Thursday, December 18, 2014

The Day the Globe Dropped

Six-year old Margot sat primly  on the old horsehair sofa, her black patent Mary Janes gleaming, her legs encased in white cotton hose straight out in front.  On her lap, a rather worn copy of the “Bee” book.  It was quiet, much too quiet to her way of thinking, but Grammy told her to sit quietly.  Margot languidly turned a page, and as she did, her gaze, unbidden, drifted to the Christmas tree in the opposite corner of the room.  Her eyes focused on The Ornament.  As many times as she has seen it, The Ornament always took her breath away.  She gasped, her chin dropped just a bit, and were you to see her, you would know she was awe-stricken.

Grammy had told Margot just how very special this ornament was to her.  It was not simply the amazing red color—“cranberry”—Grammy said, but it was the story behind the bauble that made it special.  Grammy had told Margot,
“Your Grandfather and I, of course he wasn’t your grandfather yet, your Grandpa and I had been married only six months when our first Christmas together rolled around.  I had scrimped and saved my pennies from the egg money best I could, and was able finally to buy him a wonderful Case pocket knife.  He carried that knife in his left-hand trouser pocket every day for the rest of his life.  I wish you could have known your Grandpa.  Anyway, Christmas morning came, and he handed me the most precious little box, so carefully wrapped in blue paper by his own rough, working hands, a little green and yellow ribbon tied into a bow, the best he could manage.  And guess what was inside the box!  Of course.  It was The Ornament.  Except for my wedding ring, it was the very first gift he had ever given me, and he had chosen it himself.  I cried.  I did.  It was so beautiful, sparkling there as it dangled from my fingers, and of course I rushed immediately to our little tree and placed it there in the most prominent place.  It has never missed a Christmas in forty-two years, filling its place on the tree.  Oh, I wish you had known your grandpa.  He left me much too soon, and I so hate being alone."
"But Grammy," Margot interjected, "you have me.  And Mommy and Daddy, and Uncle Marvin and Aunt Teen."

"Yes, Dear, I have you; and I love you all very much.  But someday you may understand just how much I miss your Grandfather."

Now Grandmother is upstairs finishing her work in the bedrooms, because tonight Mommy and Daddy will arrive and they will be bringing Uncle Marv and Aunt Teen, Margot thought.  Oh, I do love Aunt Teen, and Uncle is so much fun with his magic tricks and funny stories.  But The Ornament is calling to Margot.  It is only six steps over there, and Grammy is upstairs.

Margot lays her book on the arm of the settee and carefully slides from her seat, the little blue frock swirling around her knees as she turns toward the tree.  And takes those six steps.  Fixated on The Ornament, she studies its surface carefully, noting what she already knows.  The lower portion of the globe tapers almost to a point, and on this side is molded into the body the most gorgeous star!

Margot’s fingers reach toward the glass, touch it lightly, grasp it carefully, turn it gently; and as it turns, the child sees her face in the globe, distorted into an elfin globe itself, looking back at her.  Oh!  Margot lifts The Ornament from the branch on which it is hanging, freeing its thread from the needles, and lowers it to her eye-level.  As she turns the globe slowly one way then the other, the reflection of her face grows longer, then shorter, rounder, thinner, as the tip is turned toward her chin.  Margot’s heart is pounding so hard that she thinks the Little Drummer Boy has gotten into her head!

And The Ornament slips from her grasp. . .

(To be continued.)

8 comments:

Vee said...

Margot should maybe have paid more attention to the intent of the "Bee" book.

Those precious ornaments are temptations. I don't recall breaking a glass ornament until, as an adult, I failed to secure one on a branch.

I hope Margot's Grandma is more forgiving than are many adults who want children to behave perfectly.

vanilla said...

Vee, we shall see: Grandma has yet to discover her loss.

Grace said...

Just because it slipped from her grasp doesn't mean it is broken...I may not read the next episode 'cause I'm already a little grump.

vanilla said...

Grace, I surely don't want to make things worse for you. Always hoping to make things better.

Secondary Roads said...

A cliff hanger. Almost like those cowboy serials they played on Saturdays at the theater in the little town where I grew up.

vanilla said...

Chuck, teaser, I believe it is called.

Sharkbytes said...

Yup. Most of my precious ones are gone. Those baubles... of all kinds... will get us.

vanilla said...

Sharkey, the allure of the shiny, and how they vanish!