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The next day, Melissa, dressed in a pale pink, lace-trimmed dress, skipped to Mr. Davison's home. She felt like a princess in this dress, handed down from her cousin.

Melissa kept skipping, into Mr. Davison's yard, and up to his door. She felt herself hesitate, because she had never voluntarily come to this house. But Melissa bravely brought her hand up and knocked three times. The door creaked open, and Mr. Davison's face met Melissa's. His grin was enough to light 10,000 candles, and Melissa couldn't resist smiling back.

"Melin-Melissa! What a pleasant surprise!" Mr. Davison exclaimed.

"Can I see your violin, Mr. Davison?" Melissa said immediately.

"Of course, my dear Melissa," Mr. Davison said kindly. "Please call me Joe," he added.

"My dear, this is the E string," he said as he motioned to the thinnest and highest string. "Here, try it out," he urged as Melissa watched silently with fascination. Melissa plucked the violin string, and a shrill, high sound vibrated out. Melissa shrieked in delight.

"Melissa, would you like me to teach you 'Mary Had A Little Lamb?" asked Joe. Melissa nodded eagerly, so Joe proceeded to teach Melissa the notes, which are all on one string. She was amazed that it was possible to play more than one note on one string, by pressing your fingers down on the string.

After a few minutes, Melissa could (rather successfully!) play the popular children's song on the treasured Amati violin. Joe clapped, then said in delight:

"Melissa, I can't tell you how long it's been since I've heard a little girl play a violin. The last time I heard a young person play the violin, it was--" Joe broke off and his face grew somber. "My daughter," he finished quietly. Joe's facial expression and his tone of voice told Melissa not to press any further.


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