Miss Tiddlesworth looked around the kitchen. The mess was astounding. She could not believe that baking a cake and leaving it in the oven for just a few moments could cause such a mess. Why had she left the kitchen in the first place?
Miss Tiddlesworth chewed the fingernail of her pointer finger while her left hand rested on her ample hip. Chewing ones fingernails was a rather indelicate activity, as her dearly departed mother had often told her, but she just couldn't seem to help it. Today was a very special day and there was much to do to get ready.
"Now what do I do?" Miss Tiddlesworth looked around the kitchen. "Where to start?"
There was so much to do and such little time to do it in. She knew what her mother would have told her to do in such a situation. "Get to it!"
And that is what she did. First, the counters needed wiping, so she went to the sink to get a dishcloth. "Oh dear, the dishcloths are all dirty again. I must wash them."
Mrs. Tiddlesworth gathered the soiled linens and shuffled to the laundry. The linens must be placed in a bucket to soak for there was no time to wash them just now. She filled a small, red, tin bucket with water from the tap and reached to shelf for the box of soap flakes. "Oh, dear. I forgot to buy soap flakes when I went to the market this morning. I must go and get some ever so quickly." For dear old Mrs.Tiddlesworth's mother would have said, "There is no time like the present my dear."
"I must hurry, though, today is a very special day."
Dear Miss Tiddlesworth hurried to the hall closet to collect her favorite hat, the staw one with the large pink rose pinned to the brim and her pink linen jacket. "One must always look one's best when out on the town." Now who said that, she wondered.
Miss Tiddlesworth headed for the front door, but before she could open it she saw a note, written on pretty paper, taped to the door handle. "Oh dear...I wonder what that is for?" She took the note off of the door and read it. 'My dear Miss Tiddlesworth, don't forget to cut fresh flowers from the garden to put on the table. Remember that this is a very special day."
"Ohhh....I must get myself to the garden and pick flowers now, before the sun gets too strong." Dear Miss Tiddlesworth knew that a lady never spent more time in the sun than was absolutely necessary. She believed that it was her great-grandma-ma that taught her that.
"Now where are my green gardening gloves? And where are my clippers and my gardening basket?" She just knew that she left them by the back door, but for some reason they weren't there today.
More chewing on her pointer fingernail, for no matter what mother said, this did help her to think better.
As dear Miss Tiddlesworth stood in her kitchen chewing on her fingernail and looking at the mess surrounding her (for she still had not cleaned up) she heard a sound.
"Oh dear, that's the door chime. I am not nearly ready."
Dear Miss Tiddlesworth hurried to the front door, for it was impolite to keep a guest waiting on the front step.
She open the door, and there, directly in front of her, was the prettiest sight she believed she had ever seen. There were four beautiful young ladies, all dressed up in their Sunday best with their hair curled and their hats pinned jauntily to one side. The eldest, in the frothy lavendar dress was holding a box from Miss Tiddlesworth's favorite bakery. The next eldest was dresses in a pale yellow linen and was carrying a basket full of tea, cream and sugar. The next to the youngest was wearing a blue dress that reminded one of a sweet spring sky. She was holding a vase full of spring flowers cutfresh from the garden. The youngest was dressed in ruffles and frills in the palest of pinks. She was holding a small box that was wrapped in pretty paper with a very large bow on top.
All at once the girls sang out in perfect unison, "Happy Birthday, Auntie!"
"Ohhh..."said Dear Miss Tiddlesworth, "It is a special day. A very special day indeed."
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