Tanya’s Empty Basket

by Penny Lane

Tanya’s skirt fluttered with the breeze as she skipped past Mrs. Miller’s house.

“What do you have in the basket, Tanya?” asked Mrs. Miller.

Tanya stopped skipping to answer. “I filled this basket with flowers, and blackberries, and apples for my mother,” she said, showing her collection. “We had a fight this morning. I want to tell her I’m sorry.”

“Your mother will be lucky to have those beautiful wild flowers on her table this evening. I was going to go to the meadow and pick flowers today,” said Mrs. Miller, holding up a bandaged foot.

“What’d you do?” asked Tanya.

“It’s just a sprain,” said Mrs. Miller. “But I guess there won’t be any flowers on our table tonight.”

Tanya took a long sniff of the beautiful wild flowers and handed them to Mrs. Miller. “Mom will be happy with the berries and the apples,” she said.

Mrs. Miller smiled and took the flowers, “Oh thank-you so much Tanya,” she said. “You are very sweet.”

Skipping past Laura’s house, Tanya heard someone crying. She stopped and saw Laura sitting in the yard. “What’s wrong?” Tanya asked.

“The birds ate the berries I picked for my mother,” she said, pointing to an empty basket. “There will be no pie on our table tonight,” she said.

“I have enough berries for a pie,” said Tanya. Eating one last berry, she put the rest into Laura’s basket.

“Thank-you, Tanya,” said Laura. “These are wonderful berries. My mother will be so happy!”

Tanya looked at the apples in the basket. I hope my mother is happy, she thought.

Tanya was almost home when she saw Dad and Uncle Henry working in the field.

“What juicy looking apples you’ve got in that basket,” said Uncle Henry.

“Just what we need to get us through this last hour of work,” said Dad.

Tanya polished the apples on her apron and gave them to her father. “There should be just enough for each of the men in the field,” she said.

“Thank-you, Tanya,” said Uncle Henry, already crunching on his juicy apple. “You have a heart of gold.”

Tanya sat down on the front porch of her home. She could hear her mother working in the kitchen. She could smell her favorite dinner of fried chicken cooking. She stared into the empty basket. Soon Mom will call me in to help set the table for dinner, she thought. I don’t have time to gather any more beautiful wild flowers, wonderful blackberries, or juicy apples. I’ll have to think of something else to put in the basket...

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