Summary of the Stories – Part 2
Short Stories For Kids Christmas Present in The World – Part 2, I folded the letter again and slipped it carefully back into its envelope. I kept awake all night. By morning I knew what I had to do. I drove into Bridport, just a few miles away. I asked a boy walking his dog where Copper Beeches was. House number 12 turned out to be nothing but a burned-out shell, the roof gaping, the windows boarded-up.
I knocked at the house next door and asked if anyone knew the whereabouts of a Mrs Macpherson. Oh yes, said the old man in his slippers, he knew her well. A lovely old lady, he told me, a bit muddle-headed, but at her age, she was entitled to be, wasn’t she? A hundred and one years old.
She had been in the house when it caught fire. No one really knew how the fire had started, but it could well have been candles. She used candles rather than electricity because she always thought electricity was too expensive.
The fireman had got her out just in time. She was in a nursing home now, he told me, Burlington House, on the Dorchester road, on the other side of town. I found Burlington House Nursing Home easily enough. There were paper chains up in the hallway and a lighted Christmas tree stood in the corner with a lopsided angel on top.
I said I was a friend come to visit Mrs Macpherson to bring her a Christmas present. I could see through into the dining room where everyone was wearing a paper hat and singing.
The matron had a hat on too and seemed happy enough to see me. She even offered me a mince pie. She walked me along the corridor. “Mrs Macpherson is not in with the others,” she told me. “She’s rather confused today so we thought it best if she had a good rest. She has no family you know, no one visits.
So I’m sure she’ll be only too pleased to see you.” She took me into a conservatory with wicker chairs and potted plants all around and left me.
The old lady was sitting in a wheelchair, her hands folded in her lap. She had silver-white hair pinned into a wispy bun. She was gazing out at the garden. “Hello,” I said. She turned and looked up at me vacantly.
“Happy Christmas, Connie,” I went on. “I found this. I think it’s yours.” As I was speaking her eyes never left my face. I opened the tin box and gave it to her
.What was the moment her eyes lit up with recognition and her face became suffused with a sudden glow of happiness. I explained about the desk, about how I had found it, but I don’t think she was listening. For a while, she said nothing but stroked the letter tenderly with her fingertips.
Suddenly she reached out and took my hand. Her eyes were filled with tears. “You told me you’d come home by Christmas, dearest,” she said. “And here you are, the best Christmas present in the world. Come closer, Jim dear, sit down.”I sat down beside her, and she kissed my cheek.
“I read your letter so often Jim, every day. I wanted to hear your voice in my head. It always made me feel you were with me. And now you are. Now you’re back you can read it to me yourself. Would you do that for me, Jim dear?
I just want to hear your voice again. I’d love that so much. And then perhaps we’ll have some tea. I’ve made you a nice Christmas cake, marzipan all around. I know how much you love marzipan.” Michael Morpurgo
Best Short Stories For Kids CHECK – III
Q. 1) Why did the author go to Bridport?
Ans. The author went to Bridport to meet Mrs Jim Macpherson and deliver Jim’s letter to her.
Q. 2. How old was Mrs Macpherson now? Where was she?
Ans. Macpherson was 101 years old at the time when the author visited her. She was in a nursing home.
Best Short Stories For Kids CHECK – IV
Q. 1) Who did Connie Macpherson think her visitor was?
Ans. Connie thought that the visitor was her own husband, Jim Macpherson.
Q. 2. Which sentence in the text shows that the visitor did not try to hide his identity?
Ans. That sentence is; “I sat down beside her.” This he did in response to her request – and the request was made to Jim! If the writer wanted to reveal his identity, this was the moment; but he let it pass.
Q. 3) For how long do you think Connie had kept Jim’s letter? Give reasons for your answer.
Ans. Connie had kept Jim’s letter with her till the house was gutted in a fire. She would surely have been feet the letter’s presence until the time she got a bit muddleheaded.
Q. 4) Why do you think the desk had been sold, and when?
Ans. The desk must have been sold when Connie’s house had burnt. The table had been damaged by fire as well as water.
Q. 5) Why do Jim and Hans think that games or sports are good ways of resolving conflicts? Do you agree?
Ans. Both Jim and Hans were soldiers. Both were warm-hearted. They had seen the sufferings of war. So it was natural for them to hate war. They favoured a peaceful solution to settle disputes. Games or sports, they said, were good ways of resolving conflicts. I also quite agree with them.
Q. 6) Do you think the soldiers of the two armies are like each other, or different from each other? Find evidence from the story to support your answer.
Ans. All human beings are alike in many ways. They love peace and hate war. They want to live together. Examples from the story: “Then they were calling out to us from across no man’s land. “Happy Christmas, Tommy! Happy Christmas !” When we had got over the surprise, some of us shouted back, “Same to you, Fritz! Same to you !”
Q. 7) Mention the various ways in which the British and the German soldiers become friends and find things in common at Christmas.
Ans. The British and the German soldiers belonged to different camps. They were enemies and fighting a war. But after all, they were human beings and therefore they had similar feelings. They shared the festive spirit of Christmas. They got over hatred and played games, feasted and drank like good friends. Both hated war. Both were anxious to go back to their families at the end of the war