Every community seems to have someone who is so strange, shy, or eccentric that rumors fly around about him/her. He is a serial killer. She is a crazy lady with hundreds of cats. His house is haunted. Her house is in shambles and should be burnt to the ground.

Meena is a children's picture book for kids from ages 5 to 9. In this story by Sine van Mol, rumors have spread among the children who live on Fly Street that Meena is a witch. Christa, Klaas, and Thomas have let their imaginations run wild. They think she eats toads and drinks blood. When they see a young girl in the house, they are convinced that the witch has taken a prisoner.

The girl, Anna, turns out to be visiting her grandmother Meena. But the three accusers are not satisfied; they claim that Anna is under a spell and doesn't know what's happening to her.

But it is the three kids who are under a spell — of fear. Anna tries to convince them that Meena is not a witch, and Meena offers them a piece of cherry pie as a peace offering. It works like a charm and they relent from their accusations, gossip, and hatred which, of course, had no basis in reality.

It is important that children learn at an early age to be open and patient and understanding of people who are different from them. Prejudice is an ugly thing when it takes hold of the consciousness and spews its venom all over the place. And those who are viewed as odd, different, and eccentric would do well to follow the example of Meena by reaching out in the darkness to enemies and trying to make them into friends.