4. On Sunday afternoons Grandmother sent her down to the drawing-room to have a “nice talk with Father and Mother”. But the little girl always found Mother reading and Father stretched out on the sofa, his handkerchief on his face, his feet on one of the best cushions, sleeping soundly and snoring.
She sat on a stool, gravely watched him until he woke and stretched, and asked the time — then looked at her.
“Don’t stare so, Kezia. You look like a little brown owl.”
One day, when she was kept indoors with a cold, her grandmother told her that father’s birthday was next week, and suggested she should make him a pin-cushion for a gift out of a beautiful piece of yellow silk.
Kezia was brought up in a strict household. But like every other family, she had a very kind and caring grandmother who encouraged her to maintain a rapport with the family. Generally, on Sundays, people do not work and it is considered to be a day off. Family members utilise this day to spend time and know more about each other. The afternoons are usually the part of the day when everyone has lunch and takes rest. Conversations become easier when people are well rested. So Kezia's grandmother urges her to go down to the drawing room on Sunday afternoons to have a real conversation with her parents. It is mandatory for children to talk to their parents at least once a week. They can share their feelings, their activities etc to parents.
Family having a conversation
When Kezia goes down to the drawing room to talk to her parents, all that she could see is her father resting on the sofa. He seems to be tired as he covers his face with a handkerchief to avoid the lighting that might disturb his sleep. He also rests his feet on a soft cushion, which shows that he cared about resting. It was important for him to get proper sleep in the afternoon. Kezia's mother also sat there immersed in reading a book. Kezia feels that it would be odd to disturb her father who is in a deep sleep and is literally snoring loudly. So she does not have any conversation with her parents. A soon as he wakes up, he asks for the time to plan his next events. He finds Kezia staring at him and repeats that she must not stare so. He makes fun of her that she looks like a little brown owl as owls have huge eyes that constantly look like they are staring.
Father sleeps on the sofa
One day Kezia falls sick as she catches a cold and stays indoors. Her grandmother gives her an idea to make a gift for her father, since his birthday was approaching the next week. Gifts can bring people closer especially when it is handmade. It is the effort that matters. Her grandmother asks her to make a pin cushion out of a beautiful piece of yellow silk. A pin cushion is generally a stuffed cushion in which needles are stuck to arrange it easily.
Words with difficult meaning:
|Stretched||To push out arms and legs in order to rest|
|Snoring||To breathe noisily when one is asleep|
|Rapport||A friendly relationship|
|Pin-cushion||A cushion in which pins are stuck|
National Council of Educational Research and Training (2006). Beehive. The Little Girl - Katherine Mansfield (pp.32-35). Published at the Publication Division by the Secretary, National Council of Educational Research and Training, Sri Aurobindo Marg, New Delhi.