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A Fable about Point-of-View

Long blond hair with brunette roots. Hurried brown eyes in a tanned face that, at the moment, is frowning. The time is twelve-thirty in the afternoon, lunch hour for this busy customer at the check-out of an upscale grocery store.

The midnight black, pretty enough, cashier says, "Es deese eet?" and points to the veggies at the register.

At once irritated, the customer counters, "What you trying to say, Mami? You meaning ten? Eh! What's with the 'diez'?" Maybe her body language? Maybe her tone? An accent sneaks out.

"You Latina?" asks the cashier, as her smooth-skinned face breaks out an understanding smile. "Okay, Hermana. Malo mia," she finishes.

Sheepish, shrugging apology, the customer asserts, "TambiƩn. I thought you was a Black American bullshitting con mi acento. Sabe?"

"Aie! Blanca, comprendo! Todo el tiempo," she says as she bags the two pound yucca root, the ninety-nine cents chayote, and the fifty cents bunch of cilantro. "Tenga una boil-down agreeable!"

Moral: Tolerance trumps explanation