Grandma's Prized Possession
“And this,” Grandma said while she gently pulled a small ivory tea cup from the top shelf of an ancient wooden cabinet, “is my prized possession.”
“What’s a p’ized ‘session Gamma?” I asked, staring at the little white round thing in her pale hands.
She gave me a crinkled smile as she lowered her arms so that I could see the cup properly in her wrinkled paws. “It is something you own that you love with all of your heart.”
“Like my Bimbee!” I squealed with amusement, tightening my fist around my blue blanket. Mommy bought Bimbee for me when she made her first trip to Terror Mountain. Momma loved to climb mountains. She was much more brave than I was. She always says I'm the most courageous little Aisha she knows.
Grandma laughed again. “Exactly. Come here, Nani, look at the baby Pteris painted on it.” Her thick white paw poked at the cup, signaling to little blue winged creatures.
“This tea cup has been in our Aisha family for many years. My grandma painted this for me when I was her age. Her name was Nani, just like yours! She would have been your great, great Grandmother. She would have just adored you.”
"Her name was Nani too?" I asked in awe. "Was I named after her?"
"Very good! Your mother loved her great grandmother Nani. And she loves her little baby, so then she named you after her favorite grandma. Nani. Do you know what it means?"
I shook my head quickly. "No. What Gamma, what!"
She swooped my up with one arm, holding both me and the teacup. "It means beautiful. Because you are the prettiest little thing I've ever seen," We both began to giggle.
"Then Gamma must mean beautiful too!" I touched her face, still giggling.
“Gamma Nani,” I whispered softly, stroking the blue babies. There was a great big green tree painted on it. The branches wrapped around the lip of the cup. All around the tree the little Pteris flew. Momma never lets me paint or draw on our drinking glasses. I tried to grasp the teacup out of her paws but she quickly lifted the precious cup out of my reach.
“No, no, Nani. This is very special to me, and I don’t want it slipping from your little paws! Its made of something called porcelain. It is very, very fragile. When you're older...” she trailed off, setting the delicate cup back upon a doily on the wooden cabinet.
Grandma opened the door for me the next day. A swirl of cold, white, fluffy snow entered in behind me while I walked in and gave her a big hug. She helped me strip off my thick stuffy jacket I had on, and pulled off the purple hat from my head. Two up-side-down heart shaped antennae popped out from the cap. She then straightened out the yellow pacifier wrapped around my neck.
“There,” she said, stepping back to look a full look at me with a wrinkled smile. Her own pale antennae were pulled back into a red ribbon. The crimson bow was very bright against her white skin. I loved Gamma’s ivory color. ‘When I grow up,’ I told my momma one day, ‘I wanna look just like Gamma.’ Red ribbon and all.
“Now I can see your pretty baby face. Guess what? I have some Kiwi Cookies baking for you. Your favorite, right?” she asked me, her voice overflowing with affection.
“Momma makes them all the time! Can I help make them?” I asked with excitement. Baking is my favorite thing to do at Gamma’s house. I have the most fun here. She lets me eat whatever I want, except Achyfi. She says that it is full of sugar, and I’m sweet enough. Grandma is so silly.
“Why doesn’t cute little Nani go play? I just have to put a couple batches into the oven. I don’t want you to burn yourself,” she told me, patting my head. I smoothed out the two little hairs she ruffled up.
I thumped down onto the salt and pepper carpet, pouting. For a while I picked at the threads of the floor. Usually Gamma’s house was fun, and I played with all the toys she has. She always bought me stuff. Like last week, she said it was Nani day and bought me a Kiko Plushie! Looking around the familiar room, an interesting sparkle caught my eye.
It was the baby bird teacup. A little Pteri flew around in my head, banging against the walls.
It chirped loudly, “Nani, Nani, Nani! That’s your Grandmother's. She would be so upset if it broke. Don’t do it, Nani, don’t!”
I started crawling to the edge of the tall, dark cabinet. It loomed over me like a giant. Its old, strong wood smelt like dust and earth. Up on the very top of the tree like shelf, the white cup glowed. Then, I got this wicked idea in my brain.
Using both of my paws, I dragged out another wooden item. I pulled the chair across the carpet; it made a soft purring noise, and I pressed it next to the tree like shelf. I then crawled up the side of the chair like a Lady Blurg and used the shelf to hoist myself into a standing position. My petite paws stretched above my head and brushed against one of the Pteris. A pang of excitement filled me.
Using the tips of my back paws, my body grew an inch taller and I leaned against the cabinet for leverage. I began swatting at the cup in frustration, attempting to push it towards my grasp. The last flail of my short arm sent the cup teetering back and forth on the edge of the wooden self. It seemed like an hour, watching the babies go back and forth, swinging towards their doom. I cupped my paws together under the glass, hoping with all my heart to miraculously catch it.
The cup ignored my hopes and pleas, and tilted over to the right side, just grazing the side of my clutched paws before falling to the hard wooden chair at my feet.
The sharp sound of shattered glass hovered in the quiet air for a few seconds. I forced myself to look down at my feet, where three small chunks of teacup settled on the chair, surrounded by tiny white shards of porcelain. A baby Pteri looked up at me with despair in its teensy eyes. The next sound that filled the air was my piercing cry.
Grandma dashed into the room as quick as I’ve ever seen her frail body move. She looked at me first. Pure fear morphed her expression and then her eyes fell down at my feet where the remains rested. Her face then changed into blankness. She walked back into the kitchen while hot tears still flowed down my flushed face. She returned shortly with a medium plastic bag and I watched her sweep her prized possession away.
She gave me a sad smile and a kiss on the forehead before retreating back into her kitchen to bake my favorite cookies.