HEAVEN IS HERE
by esther robinson
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“Aunty Grace, Good Morning! How are you?” Robin, a teenage squirrel squealed squatting on his hind limbs holding a scribbling pad and pen in his fore limbs.
Aunty Grace although stout in appearance like a pumpkin was always a busy bee so much so that the entire squirrel community admired her. Curiosity danced on her eyes even as she placed the bamboo basket of ripe almonds and groundnuts near the entrance and peeked into Robin’s eyes. “I am fine. How is that you are up so early in the morning? Robin! Are you upto some mischief?” She winked.
“Oh! Not so dear Aunty. How could you think like that?” His words split open like mustard in a frying pan. He continued. “Mom told me that if I get up early in the morning for twenty-eight days then it would become a good habit. Just thought I’ll try to make her happy and also do good to myself.”
“That’s wonderful.” Aunty Grace nodded thoughtfully. Robin aimed at getting two apples by throwing just one stone.
“Moreover, my class teacher has asked me to complete an assignment before this weekend. Nothing creative is coming out. I just came to borrow some of your valuable ideas.” Carefully yet coupled with coolness he placed the words like golden apples on a silver setting.
Suddenly, Aunty Grace tapped her forehead and exclaimed. “Robin! I forgot to lock the granary gate. Wait here.” She pointed to a chair. “I’ll be back in a jiffy then together we’ll discuss about your assignment.” So saying, she rushed in the opposite direction picking up the bamboo basket from the floor.
The hourglass ran out of sand. Robin became restless waiting for Aunty Grace. Meanwhile, he tiptoed to the street. There he saw his grandpa without spectacles holding the hands of Uncle Johnny his friend strolling towards the church right below his nose. Robin hid under the cover of almond leaves to keep away from being questioned by his grandpa because he is a strict disciplinarian who dislikes getting help from others.
Johnny honked thus. “Both of us have completed the mission given by God to us on this earth. He has helped us see the third generation. The time to be happy is now. Come let us thank Him.” Robin kept recalling these words. “The time to be happy is now.”
After sometime, Robin saw a lean squirrel dragging his buddy down the lane. “Come here. The place to be happy is here. Come with me. I became a new creature and my life turned topsy-turvy there.” Both of them traversed towards the church.
A few minutes later, Robin’s sister Rosemary came carrying a doll to play with Sarah, Aunty Grace’s daughter. They looked very cute. Rosemary spoke sweetly and softly. “Sarah! How does heaven look like? Many people say it’s a wonderful place. They also say that there is no room for us there. Shall we build a little heaven down here?” Sarah then responded. “Come let us find coir, flax and build a little heaven down here.” Robin keenly listened to their conversation from behind the door.
After half an hour, Aunty Grace came like Humpty Dumpty but briskly beaming with a brighter smile than before. Invisible fountains of joy surrounded her.
“Sorry Robin to have kept you waiting. The servant-maid turned up just now. She told me earlier that price of coal is exorbitant and that she could not afford it. Since then, I’ve been collecting coconut shells. I thought she could make use of the coconut shells and keep fire burning through out this winter. It took time for me to pick and pack them into a plastic bag. After all, the only way to be happy is to make others happy. There is no substitute for the happiness received by giving. Now tell me on what topic are you supposed to present the assignment?”
Robin smiled. “Thank you Aunty. I guess waiting here has made me wise and smart. Finally some creativity has struck my mind. I’ll return after preparing the assignment.” Moving his tail left and right as if to say goodbye, swiftly he jumped to the branch nearby. Then he whistled. “The time to be happy is now. The place to be happy is here. The way to be happy is to make others happy and to build a little heaven down here.” Then he wrote down. “Happiness is scattered everywhere if you sincerely search for it.”
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