Guests at Dinner

While her parents prepared the house and a rich dinner for some guests from out of town, a child ran out into the fields to play. As she left the house, her parents warned her that she didn’t have much time and needed to be clean and dressed nicely for the occasion.

When her parents called her home, she had grass-stained knees, sand and dirt in her hair and on her face and hands, and mud on her shoes.

Directed to wash up, the girl rubbed her hands under some running water, rushed to the dinner table, and sat down. Her mother shook her head and pointed toward the bathroom.

The girl washed her hands again—for real this time!—and rubbed the dirt out of her hair and off her face. Once again, she presented herself at the table. Once again, she received a pointed look from Mom. Then the girl realized that Mom wore a dress and had done her hair; her favorite necklace and earring set made her eyes sparkle. Dad came into the dining room wearing a suit. As the girl left the table, she noticed how clean the house looked.

As she went into the hallway, the guests arrived. They were dressed in their Sunday best as well. The girl ran faster, suddenly wanting to stay out of sight. She drew herself a bath, hurriedly but thoroughly scrubbed the grass stains from her knees, cleaned her face, and dressed in fresh clothes.

Upon her return to the table, Mom and Dad beamed and complimented her on doing so well cleaning up and looking so nice. They happily introduced her to their guests, who smiled at her and echoed her parents’ compliments. Pleased and feeling good, she smiled back.

Photo by Helena Lopes on

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