Wednesday, November 26, 2008


Mum and Dad promised me a bicycle on my twelfth birthday. They made the same promise to my brother Pete and sister Diane when they turned twelve. I could only borrow their bicycles if I did their chores.

On that birthday, I woke up early, got dressed and waited for Mum and Dad to take me to the local bicycle shop to buy me the bicycle I had been dreaming of. Mum and Dad sat me between them looking very solemn.

“Angie, you have heard often that Dad’s business hasn’t been doing well.” Said Mum.

“So?” I asked.

“It means we can’t get the bicycle for you.” Replied Dad.

“But, but, you always told me that a promise is a promise. Besides, I will be in secondary school, and there are clubs I like to join.” I sobbed.

“We really can’t afford that bicycle, you can borrow Pete’s and Diane’s bicycle when you need to go to school in the afternoon.” Said Mum.

The new school year started, and I joined the swimming club. Mum drove me to and back from school while Pete and Diane cycled. On the first day the swimming club met, we were to meet in school and then go on the school bus to the swimming pool.

As it was the first time I had cycled to school, I underestimated the time it took me to cycle to school. Just before I reached school, the school bus drove off without me. So anxious was I to go swimming that I decided to cycle to the swimming pool.

I was cycling and cycling and cycling without realizing that the swimming pool was five miles away. When I eventually reached the pool, I looked up and saw the pool was up a flight of ten steps. I could hardly lift my tired legs up each step. I quickly got changed and before I could jump into the pool, my teacher said it was almost time to go home, so it was pointless for me to get wet.

In slow motion, I reversed the direction, and started cycling home. My house was two miles from school, so all in all, I cycled for fourteen miles. When I got home,
My legs were like jelly and I could hardly walk.

Diane screamed at me, “You took my bike without asking me!”

I was furious and shouted back, “Mum and Dad said I could use your bicycle.”

“You made me miss my photography club.” Shouted Diane even louder than me.

Mum came to see what the commotion was. She made both of us explain why we were shouting like a pack of alley cats.

I couldn’t hold it any longer, I burst into sobs, and told her that I had cycled all the way to the swimming and back without getting to swim.

“Oh my! My! You mean you cycled all fourteen miles to the swimming pool and back?” Mum hugged me and wiped away my tears.

I showed her the chaffed inside of my thighs and it was all red and swollen. Mum got Diane to get some ointment to remove the soreness away.

That evening, Mum and Dad sat talking a long time.

“Angie, we are sorry that we broke our promise, and you had to suffer. We have decided that we will spend less on our grocery, and buy you your own bicycle.”

“Thanks! You remember saying,’ A promise to a frog is as good as a promise to a king?’”

No comments: