyalimenya 'philosophy' says that 'we are a community of learners and each learner should learn as she or he finds best'.

Mr PB interpreted that as meaning 'GOFORIT!'--his favourite word.

Anyway, I learnt to write in his class. The first story I wrote for him (for me, really) was a fairy tale. I'm still writing fairy stories. It must be the influence of Big Log.

I'm writing a fairy tale at the moment. It's not bad. If you want to read it then just remember that the real me is all mixed up in it, too. It's a sort of modern-day fairy story that starts off ordinary and ends up weird--perhaps in a scifi excursion in the asteroid belt.

You see, I'm the sort of person who always sees meteorites.

Wherever we are, walking the dog in the evening, or looking out of the car window at night, I just seem to see them.

Perhaps I've got good peripheral vision.

Although my dad says I'm sensitive to their alien messages (ho, ho!).

He says Santa Claus comes on a red hot meteorite. Thus the colour of his cheery face.

But seriously--I love calculating their orbits. Meteorites', that is. Not Santa's. I get the data off the Internet. Then I put one of the school computers to work. It doesn't take long. A weekend usually is enough. Ms Ruby says that one day she might be able to get me into a big computer (again over the Net) so that I can do my calculations on a main frame...or a minicomputer with parallel chips.

I can't wait.

Also I'm interested in any space junk at all that's big enough to crash into the earth. More about that later.

My friend Davey Shields goes to Westport Primary.