My Small One is relatively fearless. She's very active, reasonably coordinated, not intimidated by bugs or dogs, not shy or fearful or strangers. Sometimes loud noises bother her, and the first time she saw the Wizard of Oz, we had to turn it off the very moment the Wicked Witch made her appearance. But for the most part, she faces the world unafraid.
Except for the Storyteller. For some reason, she is absolutely terrified of the woman who comes to her school once a month to tell stories to the children. This is particularly strange to me because this is the same woman who taught music to the smaller children last year, when Small was on the smaller children side of the preschool, so she's a familiar face, and when she was the music teacher, there was no problem with her. But this year, it is such an issue that Small asks me to "check it out" every school day, to make sure there's no story teller before she walks into her class. She has a standing arrangement with her teachers to allow her to be the "special helper" on story day, which means she gets to stay in he classroom instead of going to hear the story. Stranger still, when we see the storyteller outside of her story telling capacity, she has no issue with her. We can only surmise that something in the animated way the stories are told just rubs her the wrong way.
Apparently, this dread of animated performers extends to clowns, as well. I think this is a fairly common phobia, because, let's face it, clowns can be pretty creepy. But it made me giggle this afternoon when I picked Small up from school.
She hopped in the car and leaned forward, hands extended, palms downward in a reassuring gesture, and said, "It wasn't a CLOWN walking up to the school. It was just a parent dressed UP as a clown."
Whew! Such a relief.