Chapter 3: ‘Laura feels blessed being small’

“Do you know that when you were born, you’re too small, that the nurses said you almost needed help,” Mama said one day. “Really? what kind of help, mama?” Laura asked curiously. “Well, they have this nutritious food for you.” Oh, Laura nodded. ‘am I still too small?’ she thought and thought so hard that day.

The next day at school, when the bell for recess rang, Laura ran with the others to the canteen. That day, she and her siblings had no time to pack lunch, so they had to use their savings to buy something to eat for the day. Papa and Mama gave each of them 0.20 everyday. (Well, I tell you, it was enough for those days). When Laura saw the long queue at the small wooden canteen, she sighed sadly. Maybe when she finally made to the front, there would be no more fried mee in the plastic. Maybe, all left were the biscuits and ice-poly. ‘well, it’s better than nothing.’ Laura comforted herself. Now, Laura realized that she was indeed the smallest among all the pupils who were queuing. Even the girl in front of her could be her protection if they are playing hide-and-seek. Laura looked around if Elena and Phillip might be in the line. If they were queuing in front of her, maybe she could ask for their help to buy the fried mee.  But she couldn’t see them anywhere. ‘Maybe they are saving their money today.’ She thought. ‘a week saving will be 1.00’ Laura was thinking of the box filled with coins at their room and wondered how much they have saved for the past few days.

“Hey, you, little girl.” Suddenly, she heard a man’s voice. It was the school’s gardener. He was inside the small canteen, helping the owner selling the food. Actually, the owner is Stella’s aunt. And Stella was lending her hands, inside too. Laura hesitated for a while, but the gardener who always wear blue shirt, was looking directly at her. Laura answered, “Yes?” “Come here.” He said. Laura, slowly, stepped out from the line, and went to Mr. Gardener. “What do you want to buy?” he asked again. “erm..mee..” Laura answered in a shy way. “How many?” “Just one.” Laura thought of her 0.20 coin that of course, will only get one fried mee in plastic. “here you are.” Mr.gardener handed her what she wanted. “I see that you were the last one in the line.” He added. “the recess is almost over. And I think you might not make it. You’re too small. I think you needed the mee most” he smiled. “Thank you very much, sir.” Laura was so grateful.

Soon, before going home, all the pupils were given Milk sponsored by the school. That day was Monday, so, Laura and all pupils will be receiving what they call as ‘White Milk.’ Laura memorized the schedule clearly. Every Wednesday, they will receive Strawberry Milk. However, everyone’s favourite is on Friday. The Chocolate Milk. Laura, too, always look forward to Fridays.

On their way home, out of nowhere, they heard the ringing sound of Mr. Ice-cream on his motorcycle. All the pupils ran to the man they called Mr. Ice-cream. Usually, this man will ride his bike from village to another village selling his Ice-cream. Laura and her siblings bought from him once. Laura loves Ice-cream, but right now, she didn’t have any coins left to buy. Almost everyone was buying ice-cream with the requested flavors, as Laura looked, longing to taste the melting colourful green, pink, yellow and white ice-cream.

Suddenly, Laura had a bright idea. At least, she thought it was. When all the others, got their ice-cream, slowly, Laura walked closer to Mr. Ice-cream and tried to negotiate. “Excuse me, sir. Will you give me an ice-cream in exchange for this Milk?” Laura showed the school-sponsored-milk that she was holding. Mr. Ice-cream was speechless for like, a few seconds. Then, he smiled and answered. “it’s ok, little girl.” Then, he lowered his voice. “I’ll give you one for free. But don’t tell the others, ok…and as for the milk..You may keep it.” He said. Laura was shocked. Not only she can get a free ice-cream, she also get to keep the milk. “ are so kind, sir. Thank you, so much.” Laura said as she received the ‘priceless’ Ice-cream.

‘What’s going on today?’ she asked herself on her way home, while enjoying the vanilla flavor ice-cream. First, Mr.Gardener and then, Mr.Ice-cream. Both had called her, little girl. Then, Laura smiled at this thought. ‘Well, who would have thought that being little can be so blissful.’

And that night, before going to bed, she talked to God. ‘Oh, Thank You, Lord Jesus for making me small. Amen.’

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