This scene is not quite the same as the one in the version I sent out to beta readers. It's when Tory tries to give the Facts of Life Briefing to her new protegee.
Since most young women were kept in a state of ignorance about the ultimate relationship that occurs between men and women, the Ministry had developed what they officially termed the Reproduction Briefing. My mother had tried to prepare me for this briefing before I entered the Corps, but her tentative instruction had nothing on Miss Young's excruciatingly detailed drawings of parts of the body usually covered by clothes.
"Since we lack more dignified terms," Young had said during that briefing, "I will refer to the male parts as the "butterfly" and the female parts as the "flower."
Oh, how my cheeks had burned. We sat in a briefing room, and she used a pencil to point at drawings that looked nothing like either butterflies or flowers.
"As you know," she said, "the butterfly has between its wings, a long shaft. You may think of a man's . . . organ . . . as a butterfly without wings." She moved on to the female parts. "And like the flower, the female organ has a tubelike structure hidden among the petals." At this point, she had pinned her gaze upon me. "Now, anyone who has ever seen a butterfly pollinate a flower knows that the butterfly actually inserts itself into the flower. . . ."
I had emerged from my briefing much worldlier--and perpetually red-faced every time I looked at a man for weeks.
As I blushingly stumbled my way through the briefing, spots of color appeared on Miss Henry's cheeks. She listened in studious silence. However, when I got to the part about the insertion, Miss Henry began to giggle.
I looked at her with my brows raised.
"It's just that . . . that . . ." she gave up and giggled again.
"Yes?" I said, trying to keep my dignity as an instructor.
"I saw our dogs doing something like that once before my brother threw a rock at them. Are you telling me that all men and women do this?"
"Any couple who has had a child, yes."
"But it seems so undignified!"
At this point, I couldn't help it--I began to giggle as well. "Can you imagine?" I said, "Iron Mark?!"
We both sniggered like schoolgirls.
However, our newfound rapport vanished the next time Bradburn summoned her into his office.