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The Little Shack

Mindfulness

By StaringalePublished 2 months ago 3 min read
Top Story - December 2023
15
The Little Shack
Photo by Tirza van Dijk on Unsplash

It was a tiring day on campus. I couldn't even get a second to catch my breath. The autumn season was here, and it was getting chilly. The Pediatric Ward of our hospital was beginning to seem understaffed due to the increase in patients. The kids were coming in with common cold, cough, and pyrexia. Parents were distressed, and if one sibling got sick, the others followed. It was a hard time managing the patients and counseling the upset parents. I didn't even get a fifteen-minute break. My fellow classmates and I were running haywire to get everything done on time.

I took a huge sigh of relief when the clock struck 2:00 pm. Signing off the last patient in my care, I handed over the remaining cases to the interns and checked out. As the hospital doors closed behind me, a gush of cool air hit my face, blowing away my hair gently. I took a deep breath of nature to let the sterilization smell wash away. I slowly started walking back home.

The pathway seemed to stretch on forever. My heavy footsteps made a huge impact on the fallen leaves on the footpath. The tiredness was begging me for a moment to relax. Despite the breeze, I felt as if I had run a marathon. I looked around for a refreshing drink to cool down, but nothing was in my field of vision. Knowing I needed to move, I dragged my feet to hurry along the path. Soon enough, my eyes caught the sight of a small convenience store. Getting an adrenaline boost, I was just about to go over and buy myself a drink when something else caught my attention.

Moving forward to get a better glimpse, I saw an adorable little wooden shack on the side with a handwritten poster reading "Super Lemon." Two boys were standing there; I assumed they were brothers. Curious, I changed my destination and headed to the little shack. It reminded me of the little wooden playhouse my siblings and I built as kids. As I was moving toward them, the older of the two boys saw me and his face lit up. Watching as he elbowed his little brother in my direction, I waved at them.

They waved back excitedly. Reaching them, I patted the little one and shook the older one's hand, asking them what was special on the menu. The little one looked confused and tilted his head like a puppy. The older one got it and tried to answer professionally, but I could detect the excitement in his tone. He showed me the bucket of freshly cut lemons, limes, and oranges. Giving them a smile, I asked for two glasses of orange juice. They nodded, and the older one got to the task immediately while the little one cheered on his older brother, saying, "Hurry! Hurry! Big Bro! You can do it." Laughing at their antics, I drank the juice, thanking them. I took out my wallet and paid them with a little tip, watching them blush.

Asking them about the story behind the lemon shack in autumn, I came to know they were collecting money to buy a birthday cake for their 3-year-old sister as a gift. Touched, I asked them how much more they needed. I watched them count the money and then reply, "30 bucks." Knowing that if they took the time to set up the shack for this, they wouldn't just accept the money. Thinking, I got an idea. I saw some of my fellow classmates who were also walking back home, lost in thought. I waved them over, asking them to try the fresh drinks made by the brothers. They were all tired and thirsty like me, so they agreed, and soon we had a little crowd that emptied the little shack before disappearing. As I was about to leave, the little one asked me to accompany them to the store across the street to buy the cake. Happily, I obliged, and soon, they were waving me off with a cake in their hands.

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15

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  1. Heartfelt and relatable

    The story invoked strong personal emotions

  2. Compelling and original writing

    Creative use of language & vocab

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    Well-structured & engaging content

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Comments (5)

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  • Toby Hewardabout a month ago

    Very nice story

  • Daphsamabout a month ago

    A lovely inspirational story.

  • Very good attitude opposite life. Strong story andmeaningfull.

  • Manisha Dhalani2 months ago

    Such a heartwarming story! So sweet of you to help them in a way that wouldn't make them feel small and helpless. Hope you guys got a good cake for the sister. Thanks for sharing this and congrats on making top story!

  • Doc Sherwood2 months ago

    Perhaps above everything else that's warm and heartening and life-affirming in this latest story, I was most gladdened of all to learn lemonade-shacks are still a thing! I've often mentioned I love the traditional neighbourhood values you depict so poignantly in your posts, and from Rockwell to Schultz the humble soft-drinks stand run by small boys is inseparable from that particular conception of Americana. Added to the nostalgic charm is the kindly motive of the boys themselves, and you were quite right to note that having gone to such effort to earn the money through honest graft, they were never going to accept a cheque for thirty dollars. Good old-fashioned values of thrift and labour again, and although I do see I'm now straying into Horatio Alger, please remember I'm English and can't help being a tourist at such times! The solution you arrive at is the perfect one, in which you and your classmates can wind down with a refreshing drink at the end of a long college day, and the boys can buy the cake for their sister they'd set their sights upon. It may on the one hand be a small moment in a small town, but on the other, it's a persuasive reminder that co-operation and mutual support are what keep communities alive - indeed, they're what keep the world turning. Your works have a way of reminding the reader of such truths, and long may this continue!

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