Rays of golden sunlight streamed in through the openings in the curtained windows concealing the world outside the walls and a number of half-opened glass panes, illuminating the central room of the Anderson house which served simultaneously as the drawing and dining room. Ancient oak trees towered in front of the building, along with the lush greenery surrounding the property. The greenery gleamed brightly as yellow beams of sunlight shone upon them, giving the place a picturesque look. The sky was a lovely shade of azure. There was nothing of note in the sky except the blazing sun and some thin wispy milky-white stripes of clouds. It was a majestic sight outside. Simply, a brilliant summer morning it was.
He was relaxing on his lounge chair, sipping his first cup of refreshing green tea in the fine morning. He held a newspaper in his hands and was intently reading its contents, particularly those concerning the political affairs of the country. There was a grim expression on his face as he read. He became engrossed in performing the pleasurable activity to the extent that he got completely unaware of things happening around him.
"Papa! Papa!" Sprite squeaked as she rushed into the room overexcitedly, interrupting his morning ritual.
He looked up at her, seemingly annoyed. "Sprite, I was reading... and how come you are up so early?" he spoke.
"I have something very important to say to you. I have a request." Sprite answered.
"What is it, child?" he muttered irritably.
"Papa, I want to go to school. All the other children go to school. They say school is fun! There are swings, slides, a wonderful playground, and..." she paused momentarily and then went on— "I want to go to school, papa. Please papa, can I go? Pretty please?" Sprite implored earnestly.
"Sprite, darling, you are still too young to go to school. Wait a year or two longer. You will go to school quite soon. So, this is settled," Sprite's father asserted firmly. "And now let me read my newspaper in peace." With that, he returned to his reading, considering the matter at an end.
"No, papa. Now! I want to go to school now!" protested Sprite. "I will do everything you tell me to. I will behave myself so you and mommy don't have to tell me off all the time. I will be a good girl. I will not play pranks. I will wake up early in the morning to catch the yellow school bus. I will..."
"Slow down, dear," the kindly voice of her mother interrupted. "What's all this fuss about?" she asked as she placed the tray she was carrying on the dining table. "Look what I have got," she said to Sprite, pointing at the tray which contained a plate of chocolate chip cookies and a glass of water on it. The cookies were extremely appetising — one could conclude from the smell that was wafting from the tray. A delicious food ought to smell delicious as well.
"Yummy, cookies!" Sprite sniffed the delicious aroma and ran fast to her mother to feast on the delightful treat made especially for her.
"Here you go," her mother said as she handed Sprite a handful of the scrumptious cookies. Sprite frowned in disappointment. "I thought I was getting the whole thing," she said a little sulkily.
"Don't be greedy, Sprite." Her mother chided. "You know the consequences. Remember the story of the greedy dog I read to you last night? Good girls and boys share."
"Oh, yes, I remember," Sprite said. "The dog looks in the water and thinks that there is another dog with meat. He wants to get more and drops his own meat into the water. He's such a silly dog, isn't he, mummy?"
"That's the moral of the story, Sprite. Would you want to be blinded by greed?" her mother asked, her voice serious.
"No, mummy, I would not. I understand. I will not be greedy. I will share the cookies with you and papa."
"Now, that's my girl! But, you don't have to share the cookies. They are all yours."
"But, you just said..."
"I was teaching you a lesson. You can eat the cookies all by yourself," Sprite's mother replied with a fond smile at her daughter.
Sprite, nestling cozily into a corner of a sofa, started munching the crunchy cookies, gulping rich brown chocolate that was inside the cookies. She could not contain herself from exclaiming how tasty the cookies were. "Mum... They're...yumm..." she mumbled in a muffled voice while eating the cookies. She was having such a delightful time that she forgot her manners for a few moments. Crumbs of cookies began to fall from her mouth. Her auburn curls tumbled about her face, bothering her greatly. She released an exasperated groan and tried to push the stray curls aside, but they kept falling on her face. A nuisance encountered by every girl having unreasonably long hair to tend to.
"Now, Sprite, mind your manners." her mother rebuked her, with disapproval written all over her face. "You are gobbling up your food again. Slow down; take more time, and remember to chew the food. Properly." she added— emphasising the last word — as she passed Sprite the glass of water.
Sprite had been enjoying the cookies so much that she almost forgot what she had been trying to do when her mother came into the room. She finished the last cookie and once again attempted to persuade her parents to allow her to go to school.
"Sprite, you are too young to go to school," her mother said, upon learning her plea.
"I couldn't agree more, sweetheart," her dear husband added, nodding his head unanimously.
Sprite sighed in frustration. What could she do to change her parents' minds?
To Be Continued...