Once upon a time there lived two close friends Shine and Zerelda. Shine belonged to a rich family but was a miser and on the other hand, Zerelda belonged to a simple but happy family. She was very kind and loving. Zerelda was really looking forward to celebrating her 13th birthday. She somehow convinced her parents to throw a party for all her friends. They agreed and Zerelda at once began inviting everyone for her party. She invited Shine whose name was put first in her guest list. "Oh!" exclaimed Shine. "I'd be glad to come." But at heart she was worried. She did not know what to give Zerelda as a present, free of cost. Spending her pocket money was something she hated to do. Finally she came up with an idea, she thought was brilliant. "I'll decorate a box nicely and stuff paper inside. If she finds out that there is nothing, I'll tell her that the gift must have fallen off!"

She carried out her plan. She brought a dusty box from the attic and decorated it well. Then she stuffed some paper balls and packed it neatly. She then put a card which read 'Happy birthday.... from Shine.' She was very pleased with herself.

Finally the day Zerelda was waiting for came. Shine went to the party and Zerelda was really very happy. Shine went up to her and wished her. Then she gave her the present. Zerelda was so excited that she decided to open the box that very moment. Shine began sweating hard. She tried to control her shivers but she couldn't! Suddenly Zerelda's voice rooted her to the spot. "Why there's nothing in it Shine" she said almost in tears. "Um... no Zerelda...!...! put in a mu...must have-"

"Oh! It's here. What a lovely present Shine. Thanks so much this present is beautiful!" and she hugged Shine tightly. Then only did Shine realize that as she was packing the present, her favorite ring had slipped off from her finger and fallen into the present box.
Shine had learnt her lesson. She was never again stingy and was a changed girl!

Artwork and story:

Shalmalee Suresh,
Bishop Cotton Girls School,
8th standard

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