Hurry-Up Ann

By Clara Burton Smith

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    God loveth a cheerful giver (2 Cor. 9:7).

    Ann was always in a hurry. Wherever she went, she ran. But Ann didn’t always watch where she was going. Sometimes she tripped and bumped into things.

    “Look out!” said her big sister.

    “Look out!” said her big brother.

    “Look out!” said her mother and father.

    One day Ann ran to the kitchen. “The apples are ripe on our apple tree!” she shouted.

    “Yes,” said Mother. “I was just thinking about making an apple pie.”

    “I can help,” said Ann. “I can pick some apples.”

    “Good,” said Mother.

    Ann ran to the door.

    “Don’t forget this,” said Mother, handing her a bucket.

    Ann raced into the yard, climbed the tree, and hung her bucket on a branch. Just picking the big red apples made her mouth water.

    “Here they are, Mom,” said Ann, rushing into the house. “I’ll wash them for you too.”

    “Thank you, dear,” Mother said. “That would really help.”

    Mother made one big pie for the family and one little pie for Grandma.

    “I’ll take Grandma her pie,” said Ann after the pies were baked and cooled.

    “That’s a wonderful idea,” Mother replied. “But please, Ann, walk slowly and watch where you’re going.”

    Ann was so excited that she could hardly wait to surprise her grandmother. She started walking slowly, but soon she was running up the street and around the corner. Faster and faster Ann ran, until—squish—down she went and down went the pie.

    The pie was a mess and so was Ann! She had pie on her face and pie in her hair. Worst of all, there was pie all over the ground.

    Ann tried to scoop up the pie and put it back into the pan, but it didn’t look like pie anymore. It looked awful!

    Maybe Mom can fix it, she thought, starting back toward home. This time she walked slowly, very carefully holding what was left of the poor, squashed pie.

    “Oops!” cried her big sister when she saw Ann coming down the street.

    “Oops!” shouted her big brother as Ann came up the sidewalk.

    “Oops, indeed!” said Mother. The pie went into the garbage, and Ann went into the bathtub.

    When Ann was all cleaned up, she ran to the kitchen and stared at the big pie that was left. She was really sorry that she had ruined Grandma’s surprise pie. “Mom, could I give Grandma my piece of pie?” she asked.

    Mother smiled and said, “That’s very thoughtful, dear.” She cut an extra large piece of pie, put it on a plate, covered it with foil, and handed it to Ann, saying, “Now, Ann, you must learn that there is a time to walk and a time to run.”

    “This is a time to walk—I’ll remember,” Ann promised.

    Up the street and around the corner she walked. “Surprise!” called Ann when Grandma opened the door. “Surprise, surprise!”

    “Mmmm, that looks good,” Grandma said as she took off the cover and put the piece of pie on the table.

    Ann told Grandma the sad story about her little pie. “There was pie in my hair and pie on my nose and pie on the ground and pie on my clothes.”

    Grandma laughed. “Goodness, you just made a rhyme. Now, this is such a large piece of pie, maybe you can help me eat it.”

    Ann smiled. “I’d like that.”

    They each had a glass of milk and half of the large piece of pie. It was delicious.

    When Ann was ready to leave, Grandma told her, “Be sure to tell your mother that I loved the surprise.”

    “Thank you, Grandma, for sharing your pie with me,” said Ann.

    “Everything is better when we share,” Grandma said.

    Ann hugged Grandma and said, “It really is, Grandma.”

    Illustrated by Julie F. Young