Forgotten Child

Illustration of lady, officer, and forgotten child in the room

  Toy bear was hanging from her hand. Little and brown he was the only friend of Mary, the most disagreeable-looking and some bad-tempered girl of ten years old.

  In the hall were heard sounds of the wonderful music. Walking by small groups, people were laughing and talking about the festive dinner and beautiful wife of their favorite admiral.

  For the celebration were invited only adults and Mary had nothing to do. So she walked by dark empty rooms prepared for guests. It was boring and eyes were closing themselves because of the late hour. Passing by long, richly decorated gallery, Mary was touching with her free hand gorgeous ancient portieres, so they became untidy and moved to aside.

  Golden yellow light was pouring in the general darkness from the opened doors of the upper room near the stairs. Little girl got up to the second floor and looked into the chamber...

  Some tall man in the military jacket was standing near the wonderful cup-case with his back to the entrance. Mary smiled to herself with a thought that here she found her dad! Quietly she stepped in but didn't go forward.

  Also there was a beautiful pretty woman in lovely silky dress of color like as pink morning clouds enlightened with the sunshine. Tender features of her face were so familiar for Mary — she recognized her own mother. Not similar as relatives, little thin and untidy child near this woman was looking as adopted.

  Vivien, lady in the rich floating clothes, was quietly talking with the man who was much more younger than Mary's father. He was the one of the new-coming officers who visited their house the last week.

  Young man was asking the hostess about her favorite flowers. Vivien was smiling and showing something in the cup-case filled with his gifts. Everything was from far foreign countries — figures of unseen animals, fine art porcelain with golden paintings, — Mary liked to watch them when everyone was busy and left her alone.

  The officer caught hands of Vivien, suring her in his adoration, founding kindness in her true lady manners, and promising much more beautiful gifts from the next trip...

  Mary, still unnoticeable and quiet, popped out of the tight room that in one moment became so strange for her and went downstairs.

  She sat on the last step, hugging her small bear, wet of her tears...

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(Inspired by novel "The Secret Garden", Frances Hodgson Burnett.)

"Admiration and Forgotten Child".
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۞ Забуте дитя
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