By Pravin Trivedi
She loved to be told stories, especially at bedtime. Her favorites stories were the ones in which she was the star. The story did not have to be anything special except that she had to be in it.
“Once a time,” he started to make up a story for her one day.
“NO, no, no,” she said, “you have to start the story the right way.”
“And so how should it start?” Dad acted as if he had forgotten.
“’Once UPON a time’, that is how you begin a story,” she reminded him.
“Oh, I see. Well here goes. Once upon a time,” he tried to restart.
DING DONG was the noise outside.
“The ice cream van is here”, she said and was out of the room in a jiffy.
The ice cream guy knew where the kids lived as he slowly made his way down the street.
“Mom can I have a quarter please?” the little girl asked her mother.
“No, I don’t have one,” said her mother.
“I have one,” said Dada, her grandfather, who was standing by. She ran to him and he held a quarter in his hand. She jumped, grabbed the quarter, and ran to the cart still four houses away.
“You spoil them. Ice cream is not good for them,” she said.
“It is only once in a while,” said the grandfather, “besides there is nothing else I give them.”
‘Why is your mom so worried. It is only a quarter and it is so hot today,” the other children muttered.
The ding dong cart came around the corner and down the street, making a beeline to the siblings who had run out on the hot street without their shoes.
“Would you like sprinkles with that?” he said.
“Sure,” she said without thinking.
“That will be an extra nickel,” said the ice cream man holding on to her ice cream cone. She had forgotten about that extra bit and she did not want to ask mom. However, as she turned around dejected, she saw grandpa behind her.
He had his hands in his pocket and pulled out a bunch of change. She took a nickel and ran to get her ice cream.
What would little girls do without grandpas?And that is how the summer went.