Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: fathers (06/06/05)
TITLE: Clean Slate
By Tesiri Moweta
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“My daddy!” I would proudly announce. The look of approval on the faces of those who heard this showed it couldn’t be over-emphasized that I had a great father. This was and still is, the plain truth.
As I carried my new bag and books out of the class, I realized that no one had come to pick me up from school yet so I left my bag under a tree outside the school building. I was glad to get it off me though because it was quite heavy for my frail frame (a result of the habit of poor eating. Food was not just my style then). After playing a game or two with my friends, my father’s driver arrived to my delight but alas to my dismay my bag was not under the tree where I left it, it was gone! We searched everywhere for it but didn’t find it. We immediately reported the missing bag to the police and headed home as time had been far spent.
Mama, my maternal grandmother couldn’t believe her ears as the driver narrated the incidence to her. “Your father will be very upset with you, why did you just leave your new bag without anyone watching over it for you?” The tears welled up in my eyes and slowly trickled down my face. I kept asking myself the same question over and over again. “Why would anyone steal my new bag?” I couldn’t eat that afternoon, thanks to my awful mood and when I faced my father that evening after he returned from work, I could hardly look up to him. I knew he was disappointed. Mama saved me the pain of telling him about my bag so all I had to do was answer a few questions. It was one of the most horrible moments of my life.
“How did this happen?” asked my father. I had never seen him so serious about anything like that before. I couldn’t talk. I expected the worst punishment. I wasn’t the only child in the family and surely my father had planned and saved for sometime to get me all that I needed for the new term.“Answer me” he raised his voice. “How did you lose your new bag?” I spilt the details before him and before I could finish, I was in tears again.My father looked at me intently “You have to be more careful with your belongings. Some people take delight in taking what doesn’t belong to them. So you have to keep an eye on yours so they don’t take it away from you. Do you understand me?”
“Yes daddy.” I was really sorry.
Afterwards, my father comforted me on the loss of my new bag and I got a letter from my mother miles away furthering her education at that time. She admonished me to be more careful as well.Being who he is, my father didn’t leave me a bagless or bookless pupil; rather, he worked on getting me another new bag and another new set of books and stationeries. This time I was more careful. I never lost my bag again and even when I got into college where I bagged an honorary degree, I was careful with my belongings.
Someone once told me “God’s forgiveness to His children brings a second chance that can be likened to a clean slate. Even when that slate gets tainted again, He gives yet another clean slate. This is a great characteristic of a loving Father who in spite of what His children does or do, loves them unconditionally.” How true.
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