Kept In The Dark.
Susan sat by her mother’s bed in the nursing home watching her spasmodic breathing. ‘Come on, Mum, don’t leave me.’
With these words, her mother opened her eyes and smiled. ‘Susan, I’m glad you’re here. Now listen to me. When I die, I want you to promise to get in touch with your Dad.’
‘What!’ said Susan. ‘He left when I was five, no contact, nothing since then. How can you ask such a thing?’
‘Because…because I’ve lied to you all these years. Every birthday and Christmas he sent you a card and money. I was so bitter towards him, I kept it from you.’
Susan sat with her mouth open, then said, ‘I don’t believe you, Mum. You’re just saying this so I’ll have someone after you’ve gone.’
‘It’s true I’m afraid, was so angry with him for having an affair. The anger took over my life, grew and grew.’
‘But, Mum, what did you do with the cards?’
‘They went in the bin, the money’s in an account in your name. Not proud of myself, not proud.’
Susan glanced at her watch. ‘Look, I’ll have to go, pick up the kids from school. I’ll be back later.’ She kissed her mother and heard her say, ‘Sorry, Susan.’
She left the nursing home in a daze. Dad’s been in touch and she never told me. How could she?
Grandad’s Red Roses.
‘Hi, Granny, where are you going with these flowers?’ said Janine as she skipped along the road beside Mary Watson.
‘I’m taking them to Grandad’s grave.’
Janine stopped skipping. ‘But why? These are red roses from his garden. Won’t he be annoyed you’ve taken them?’
Mary frowned. ‘But I’m going to put them on his grave. He loved his red roses.’
‘I know,’ said Janine, ‘but he can still see them in his garden.’
Mary stopped and looked at her granddaughter. ‘But he’s not here to see his red roses, remember Grandad…’
‘I know he died,’ said Janine. ‘Mummy says when people die they’re still around, watching over us.’ She placed her hands on her hips. ‘I think he’ll be annoyed you’ve cut his roses. I think you should take them home and put them in a vase. They won’t wither so quickly and he can look at them for longer.’
Mary’s jaw dropped as she listened to her six years old granddaughter. They walked on in silence until they reached the grave. Janine lifted a bunch of withered roses from beside the headstone.
‘See what I mean. These could have lived for ages yet.’
Mary nodded. ‘Yes, I do. I’ll take this new bunch home and put them in a vase.’
‘I’ll leave you now to talk to Grandad. He knows I love him and miss him. I speak to him every night in bed.’
Mary’s eyes filled with tears as she watched Janine skip out of the cemetery.
Tiny The Triumphant.
Tessa Isobel Niamh Young, better known in the bee kingdom as Tiny, flew from flower to flower gathering nectar to make honey. She was a happy bee but life had not always been so good for her.
When Tiny was born, her body was yellow and covered in black dots instead of brown and black stripes. She was much bigger than any of the other bees and when all the others made a sound, it was buzz, buzz, buzz but all Tiny could manage was bazz, bazz, bazz.
When the queen of the bees saw her colour, saw her size and heard the sound she made she said, ‘You must leave this beehive. You don’t belong with us.’
Tiny was sad as she left the beehive. She flew to a nearby tree and sat on a branch. Day after day she watched the other bees leave the hive and fly off to collect nectar from the flowers. She watched them return and slip back through the slits in the beehive.