8. Hours later, when Grandmother had wrapped her in a shawl and rocked her in the rocking-chair, the child clung to her soft body.
“What did God make fathers for?” she sobbed.
“Here’s a clean hanky, darling. Blow your nose. Go to sleep, pet; you’ll forget all about it in the morning. I tried to explain to Father but he was too upset to listen tonight.”
But the child never forgot. Next time she saw him she quickly put both hands behind her back and a red colour flew into her cheeks.
Kezia's father had hit her with a ruler without even caring to listen to her. She lay there crying and pondering what was her mistake. She had been excited about making the gift. But it had ended up in a really difficult situation for her. As usual, her grandmother stays up consoling her. She wrapped Kezia up in a warm shawl and rocked her in the rocking-chair. Children love to rock in the chair as it easily puts their mind at ease and can help them sleep. Kezia, who is already scared and confused, holds on to her dear grandmother's soft body for support and warmth.
Kezia, who was only scared of her father's presence until a while ago, slowly starts hating him. She questions as to why God had to make a character called 'father'. She did not understand the purpose they serve. As long as she could remember, she had never received the warmth or understanding that she craved for in her father. Her grandmother consoles her by saying that she might forget about the incident after a tight night's sleep. It might not matter in the morning. She also gives her a handkerchief to wipe away her tears and blow her nose, as Kezia had been crying for a long time. Her grandmother also sadly recalls that she had tried to explain that Kezia was making a surprise for him, and it was not on purpose that she tore the papers. But when anger blinds one's eyes, it is very difficult to look for emotions and logic.
The little girl keeps crying
Although her grandmother had consoled her, saying that the incident might fade away, Kezia remembered every bit of it. It had affected her mind so much. The trauma affects the little child so much that every time she faced her father, her hands automatically tied behind her back. Her face becomes red whenever she remembers the episode of getting beaten up by her father.
Words with difficult meaning:
|Wrapped||To put a cover over|
|Clung||To hold onto|
|Rocking-chair||A chair that moves to and fro|
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.