Friday, April 3, 2015

What happened to Mom’s Gift?

Rida and Hiba were very excited. It was their mother’s birthday on Monday and they had chosen a perfect gift for her.

Their mother loved gardening so the twins decided to buy a beautiful potted plant for her from a plants' nursery. It had beautiful yellow flowers that were tinged with pink
and very bright green leaves. They were sure their mother would love it.

“Daddy, can we please buy this one?” they implored Mr. Nadeem.

“Ok! Anything you say,” said their father. “But it will be your responsibility to keep it safe and well hidden till Monday.”

The twins whooped in delight. As the nursery owner handed them the pot, Mr. Nadeem asked nervously, “Er, how are we supposed to take care of it?”

The man grinned, recognizing the family. “Your missus will know what to do.”

On their way home, they bought some pretty wrapping sheets, ribbons and a birthday card. After making sure that their mother was busy in the kitchen, they quickly transported the plant to their room and hid it behind the curtain. At night, they wrapped the potted plant in the crinkly cellophane sheets and covered it completely so that not even the pot showed.

They wondered where they could hide it so that their mother did not discover it before Monday.

“I know. Let’s hide it the store cupboard. We can put it behind the old cartons. I am sure mother will not see it there.” Hiba suggested.

So very quietly, the two young girls carried the plant to the store cupboard and hid it well. Nobody thought of watering the plant. They just treated it like any another gift package.

They quietly locked the door and put the key back, feeling very pleased with themselves.

Next day they were nervous in school. “What if mother goes to the store-room? What if she finds it?” As they were twins, they were in the same class. They kept whispering to each other until their class teacher made them sit apart.

When the school was over, they rushed home and had a sigh of relief when they found that their secret had not been discovered.

The twins longed for Monday to come. On Sunday night, they stayed up late and waited for their mother to go to bed first. As soon as the coast was clear, they quietly opened the store-room and dragged the plant outside. They placed it on the plastic mat on the dining table where their mother was sure to see it first thing in the morning. They wound the red ribbon around it and placed the card with birthday wishes.

Next morning, the twins got up early. Shouting “Happy Birthday, Mother”, they went to the dining room, where their mother was gazing at their big present in astonishment.

“Please open it quickly, Mother” said the small girls, hopping in excitement.
Mother unwrapped the cellophane sheets carefully. The girls waited for her to admire the beauty of their potted plant but to their horror, all the flowers had wilted and the glossy leaves were withered and brown.

What had happened to their plant??

Hiba burst into tears. “Mother, this was not what we bought for you. The flowers were pink and yellow and the leaves were bright and green.”

Their mother took them in her arms. “My dear, plants need plenty of sunlight and air to grow and remain healthy. How could they survive if you wrap them in sheets and let them have no air and water?”

“We squashed it in the dark store room for three whole days,” wailed Rida.

“And forgot to water it too,” cried Hiba.

They all looked at the drooping little plant and felt very sorry. The girls were disappointed that their mother’s gift was spoiled but she hugged them both all the same. She was sure that she could revive the plant with proper care and some trimming.

The girls got ready for school. They had their science class first. The teacher looked around at young eager faces and asked, “Can anyone tell me what plants need to grow well?”

Many hands shot up but it was Rida who answered, “Plants need soil, air and plenty of sunlight…

“And just the right amount of water to grow well,” added Hiba with a mischievous smile.

They both laughed and so did the teacher and the whole class when they learnt what had happened to their mother’s potted plant over the weekend.

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