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Whimsical Bedtime Stories for Children of All Ages

The Wonderful Thing


Of all the activities in Kindergarten, Hannah liked 'making things' the best.

Last Tuesday, while the children were busy at the work table making boats, Hannah was making something different, something special, something that was really quite wonderful.

She started out with an empty margarine tub. All around it, on the top and bottom, inside and out, she glued several scraps of blue cloth, pieces of pink tissue paper, two tufts of white cotton wool, a handful of multi-coloured confetti, some crumpled silver foil, a few green plastic twisty things, and a generous shaking of glittery stuff.

When she decided it was finished, when it was Just Right, Hannah knew it was the most Wonderful Thing she had ever made and was very proud of herself.

She smiled.

The teacher, Miss. Jones, came over to Hannah, saw the Wonderful Thing and said; "That's lovely Hannah. What kind of a boat is it supposed to be?"

But before Hannah could explain that it wasn't a boat, it was something special, Peter John Anderson looked across the work table and said; "What a silly boat! Look at mine Miss Jones, mine has a sail!"

"Yours is a nice boat too, P.J, very good." Miss Jones said and she moved further along the work table.

Hannah frowned.

When Mother came to pick Hannah up from school, she looked at the Wonderful Thing in Hannah's hand and said; "How pretty? Did you make it all by yourself? What is it? Watch out for the cars, dear. Come along, we'll cross now."

Hannah frowned.

When they got home Hannah put the Wonderful Thing she had made on the hall table. Her big brother Matthew saw it and said; "Cool! What's that, some kind of space ship or something?" But he didn't wait for an answer, he was on his way out to play with his new basketball.

Hannah frowned.

Jemma, Hannah's older sister, said; "What do boys know, anyone can see it's a jewelry box." She picked up the Wonderful Thing and said; "It's cute, how does it open?" But when the telephone rang, Jemma put it down quickly and ran down the hall calling "I'll get it!"

Hannah frowned.

Father came home from work and when Hannah showed him what she had made he smiled and said; "Wow, that's really good. I'm not sure what it is or what it's supposed to do, but it's very good indeed. That's my girl." He kissed Hannah on the top of her head and went into the kitchen to talk with Mother.

Hannah frowned.

Later that evening Grandma stopped by for a quick cup of tea. When she saw the Wonderful Thing on the hall table she stopped and gasped; "Oh my goodness, just look at this will you! Who made this?"

Grandma bent down and looked at the Wonderful Thing from all sides. She carefully turned it around and gently touched every piece of plastic and paper and bit of cloth on it, uttering lots of "Oooos" and "Ahhhhs" while doing so.

"Hannah," she said "you made this didn't you? Now this is something very special, a work of art, a Wonderful Thing! I haven't seen one of these in years. It's different from the ones I remember but by far the most beautiful I have ever seen."

Grandma gave Hannah a hug, smiled and sighed. She said, "My, my, my" and "What a Wonderful Thing" and "You must be Very Proud". Then she stood there with her arm around Hannah and looked at the Wonderful Thing for such a long time, her tea was cold when she finally got around to drinking it.

Hannah smiled. 

The Wonderful Thing
by Judith McGrath - Copyright 1998 - All Rights Reserved

About the Author: Judith McGrath of Kalamunda, Western Australia. Judy is a free-lance journalist and reviewer on the visual arts in Australia. Her children have left the nest but her grandchildren fly in and out. She has found they, like good artists, inspire her to view the ordinary from a different perspective and gain a new appreciation for the world. Some of her stories attempt to tap into that perspective while others are just her way of saying 'Thank You'. See the Author/Illustrator Index for other stories by this fine author. Write to Judy at  
Courtesy Illustration of Grandma's House is from the A.G.Bear Series: CatTales

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