Story About Helpfulness and a Change of Heart
Fiona, Tessa, and Millie were good friends who were neighbours too. Their favourite haunt was the park, where they played all kinds of games. Another group of friends from the neighbouring street joined them at the park, occasionally.
Their names were Ruby, Tina, and Nora. On Sunday morning, the two groups met at the park for a game of badminton. They were enjoying their game when Nora announced, “Do you people know that the empty flat at the corner of our street is occupied now”?
“Oh, I didn’t notice,” spoke Tina. “I haven’t seen anyone. Who are they”?questioned Ruby. “I wonder whether the new family has children our age,” thought Fiona. “Well, they seem to be very rich and act important and all that,” answered Nora.
“I did see a girl our age but she looked stuck up,” she added. “Let’s see if she comes to the park, then we can check her out,” suggested Millie. “I don’t think she will want to dirty her shoes here. They must be very expensive,” giggled Tessa, rolling her eyes.
“Oh really!” chuckled Fiona. A week passed but none of the neighbours saw the newcomers. Their gate was shut and only the gardener was seen sometimes, attending to the lawn and flower beds. About a fortnight later, when the six girls were playing ball in the park, Millie accidentally hit someone on the shoulder.
“Oh dear! I had better go say sorry,” spoke Millie. As she neared, a girl turned angrily to see who had hit her. “Wait, no need to apologize, she is the new girl who has shifted at the corner house. Look at her angry face. She might hit back,” whispered Nora. By then, the girl had reached Millie and said glaring at her, “How dare you hit me? My parents are very powerful. If this happens again, they will call the police.”
“Don’t come to the park then or something like this might happen again. This is a common playground and people come to play here. Why have you come?” asked Fiona. “Shut up. Don’t annoy me,” replied the girl, marching out of the park with her ayah. “My my, what a personality. Did her dress get dirty?” laughed Tina.
The new girl wasn’t to be seen for the rest of the month. One evening, the gang met at the ice cream parlour to have their favourite cones. After picking up their orders from the counter, the six of them decided to take a walk. The evening air was nice and fresh and mothers with proms and elderly couples were sitting on the side benches, gossiping merrily.
“Remember friends, the fete at the club is next week. Are you all getting something homemade to sell there?” asked Millie. “Yes, my mom is baking cheese straws and chocolate cookies for the fete and I am going to help her,” replied Nora. “My mom will be in charge of club sandwiches which we will make on the morning of the fete. My granny is coming to help,” chirped Tina.
“We have plans to sell banana bread and tea cakes. Mom’s friend will help her make them. She is a chef,” said Ruby. “What about you three? What are your plans?” asked Nora. “Well my mom is an expert in making pancakes, so that’s what we will make,” replied Fiona.
“I think I’ll ask mommy to make pinwheel biscuits. They are very tasty,” said Millie. “Mom is going to make vegetable rolls and cutlets for the vegans of whom there are many,” added Tessa.
All six households were ready with their savouries on the day of the fete. The six girls and their families met at the venue.
“Let us arrange our tables without wasting time’” said Fiona’s mom. Everyone got their cue and in no time tables were beautifully arranged. People from neighbouring towns started coming and steadily there was quite a crowd at the fete. Everyone was having a great time and the friends were really busy helping sell their products.
The fete was in full swing when the newcomers at the corner house arrived. The girl called Veronica, her little brother Rob and their parents were accompanied by two ayahs. They arranged their table quickly with ready-made bakery items, some bought from the local bakery and confectionary place.
“I wonder what was prepared at home?” They don’t look home-cooked,” commented Tina. “Everything except the cookies is from the neighbourhood bakery. I got a good view of the items because their table is next to ours,” whispered Tessa to her friends.
“They are real show-offs. Though their table is laden with loads of goodies, no one is going to them. Veronica and her mom look stuck up as usual.
At midday, Fiona observed, “Look, friends, our six stalls have nearly sold everything while Veronica hasn’t done much business.” “Well, who is going to buy ready-made goods when people can enjoy homemade goodies,” added Millie.
It was five in the evening and time to pack up. “Poor Veronica and her family will have to eat their stuff for days if they don’t want it wasted. I don’t think they sold much,” laughed Ruby. “Serves her right. Her snobbishness kept her aloof and this didn’t help,” surmised Nora.
The six friends saw Veronica and Rob occasionally at the park, never talking or playing with any of the children present from their neighbourhood. They sat on the bench, while their ayahs gave them lemonade and biscuits.
“Did you all notice that the two siblings never have a smile on their faces. Their gloomy expressions are really weird,” thought Tessa. “Leave them be. I don’t think they ever smile, leave alone laugh,” commented Fiona, making a face.
It was Friday and the local market was thronged with buyers. It was the day of the weekly sale. The friends were at the gift store, looking for gifts for their mothers because Mother’s Day was around the corner. All of them had chosen gifts except for Tessa.
“I can’t decide between the bracelet and the earrings. Please help me choose,” asked Tessa. Just then, Veronica arrived. She looked around, stared at the friends and made a bad face. Ruby said,” Tessa you can take any of them. Both are pretty.”
Tessa looked at both pieces, deciding on the bracelet. Just then, Veronica grabbed the two items saying,” I want both of them. Pack them for me in the best wrapping sheet you have.”
The shop keeper was just about to do as asked, when Ruby angrily took hold of the bracelet saying, “this has been sold. You can take the ear-ring.” “How dare you take what I want. Give it back to me,” shouted Veronica, pulling at it. Ruby got really annoyed and called the others.
A big argument began and at last, it was resolved by Veronica pulling the bracelet towards her but breaking it in the process. “Here, you can have your bracelet back with the ear-rings. We are done here,” said Tessa, leaving the store with her friends. The six girls went to a home decor store, where Tessa got pretty embroidered table napkins for her mom.
Poor Veronica had to pay for the broken bracelet. She marched out of the store with a scowl on her face. Days passed and the situation with the new neighbours didn’t improve.
One day, when the girls were out cycling together, they came upon a crowd of people. “What’s happened? Let’s go and see,” spoke Nora.
The friends neared the gathering and saw Veronica and her brother lying on the road, their bicycles overturned. Blood was oozing out of a deep cut on Veronica’s arm and Rob’s both knees were bruised badly. He was screaming with fear and pain.
“My goodness! They are hurt badly. I’ll go and get their parents,” said Ruby. “No don’t go. Dad is at a meeting and our maids have gone with my mom to get some groceries,” spoke Veronica, trying to get up. “Don’t worry, we will take you to the doctor’s clinic,” said Fiona.
“Come with me Rob,” said Millie. “I’ll take you, Veronica. You can ride with me and Rob will come with Millie,” decided Nora. The doctor examined the siblings and gave them first aid. “Come, I’ll drop you home,” said Tessa. “You can ride with me, Rob. Come on, let’s go,” added Tina.
All eight of them reached Veronica’s house. They were about to leave when she stopped them. “Please come inside. I’m very thankful to you guys for helping us, though we were mean to you all. I’m really very very sorry. Will you please forgive me?” pleaded Veronica.
“You are forgiven,” chorused the friends, following Veronica inside. “Please be comfortable. I’ll join you presently,” said Veronica, leaving them. The girls sat down talking. After some time, Veronica and Rob returned with cool glasses of lemonade and tea cakes. “Help yourself, friends,” smiled Veronica. “Wow our gang will have seven members from today,” laughed Fiona. “What about me? Whom will I play with?” questioned Rob.
“Don’t worry. I’ll introduce you to kids your age in the park. You can play with them,” answered Tessa,” giving the little boy a hug. At last, the six of them got up to go but not before inviting the siblings and their parents to visit each of them.
From that day onwards, Veronica was always included in all of the friends’ plans. Their parents also took part in all the community meetings and decisions. The snobs had turned into kind, jovial and friendly neighbors.