We were deer caught in the headlights. The moment the door opened and our heads turned to see the new arrival, we all sported the same stunned, mouth-agape expression. And with disturbed curiosity, we watched the gangly figure make her way to the teacher's desk.

"I'm the new transfer student," we heard her say in a squeaky voice. The room broke out in fervent whispers and bodies moved this way and that to get a better look at the new girl. From where I sat in the very back of the cramped classroom, all I could see was a mass of bushy black hair all piled up in an untidy bun atop of a very round, egg-shaped head.

When the new girl turned around abruptly, the class pulled back in surprise, but she didn't seem to notice. She squinted about through thick, horn-rimmed glasses that sat precariously on the edge of a squashed pug nose. It wasn't until she began tiptoeing on her pair of scuffed, outdated Dockers that I realized she was searching for an empty seat. When she had finally found one, it was to my horror that the seat she had her eyes on was the one right next to me. She bit her lower lip and began to walk down the row of desks.

"Did the circus drop into town?" one boy snickered. He pointed to the new girl's ensemble – a striped polo adorned with pink blotches of paint underneath a faded jumper – and gagged.

"Omigod! Look at her legs!" two girls squealed to each other in disgust. My gaze shifted downwards from the tacky corduroys. The puke-colored monstrosities revealed skinny, chicken legs – skinny, unshaven, chicken legs.

The new girl continued her slow procession down the aisle. Her shoulders were hunched up to her ears with her arms swinging stiffly by her sides, and I was reminded of a very cranky Munchkin. When she finally made it to her desk, the girl plopped herself down noisily like a petrified statue. I immediately edged away from her, pretending to be suddenly absorbed with a crack on the wall. I could hear her shifting uncomfortably beside me, but I avoided looking in her direction. Only when she had finally fallen silent did I risk a glimpse.

I rounded my head carefully, just in time to catch the new girl's eye. I hastily turned away, but when I looked again, I found that not only was the girl now staring at me, but she was also laughing. After getting over my initial shock, the annoyance settled in. "What?"

"Nothing," she replied, stifling a giggle.

"What?" I repeated again, raising my voice. By now, people were looking back at us to see what all the commotion was.

"Well…" the new girl began to say, taking a quick glance at the onlookers. "I just thought… that you… "

"Spit it out already!"

The new girl blushed and it was obvious she was trying her hardest not to laugh again. She finally opened her mouth and said, "Your ears are kinda big."