Banana bread pencil case
It was almost just a normal afternoon. Tamara came back home from school, ate a lunch that her grandmother prepared for her, and now, she was lying on the grass and staring at the sun. She was often doing that, while she was thinking about something. Grandmother already noticed that her beloved granddaughter isn’t as cheerful as usual, but she didn’t want to be pushy – she knows, that if Tamara wants to share something with her, she will – sooner or later.
And Tamara’s worries were huge. One of her friends brought a new pencil case to school today. It was beautiful: green with pink and yellow horses painted on it. She would like to have such a pencil case, but she knows that her mother doesn’t have money for this kind of thing. She was trying to figure it out; should she tell her grandmother about her wish?
Her grandmother is a very special woman. Not just for Tamara. She is 68 years old, she’s vital, sings a lot and has so many great stories. She used to work as a housekeeper in some rich houses. She has always had a very optimistic, sparkling, cheerful personality, and even though she finished only elementary school, she was a wise lady. She thought Tamara many Latin proverbs, that she learnt herself as a very young girl, while cleaning a house whose owner was Mr. Moon, a professor of Latin language. When Tamara started school as a 6 year old, her teacher was very confused when she heard Tamara saying the first Latin proverb. Moreover, Tamara understood its meaning. Soon it became usual to hear Tamara using proverbs like: Memento mori, Dum spiro spero, Non plus ultra or grandmothers favorite, Carpe Diem!
Tamara wanted to tell her grandmother about the pencil case, but she didn’t want her grandmother to think that she is ungrateful. She has a pencil case, not that beautiful, but still functional. And her mother is working really hard to put food on the table and get everything that Tamara needs. But the more she was thinking about the pencil case, the horses on her friends’ pencil case seemed more beautiful, and she could even imagine them running or eating grass by her side. So, she decided, she will tell grandmother about the pencil case. Grandmother was silent for a few seconds, Tamara thought it was because of the price of the pencil case, but she was just trying to figure out how to gain money.
Finally, she said: „Well, if you want to have that kind of pencil case, you will have to make money for it!“
Tamara was confused, she was just a 10 year old girl, but grandmother said: „Don’t worry, I will help you! We’re going to make banana bread that you will be selling to people in the neighborhood. Go and find yourself a wooden box that will be your banana bread stand. Let’s go, Carpe Diem, my precious little girl!“ Tamara decided to go and ask her neighbor Elio for help. He always had some wood and he was always cutting and carving something. When she explained what she needs, he said that he has something really perfect for her.
It was an old wooden box with a sign R Mun 4322. That was a box of a Panzerschreck, an anti-tank rocket launcher. Elio, happy that the box of something ugly will become a traveling cake stand, took his drilling machine, put 4 wheels on the box, tied a rope on one side of the box, and gave Tamara a bottle of yellow paint. Tamara was pulling the wooden box to her grandmother’s house. Then she spent the whole afternoon painting the box and covering the sign R Mun 4322.
During that time, her grandmother was also carpe dieming; she baked five loaves of banana bread. Tomorrow, after the paint on Tamara’s new stand was dry, she took the banana bread loaves, cut them into smaller pieces and started going from door to door. She didn’t have much luck. Nobody was home, or the few people that were, didn’t want to buy any banana bread. She was rather sad, because in her mind she already earned money and owned a beautiful pencil case.
As she was walking she didn’t notice that one of her shoe laces was untied. In a glimpse of a moment, she stumbled and fell. Her left knee was scratched, and blood was dripping on the ground. The blood was accompanied by tears, not only because of the pulsating pain in her knee, but more because of the feeling of failure and missed opportunity to collect money for the magic pencil case.
At that moment she heard a familiar voice: „What happened, Tamara?“
It was her teacher. She pulled out a wet handkerchief and cleaned Tamara’s hand and knee. Tamara was silently crying and it took her teacher a lot of time to find out what was going on.
When she heard Tamara’s story, she told her that she was on her way to visit her grandmother in a home for elderly people, and suggested that Tamara should go with her; she knows for sure that her grandmother has a sweet tooth and that her friends from the home also really love to have some kind of cake to eat with their afternoon coffee.
And, she was right, the teachers grandmother, lovely old rounded lady, really loved Tamara’s banana bread, so she invited her friends to buy a piece of that delicious cake. Oh, what a joy! Actually, they said to Tamara to ask her grandmother if she wants to bake some delicious cake for them once a week. Tamara couldn’t believe it; not that she just sold everything, she even earned more money than the price of the pencil case! She was happily going home and thinking how she’ s going to suggest to grandmother that she bakes cakes for the lovely ladies in the elderly home once a week. With Tamaras’ help, of course! In wishful thinking, she totally forgot her painful knee, already feeling happy about the moment when she’ll buy a pencil case with the money that she earned on her own.
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