Ninja MumA short story by Christina NordlanderMore Like This
Rietta’s Mum doesn’t have a car, and they don’t have a CD player or an Xbox in their house like the other kids. Mum’s name is Ulla. She works in a call-centre and comes home late, so that Rietta is almost the last one left at the daycare centre, and has short straight hair that doesn’t shine. That doesn’t matter, because nobody else’s mum is a ninja.
In the afternoon, Rietta stands in the daycare centre lobby, shoes tied and jacket on. If she stands at the right angle she can look out the strip of window next to the door and see Mum opening the gate. Most other kids go home by themselves along the dirt paths, but Mum always comes to pick her up, even though she’s almost nine. If Rietta was to go home before she gets there she might be angry, or sad. But she lets Rietta go out alone outside of school hours, as long as she’s got the knives.
As soon as they get home to the terraced apartment Rietta