New Friends At The Picnic
Value in Focus – Being There
“Tomorrow is Friendship Day,” exclaims Rocky, excitedly. “We will celebrate it with a picnic,” says Jason.
“Where shall we go for a picnic?” questions Melissa. “Since we can’t go far on our own, let’s have our picnic at the park on Mango street,” replies Jason.
“That’s okay, I love our park,” chirps little Melissa. “We will meet in the evening to decide on the menu games etc for our picnic,” says Jennifer. “Ya let’s meet at my house,” adds Rocky.
The children disperse, going to their respective homes for lunch and their afternoon nap. In the evening, the five friends gather at Rocky’s home to plan their picnic.
“I have asked mom to bake a huge chocolate cake and she has agreed,” says Melissa. “Do you want me to get my mom’s tasty chicken cutlets?”asks Lindsay. “Sure, you must get lots. My mouth is watering already at the thought of them,” dreams Rocky.
The others start laughing.
“You have to wait for good things,” jokes Jenny. “I’ll ask mom to make vanilla cup cakes. How does that sound?” questions Rocky, with twinkling eyes. “Yummy,” chorus the others.
“We will take care of the juices and candies,” says Jason. “Good, get lots of orange juice,” says Melissa with her eyes rolling. “Sure Mel, I’ll get orange, pineapple and raspberry juice too,” replies Jason, smiling at her.
The day of the picnic dawns, nice and bright. There is excitement in the four households. Lindsay rushes to the kitchen, where her mom is busy with the cutlets.
“How are the cutlets coming mom?” she asks. “Almost done, sweetie. Just a few more to fry” smiles her mom. “Wow, can I taste one?” “Be my guest darling,” replies her mom, giving her one. “It’s superb, the best in the world,” says Lindsay, with her mouth full. “Thanks, dear,” laughs her mom.
At Melissa’s house, her mom finds her daughter very impatient indeed.
“Is the cake ready?” she asks, rushing to where her mom is checking the cake. Rocky finds the picnic hamper neatly packed. A wonderful aroma of freshly baked cupcakes is everywhere.
“Thanks, mom, you are an angel,” says Rocky, giving his mom a warm hug. “Thanks, son,” replies his mom, returning his hug. “Will you be leaving soon?” she asks. “Yes mom, I’d better be going or I’ll be late. Bye mom,” he replies.
He rushes out, the hamper swinging on his arm. “Bye son, take care,” waves his mom.
When everyone is ready, the friends walk to the park, with their picnic hampers in their hands. They spread a colourful thick rug under a large tree and settle their hampers on it.
“Shall we play badminton or ball?” asks the excited Melissa. “I’ll play with you,” says Lindsay getting up.
They start a game of badminton. The boys play ball and Jennifer curls up with a storybook. Getting tired, they sit and rest for some time and then open their hampers.
Suddenly, they hear a girl crying. “Who’s crying?” asks Melissa. They look around. The sound is coming from behind the big tree on their left. Rocky gets up to inspect and says, “Come here, Jason.”
The girls are busy putting out plates and glasses on the rug. Jason and Rocky come back with a boy and a girl about Melissa’s age, who look sad and worried.
“What happened?” asks Jennifer, going to them. “They can’t find their mom,” answers Jason. “Where is she?” asks Lindsay. “She went to get ice cream for us from the ice cream man near the park’s entrance and hasn’t come back,” answers the boy.
“She asked us to wait here and we always obey her so didn’t go looking for her,” says the girl. “That’s alright you should always obey your parents but she has to be found. By the way, how much time has passed since she left you two?” asks Jason.
“About half an hour,” answers the boy. “Alright, you can come with me and Rocky and we will find her. Your sister can wait here with these three,” says Rocky. “What’s your name?” asks Mel. “I’m Pete and this is Val,” replies the boy. “Come on, let’s go,” says Jason.
The three boys walk towards the park’s entrance and Lindsay sits Val on the rug and gives her a glass of orange juice and a cheese sandwich which Jenny had made herself as a surprise for everyone. As they near the gate, Pete shouts, “There’s mommy on that bench.”
He runs to it with the other two following. They find a lady sprawled on the bench. Her eyes are closed.
“Mommy get up, please. What happened?” questions Pete. He shakes her and calls loudly.
The lady opens her eyes suddenly saying, “What happened, why am I here?” “You came to buy ice cream for us and didn’t come back. My new friends came with me to look for you,” replies Pete. “Where is Val?” asks the woman.
“She is safe, aunty. My sister is looking after her. Are you okay?” “Yes, I guess I fainted due to weakness and tiredness but I feel fine now. Thank you so much for finding me and looking after my kids,” replies the lady.
The four of them come back to where the others are waiting for them.
“Mommy mommy, I was so worried. Are you alright?” asks Val, going to give her a hug. “I’m fine darling. Sorry to have left you alone,” her mom answers.
The three girls introduce themselves to Pete’s mom.
“Come and join us. We are having a friendship day picnic,” says Melissa, enthusiastically.
“Thank you, children, but we have eaten already,” answers Val’s mom. “You must taste a piece of this cake mom. It is yum,” says Val and Mel gave her a slice. “Pete, do have a cutlet. My mom made it,” says Lindsay, handing him one.
All of them enjoy a glass of juice and then it is time to leave.
“Will you be our friends from now on?” asks Val. “Yes, we are seven friends from today,” says Jennifer. “What about a group hug?”
The children hug each other exchanging addresses and phone numbers. As they near the gate, Pete’s mom says, “I’m treating all of you to ice cream.” “Thanks, aunty,” chorus Rocky, Jason, Jennifer, Lindsay, and Melissa.
“Thanks all of you for being there for my kids when they needed help and support. I don’t know what I would have without you. Thanks again,” says their new friends’ mom.
“You are welcome, aunty. We are glad we made new friends on friendship day,” replies Jason. “We will always be there for each other. That is what friendship is all about,” adds Jennifer.
“Bye friends, see you soon,” chorus Pete and Val, going with their mom.
The happy five return home satisfied with their adventure.
VALUE IN FOCUS: Being There
CELEBRATING FRIENDSHIP DAY – AUGUST 6th, 2017
Written By: Amita is a Story teller and a spiritual writer.
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