The Special Surprise

painting from Pinterest

“Trudy, we are never going to make it home, with you wanting me to stop all the time, to feed the swans.”

Trudy acted like she hadn’t heard and Mary rolled her eyes. Why had Mama made her bring Trudy along. It was taking them twice as long to get home. Mary thought the swans were pretty, but she wasn’t fascinated with them, like Trudy. She had her favorite animals, and she was ready to get back home to them.

They did have a nice picnic on the water though, it would have been lonely to have a picnic all by herself, Mary admitted. It was nice to be away from home for a little. It was peaceful out on the water, unlike home.

Mama had come home a month ago with a baby brother for Trudy and Mary. At first Mary was in awe of him, he was so tiny and cute, but when he started wailing every night at 3am, she covered her ears and her awe started to die down a bit.

How could such a little thing make so much noise? She shared a room with Trudy and Trudy slept through his cries, but Mary never did. Mary woke up Trudy one night, for if she had to be up, she thought it only fair that her sister be awake too. Her Mom didn’t quite see it that way though, when Trudy complained at breakfast the next morning about being so tired. Mary got in trouble, but she was laughing inside when Trudy’s head fell into her cereal bowl because of how sleepy she was.

That laughter was short lived though, for she got in trouble later in the day, for not watching Trudy. Her Mama was trying to put her baby brother down for a nap and Mary was supposed to watch her sister. She mumbled “yes” to her Mama as she left the room and if Trudy would have just kept playing with her dolly in the playroom, all would have been well!

Mary had been reading a book and she was at the most exciting part when Trudy decided to leave the room. Mary figured she could finish the chapter before going and checking on her, but that was a big mistake! Trudy had wondered into the kitchen and got into the cookie jar. Not only did she eat all the cookies that had been left, but she had knocked down Mama’s mug rack, breaking all the mugs, while trying to reach the cookie jar! Trudy did get into trouble too, but unfortunately so did Mary.

Then later that night, Mary had snapped at Trudy and she got yelled at by her Mom for being contrary. Mary went to bed mad and was really glad to to out on the water today, but of course she had to bring Trudy along! Being a big sister could be such a bother!

Finally the swans swam away and Mary rowed them back home. When they docked Mama was standing there waiting for them. She was smiling, which made Mary happy. The mishaps from yesterday had apparently been forgotten.

“Did you girls have a nice time?”

Trudy ran to her Mama giving her a hug. “I got to feed the swans! They loved me.” Her Mama smiled and ran her hand through Trudy’s hair.

“How about you Mary?”

“We had a nice picnic, but I am ready to find Marshmallow and give her a hug.”

“Well you can go spend a little time with Marshmallow and then I have a surprise for you!” Mama said with a bright smile.

Mary was excited, she wondered what it could be! She ran to the pasture to call out to Marshmallow. She hugged her around the neck as she fed her with a bottle. Marshmallow was newest calf that they had. She had just been born a week ago and Mary loved it. Once Marshmallow was finished with the bottle, Mary gave it another hug and then ran to the house to find Mama.

When she got inside her baby brother was swinging in the little swing and he smiled at Mary. He did have a really cute smile thought Mary. She went over to him and he grabbed her finger, making Mary laugh. He wasn’t that bad, when he wasn’t crying!

Mama came over to Mary, putting her arm around her shoulder. “I know its been a little rough lately, with your little brother taking so much of my attention. You have been a great help with your little sister. So how about a special treat tonight. Would you like to go shopping at your favorite toy store and then perhaps we could go out for ice cream?” Mama said with a wink.

“Yes, oh yes!” Mary said, throwing her arms around Mama in a tight hug. I am going to go put on my purtiest dress!” she said, as she ran to her room. Her heart was full of smiles, wondering if the special doll house that she had seen last time they were out would still be there. Then she thought of the banana split that she wanted, with extra cherries and pretty sprinkles on top! YUM! Tonight would be so much fun!

Smiles from the Heart


Cheri was in deep concentration. She had been working on this painting for awhile and she wanted it as close to perfect as she could get it! Time was slipping away and she wanted to finish it tonight. It had to be ready for tomorrow. She couldn’t wait to see his expression when he saw it.

Her older sister was always baking treats for her beau, for she said that food was a way to a man’s heart, but Cheri wasn’t very good at baking yet. The other week she had tried making some fudge brownies. They looked good when she took them out of the pan, but … they never came out of the pan! She turned the pan completely over and it was like they were glued to the bottom. Hard as rock! Her brother Christopher laughed and laughed, until she bopped him over the head with the pan.

Cheri dipped her paintbrush in the golden yellow paint. After that she used the azure blue. Stood back, taking a look and felt proud. Just needed a little more emphasis with some deeper colors and she would be finished. Oh, how she hoped he liked it!

As her hand moved in rhythmic motion with the brush she thought of the first time she had seen Peter. He was the new boy in class and Cheri was happy when the teacher told him to sit at the desk next to hers. His wavy blonde hair covered his one eye slightly. He brushed it out of the way as Cheri said “HI” and he gave her a hesitant smile. At recess he was sitting under the tree while the other boys played baseball. Cheri walked over to him, as her friends giggled at her.

Conversation was awkward at first, but then he started talking more, and sharing with Cheri about where he used to live. Suddenly a ball had come flying their direction and Peter caught it. The boys cheered and asked him to come play. He looked at Cheri and paused for a moment then had told them not today. The other boys gave him a confused look as to why he would prefer sitting under a tree with a girl, but they quickly went back to playing. Cheri’s heart warmed and from that moment on they were friends.

Today at school he had given her a really pretty violet bow for her hair. She was planning on wearing it tomorrow and she wanted to give him this painting. She had decided to paint a picture of Georgie for him, his pet gecko that he always talked about.

Cheri would have preferred a fluffy kitten, but boys were strange, and liked weird looking things.

She made the final stroke and smiled, finished at last. Cheri thought of how she prefer kittens, and she still thought the gecko looked a little strange, but she liked the cute smile that she had painted on him.

“Cheri! Time for supper!” her Mama called.

“Coming Mama!” She put down her brush and headed in. Cheri thought of the secret she had that no one knew. Under the tree yesterday, at recess, Cheri had told Peter that he was cute. He blushed, and didn’t say much, but then today he gave her the pretty violet bow. When Cheri told him thanks, he blushed again as he told her that he thought that she was the cutest girl in school!

Cheri couldn’t stop smiling, she guessed that there was more than one way to a guy’s heart, besides food! What did her big sister know!