I remember well the day when Amy waited impatiently for her friend Becky in front of the Church. Becky skipped down the steps several minutes later and came to a halt in front of Amy."What assignment did you get, Becky?" Amy asked. "I've got to give three elderly people something that will make them happy."
"The paper I drew said to send get well cards to three people in the Veterans Hospital." Becky answered. "Mrs. Henry said she would give me a list of names."
"There's three elderly families on our street, but what can I give to make them happy?" Amy said. "They all have everything they need already."
"Mrs. Jones use to live on a farm," Becky said. "Maybe you could find something that would remind her of the animals. She's always saying she misses her horses."
"I have a poster of a horse in my room," Amy said. "He's jet black with a long full mane and tail, he's standing in front of a huge white barn with a red roof. I suppose I could give it to Mrs. Jones, but I would really miss it."
"Maybe you can think of something else to give her," Becky said. "Have you thought of anything to give Mr. Edwards?"
"Do you have any of Nipsy's kittens left?" Amy asked. "You said you were giving them away."
"There's two left," Becky answered. "When we get to my house you can look at them."
"I can't wait to see them," Amy said running to the backyard where Nipsy's kittens were. "You did know Mr. Edward's cat Boots disappeared a few months ago, didn't you?"
"Yes, I did," Becky, said. "My mother said Mr. Edwards grieved for weeks wondering if Boots was all right."
"Hurry up, Becky," Amy said, picking up one of the kittens. "This is the one I want it has four white feet just like Boots."
Amy stroked the kitten's long fuzzy grayish black hair and ran her finger gently down the white star on its forehead. The white kitten with the black patch over its eye stretched its front legs and yawned. It blinked its yellowish green eyes then curled its tail across its fat little tummy and went back to sleep.
"I don't know anything I can give to Mr. and Mrs. Stuart," Amy said bewildered. "Have you ever been in their house? They've got everything."
"You'll think of something," Becky assured her. "I'll see you at school tomorrow."
Amy hopped up the walk, cuddling the kitten in her arms.
"Mom," Amy yelled, dashing into the house. "I have to think of something to give Mr. and Mrs. Stuart that will make them happy."
"Mrs. Henry usually asks each child to do the projects on their own, doesn't she?" Amy's mother quizzed. "You'll come up with something."
"That's what Becky said," Amy grumbled. "How can I give them anything when they've got so much already?"
Amy walked across the street bewildered, she rang the doorbell, still positive she wouldn't see anything to give her an idea what to give the Stuarts.
Mrs. Stuart came to the door and invited Amy in. "Would you like some cookies and milk?" Mrs. Stuart asked. "I just baked a fresh batch of chocolate chips."
"No, thanks," Amy answered; looking around the room trying to think of something she could give them. She talked to the Stuart's over an hour, but still had no idea what she could give to make them happy.
Amy raced into the house, took the poster from the wall and carefully rolled it up. She desperately wanted to make Mrs. Jones happy, so she decided to part with her favorite poster.
"Mom," Any shouted. "I'm going to take my horse poster to Mrs. Jones. "I know it'll make her happy."
Amy ran up the sidewalk to Mrs. Jones's small cobble stone house. She was out of breath when she knocked on the door. She handed the poster to Mrs. Jones the minute she opened the door.
"I don't know how to thank you, Amy," Mrs. Jones said, tears coming to her pale blue eyes. "It's just like seeing the farm again."
"You're welcome, Mrs. Jones," Amy said. "I thought the poster would make you happy."
Amy rushed back to her house; she grabbed one of her yellow ribbons and tied it loosely around the kitten's neck.
"I'll be back in a minute, Mom," Amy yelled. "I'm going to make Mr. Edwards happy."
Amy went next door to Mr. Edward's house; she was smiling when she gave him the kitten.
"Thank you, Amy," Mr. Edwards said, gently taking the kitten. "How did you know I missed Boots so much?"
"I knew you really loved Boots," Amy answered. "I just knew the kitten would make you happy."
"Hello Amy", Mrs. Stuart called from her front porch as Amy ran up the sidewalk. "Why don't you come in for awhile? I don't know how long it's been since the Mister and I have enjoyed company more. We really appreciate you stopping by yesterday. We miss having children in the house."
I've already given them a gift," Amy said to herself. "I gave them my time and I made them happy."
"I better go home and help Mom," Amy said, after she talked to the Stuarts awhile. "She's baking a cake for the bake sale tomorrow."
"You knew all the time what Mr. and Mrs. Stuart needed, didn't you, Mom?" Amy said, going into the kitchen. "I never once thought about time making someone happy."
"I'm proud of you, Amy," her mother said. "Your Dad will be too when he gets back from his business trip."
"I really didn't want to part with my horse poster, but when I saw how happy it made Mrs. Jones, I was glad that I did," Amy said. "It made me feel good being able to complete the project on my own."
It still amazes me to this day, how this little girl figured out on her own, what would make someone happy.
Copyright © 1998 Jo Ann Lovelace. All Rights Reserved.