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Last week, Nicki showed more than the rudiments of divergent thinking. Heidi had given her sentences to finish: The fire is ... The rain is ... The grass is... A child with the mental age of six might have given the answers ‘hot’ ‘wet’ and ‘green’ - maybe ‘bright’, ‘falling’ and ‘long’ at a stretch. Whereas Nicki’s fire was happy, her rain sleepy, her grass little.

“Sometimes, Heidi, it is simply that she has misunderstood the task.” The Professor’s message warned Heidi not to get carried away. “It is just like small children when they make us laugh with their funny expressions because they haven’t got the necessary vocabulary.”

Nicki had been feral when Heidi first came to the Institute of Developmental and Behavioural Psychology ten months ago.

Her age, approximately eleven years.


what is the problem?

previous research in the field

The Interview

“So, Miss - ” The Professor scrabbled around for Heidi’s application form in an attempt to locate her surname. It was obvious to Heidi, even at that early stage, that he and application forms were not well-suited. “Harper. What do you know about the Devil’s Copse child, Miss Harper?”

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