A true story – a kind girl

I think of my mum every day… here is a true story about her which I write some time ago:

My dad, Donald seems to feature in more of my family stories than my mother Monica… so far. There are plenty of tales to tell of her and her two sisters and brother, although they did not have such a happy and settled life as Donald and his brother and sister did.

Everyone adored Monica, no one could fail to love her. Her sister Beryl once told me a story about her, which no-one else knew, and I don’t think Monica even realised that Beryl knew it. When they were at school, junior school I think because they were at different schools when they were older, it was a tradition that one Sunday – maybe the last Sunday of term, or the last Sunday of the school year, or maybe some other significant Sunday, all the children and teachers went to church. Most of the teachers were kind, and well-liked but there was one who was mean and spiteful to her pupils and was very unpopular. She was going to be leaving the school and everyone was glad to see her go.

It was part of the tradition that the children should take little posies and at the end of the service give them to their teachers to say ‘thank you’. All the children were milling around, giving their flowers to their smiling teachers who were trying to hold the handfuls of buds and blossoms… all except the unpopular teacher, who stood lonely and unhappy, but probably with a fierce and resentful expression. Monica slipped over to her and shyly gave her the bunch of flowers she’d picked from the garden that morning. Beryl noticed the teacher flush and tears spring to her eyes but Monica had moved away quickly and was with the other children, hurrying to get out of the church.

Beryl looked back as she followed her sister; all the teachers were gathered together, laughing and happy except for the unpopular one who was gazing down at the posy she had been given by a kind girl.

Monica aged 11


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