The Gift

Lisa stood with her elbows on the window sill watching for Grandmother’s little car. Her big eyes sparkled as she pressed her nose against the cool glass trying to get a better look.

“I wish she would hurry,” Lisa said out loud, leaving a large steamy spot on the window.

With her finger she drew squiggly lines through the steam as she thought about the pretty blue dress Grandmother brought her the last time she came. “I know she’ll bring me something as nice this time,” she said confidently.

Just then Grandmother’s car turned into the driveway. “Grandma’s here! Grandma’s here!” Lisa cried as she opened the door in welcome and ran to Grandmother’s open arms.

“What did you bring me?” she asked.

Grandmother smiled her usual happy smile and gave Lisa a big hug. “I didn’t bring you anything this time, dear,” she said.

Lisa pouted. Her shoulders drooped with disappointment. She wouldn’t even look at Grandmother.

“I’m sorry you’re so sad, Lisa,” said Grandmother. “Sometimes I bring you something and sometimes I don’t—but I love you all the time.”

Suddenly Lisa’s face broke into a smile. “I love you too,” she said, flinging her arms around Grandmother’s neck.

That afternoon when Lisa went upstairs to her room, she opened the drawer where she kept all her treasures. There were beads, pretty rocks, ribbons, bright bits of colored yarn, a little ball, and a small plastic turtle. And there in the corner of the drawer was Lisa’s favorite treasure—a sparkling earring.

Lisa picked up each of the treasures, and then she carefully put them down again as she thought and thought. It was hard to decide what to choose. She picked up the sparkling earring. It was especially beautiful. She was sure Grandmother would like it. But Lisa liked to wear it when she played house, so she placed it back in the drawer.

She picked up the little ball, the small plastic turtle, and one pretty rock and walked toward the bedroom door.

Grandma would like that sparkling earring better, Lisa thought again as she stopped and looked back at the drawer. Then she walked over to the drawer and exchanged the pretty rock for the sparkling earring.

Lisa hurried to find her grandmother.

“See, Grandma,” she said, smiling. “I have some presents for you. Now you’ll have toys in your purse for all your grandchildren to play with, and here’s a pretty earring for yourself.”

“Thank you,” said Grandmother, examining the sparkling earring. “It’s beautiful!”

Grandmother gave Lisa a special smile and a warm hug. Lisa smiled back with happiness as she said, “I won’t always give you presents when you come to see me, Grandma. But I love you all the time!”

[illustrations] Illustrated by Lynn Titleman