Yesterday's Magazette

7 – The Easter Box

The Easter Box

By Sheron Donahue

In a small western suburb of Chicago, in April, 1943, I turned four a month earlier and sat on the living room floor playing with a birthday gift—paper dolls. The open front door let in a warm breeze through the screen. Suddenly, I heard a knock at the door.

Knowing I needed permission to answer it, I darted to the back laundry room where Mom stood hanging wet sheets. “Mom, Mom!” I yelled. “Someone’s at the door. Can I get it?”

Speaking through clothespins held snugly in her mouth, she mumbled, “All right, but be careful.”

I ran through the house, flung open the screen and darted outside. No one was in sight, but I spied a box on the front steps with a crinkled yellow bow and my name scribbled in big black letters on top. I reached down and grabbed the small, but heavy, box. Holding on for dear life, I ran lickety-split through the house to the back room. “Mom, it’s for me,” I shouted. “Can I open it, please, please?”

Mom frowYM:Donahue:Easterned as she looked up from the washboard, where she stood bent over rubbing the dirt out of the sudsy shirt. Finally, she nodded approvingly as she stood up straight, then leaned back down and doused the shirt in a tub of warm water. I didn’t need any more encouragement than that.

I sat down right there on the splintery wooden floor, ripped off the bow and tore open the box. I imagined the Easter Bunny had delivered an early gift of candy or toys and couldn‘t wait to see what the box contained.

But my delight turned to dread. “A box of rocks!” I screamed. “Who would be so mean?” Tears rolled down my face and onto the rocks.

Mother dropped the wet shirt she was wringing out and ran to my side. Before she could comfort me, I heard laughter coming from the front lawn and jumped to my feet, darting through the house.

I peered out the front screen door while wiping my tear-stained face on my sleeve. There stood the boy who lived just down the street. Seeing me, the teenager fell to the ground laughing and gasping for air. His friend stood at a distance holding his hand over his mouth squelching giggles.

“Did you like my gift?” the bully choked out as I dashed out the door.

I thought of running back inside, slamming the door in his face and never speaking to the bully again. Instead, I blurted out, “No, David! I did not like your box of rocks. You are a very mean boy.”

Recalling what Mom always said, it’s the thought that counts, I added in a high-pitched voice, “But thanks for going to all that trouble, just for me.” Then, I turned on my heels, scurried inside and slammed the door. I ran to the comfort of my mother’s waiting arms, never again to be that naïve child.

Today, I remain wary of strangers bearing gifts.

That, I must admit, I learned from the neighborhood bully so many years ago.

Bio: Sheron has writing credits in, Working Writer, Yesterday’s Magazette, Complete Woman, Chicago Connections, Contact, Singles, Woman Magazine, P.W.P. Single Parent, Solo, Real Estate Today and Coldwell Banker Regional. This story will be part of her upcoming book, “God Forbid Anyone I Know Should Read This!”

Vol. 37 No. 1 – Yesterday’s Magazette – Spring- 2010


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