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Katarzyna Justyna Zychla , renowned writer and poet from Poland
                                                           is the Winner of national and international poetry competitions. She
                                                           is the author of more than 50 books for children and young people:
                                                           "A girl dancing with the wind", "Raspberry, relax!", "Bojaczek", "A
                                                           very little girl and a very big bear", "Dude". - and many others.
                                                          Katarzyna Justyna Zychla




                                                                  Translated from Polish to English by


                                                                          Małgorzata Borzeszkowska



                                             MATILDA'S SECOND LIFE



                   She did not understand this world, and the world answered with the same. So they passed each other
                   from  her  childhood,  like  strangers  in  the  street,  passengers  in  public  transport,  or  participants  in
                   funerals of other peoples’ relatives. "She was always weird." Mother used to say, complaining to the
                   neighbors that the daughter prefers four staying in instead of discos, going out to clubs or dating.
                   She tried. Really, she was trying to fit in. And she felt like at a fancy dress party. So she gave up. She
                   was still looking. She was looking for her place.
                   One day a hunch led her to a small library. The building in no way resembled contemporary libraries -
                   often glazed, modern and armed to the ceilings with the latest multimedia equipment.
                   She timidly pressed the handle. Moments later she found herself in a room which reminded her of her

                   first visit to the library. The first book she read. The smells of dried wood, freshly brewed coffee and
                   paper harmonized wonderfully. Beams of light streamed through the small windows. And although
                   this place was completely strange to her, she felt that she had found what she had been looking for so
                   long. She hurried to the bookshelves. With her fingertips she touched the spine of the first book in a
                   row.
                   - I knew you were coming, Matilda.
                   She flinched. This voice was also no strange to her! She turned and met the gentle gaze of the petite
                   old woman.
                   - Do you know me?
                   - I know all my readers. You borrowed the most books. Sit down please…
                   Only now Matylda noticed two comfortable and slightly old-fashioned armchairs. Before she looked
                   back,  two  cups  of  tea  and  a  plate  of  crunchy  biscuits  appeared  on  a  round  table  between  the
                   armchairs.
                   The  conversation  with  the  old  lady  made  Matilda  realize  that  by  the  end  of  sixth  grade,  she  had

                   dropped out of books. But was it possible? Is it possible that Maria is still alive?
                   - I have your card ... I know, I know ... Books are being borrowed in a different way today, but maybe
                   you would like to have it as a souvenir?
                   Matilda dropped into the library every day. She greeted Mrs. Maria and took a book from the shelf to
                   sit  comfortably  in  the  armchair  and  immersed  herself  in  reading.  The  mother  was  pleased  and
                   convinced that Matilda had fallen in love and finally, like an ordinary girl is going out to see some boy.
                   Matilda's world grew brighter. She had the impression that the heroes of the novels read were leaving
                   this small library, apparently forgotten by the inhabitants, and they were helping her to communicate
                   with this world, which so far had little interest to her. And also helped her to cope with herself. She
                   felt as if she was woven of words, filled with them and fed to her fill.


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