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Picture Book
Mothers Day

Wee Annie couldnít wait for Sunday to come. It was going to be Motherís Day and that meant that she, her mum and gran would not have to do any work. Motherís Day was a day for the women of the house to rest and enjoy being waited on hand and foot.

Annie sat outside in the grass playing with her dog, Snowflake. Her fur was as white as fresh fallen snow. "You know what Iím going to do on Motherís Day?" she asked Snowflake. Answering herself, "Iím going to stay in bed all morning and ask Dad to bring me some toast, and a poached egg, and a big glass of orange juice. After that Iíll have him make my bed, no wrinkles allowed, and hang up all my clothes, and clean up all my toys." The dog looked at her and wagged her tail. "After I get dressed Iím going to go into the hills and pick a bunch of daisies for Mum and then ask Dad to make us some fat, juicy sausages for lunch. Grandpa can help make some apple dumplings for us or maybe an orange tart. I know Mum likes orange tarts. After lunch I want to go outside and have Dad push me on the swing and then he and Grandpa can tell me stories all afternoon. How does that sound?" Snowflake barked two yaps. She petted her head and got up. "Only two more days," she smiled and ran into the house.

Those two days went by quickly. Soon it was Sunday morning. Mum, Gran, and Annie slept in. Annie was awake, but could hear Dad and Grandpa sweeping and cleaning the house. Her dad carried in some wood and built a big fire in the fireplace so it would be warm when the women got up. As Annie lay in her bed she could hear noise in the kitchen. She stretched and yawned and sat up just as her dad brought a tray in for her. "Breakfast in bed, Annie," he said, "just as you ordered for Motherís Day. Since when did you get to be my mother anyway, lassie?" he smiled, rubbing the top of her golden-haired head.

"Thatís funny, Dad. You know us girls all get spoiled and pampered today. Itís tradition," Annie laughed. She looked at her tray. "Whereís my orange juice?" There was some toast and a poached egg in a little cup shaped like a chicken. It was white with a red beak and comb.

"Be right back," he said and soon came back with a glass of orange juice for her. "Now, if you are finished, I have to pamper your mum and gran now."

Annie gobbled down her breakfast, set the tray to the side and lay back down. After a while her dad came back into the room. "Time to get up, Annie. If you want your bed made, your clothes hung up and your toys cleaned up, then youíd better scoot," he said.

Annie, not wanting to miss out on having a clean room, jumped up, grabbed some clean clothes and ran down the hall to the bathroom. Snowball was still sleeping in front of the fire. When Annie went into the living room, she noticed how warm it was and was happy for that. She walked past her mumís room. She was in bed sleeping, so was her gran. Annie went outside quietly, being sure not to slam the door. Grandpa was out there, sweeping the back porch. He didnít look very happy. "Good morning, Grandpa. Happy Motherís Day," she said sweetly.

He scowled at her. "Whatís so happy about today? Iím stuck doing all the work!"

Annie laughed and ran away. Just then Snowflake came running out through the doggie door. She barked and chased her until she caught up with her. "Hi there, Snowflake. Are you going to enjoy today too? Letís go and chase some butterflies," she giggled and ran into the hills.

Soon they came to a field of daisies. They were white with small buttery yellow centers and long olive green stems and leaves. "Arenít they beautiful," Annie said. She ran through them. Bees and butterflies fluttered and buzzed around her. Snowflake chased a big black and yellow butterfly, trying to catch it, but not succeeding.

Annie bent down and picked a dozen daisies for her mum. She set them down in a pile and picked a dozen more to make a chain for her head. She strung each stem through the other until a nice chain had been made. She then slipped it on her head. She was going to pick some for Gran, but she didnít like flowers that much. She picked up the pile for her mum and ran home, Snowflake following.

Her mum was up now, so was Gran. "Happy Motherís Day," Annie said, handing her mum the daisies.

"Thank you, lassie," she said to her daughter. "I like the daisy chain on your head."

Gran was sitting in a chair knitting an Arran jumper. "Do you like my daisy chain too, Gran?" Annie asked. "Whoís that for?" Knitting needles clanked against each other.

Gran answered, "Itís for your mum. Isnít it lovely?" she said, showing Annie the sleeve that she was working on. " I love your daisy chain. Reminds me of when I was a wee lass. I used to do the same thing." She hugged Annie tightly.

"Itís just beautiful jumper, Gran," Annie said, kissing her on the cheek.

When her dad had finished cleaning her room and making Mum and Granís beds, he came into the living room and saw the three girls in there. "Time for a photo," he said. He grabbed the camera. Annie sat on the floor holding Snowflake, adorned with her daisy crown. Mum stood behind Granís chair, holding her bouquet of daisies, and Gran kept on knitting. "Say cheese," Dad said. Annie smiled a big smile as the photo was taken. Dad noticed Grandpa sweeping and scowling. "Time for sausages now."

Annie chimed in, "Arenít you forgetting something, Dad?"

He looked at her quizzically. "Whatís that, Annie?"

"Apple dumplings and orange tarts!" she announced.

"Oh yes, I remember now. Come on in, Grandpa. Time to make the dumplings and tart. I need your help while I fry the sausages," Dad called.

Grandpa put the broom down and snarled as he came into the kitchen. The three girls went and sat in the living room, reading books, knitting and playing a board game.

In the kitchen, however, it was a different story. Dad had the sausages in the frying pan. They were sizzling away, all plump in their tight skins. Grandpa was peeling and chopping the apples into little bits. Apple skin was flying all over the kitchen. "Go easy on those apples," Dad said. Grandpa ignored him. "Iíll make the orange tart," he said, hoping to stop Grandpa from scowling.

Within an hour the meal was ready. "Come and get it," Dad shouted. The girls came to the table. Grandpa was already sitting there. Dad served the sausages. They were dark brown and well cooked, just like Annie liked them. She broke one up into little bits and fed it to Snowflake, who was sitting by her legs, waiting anxiously for a crumb to fall to the floor.

"These look so delicious, Dad. Thank you," she said, gobbling them down.

When theyíd finished their sausages, he brought over the apple dumplings and orange tart and put them in the middle of the big wooden table. "For you ladies," he said. "Grandpa helped with the apple dumplings."

"Thank you, Grandpa," Annie said, taking a dumpling. The sweet, sticky syrup dripped all over her plate. She scraped it off with her fingers and licked them clean. "Mmmm, delicious." She ate the dumpling and enjoyed the little bits of apple. "This is good, Grandpa. The apples are just the way I like them."

Grandpa took two dumplings out of the pan and put them on his plate. When he took a bite, he smiled. "Why, lass, you are right. These are pretty good. To think I made them," he said.

Dad had to cover his smile.

After that they each had a piece of orange tart. Annie noticed that Grandpa was happier. He was talking and laughing and wasnít so grumpy looking. They spent the rest of the day together, enjoying their time as a family. Grandpa pushed her on the swing instead of Dad. He was busy cleaning up the kitchen. After he finished, they sat in the living room. Grandpa told her stories about when he was a little boy. Annie laughed and laughed, and so did Grandpa. Dad told stories about Annie, when she was a little girl, and then he told them all about the day he married Mum. Annie listened carefully and saw her mum cry. She knew they were happy tears though. It was the best Motherís Day she had ever had.

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