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by Susan Kramer
Down the street from the twins' house is a two acre lake with an island of trees near the center – a resting place for ducks and geese. Old railroad ties outline the oblong shape of the lake. Conveniently, grass grows right up to edge of the water so that the big birds and people can intermingle. Anneke and Hans like to walk to the far side of the lake where a couple of benches face the water, while kids scramble over the climbing bars on the adjoining playground.
This sunny warm day Anneke wrapped her long jump rope around her waist and skipped down the street to the playground. Arriving, she saw she had a choice to skip rope by herself, or invite the kids already there to join her and jump as a group, with two holding the ends for the rest to skip over in turn. First, Anneke skipped in place by herself and when others turned and watched her, she included everyone.
She saw the smiles on their faces and that only increased her joy in playing with her skipping rope. She realized that sharing brought her more joy than playing by herself.
A couple of the kids were younger than her so she showed patience and respect for their efforts, even if they tripped more than she did. She remembered that a couple of years before she could not skip perfectly, but with practice had steadily improved.
Anneke could see that Hans had just arrived at the park and gone over to where the lake bank was closest to a family of geese that saw him approaching, with the expectation that he had some bread for them. They were used to having their diets supplemented from handouts.
Hans had brought along a bag of bread crumbs for the birds. As soon as he reached the bank he scattered a handful an arm's throw away on the grass, and watched and listened to the noisy, running birds go for their treats. He respected that they liked to keep a small distance away from him, thinking they probably didn't want to be petted as they were wild animals. Because Hans was respecting their need to keep a little distance away, they cautiously circled around him hoping for more bread, which he tossed out again.
Hans and Anneke stayed at the little lake for an hour and then made their way home to supper. And I'm sure you can guess that Anneke wrapped her rope around her wrists to shorten it and skipped her way home.
Later, the twins shared with each other that being patient and respecting other's needs was a way to make and keep friends, whether people or animals.
Key words: respect; patience; sharing.
children in this story live in my mind and heart.
The author, Susan Helene Kramer, has been teaching people of all ages and abilities meditation, yoga, and dance for more than 30 years.
and Hans went to school
Anneke and Hans Play at a Lake and photographs
copyright © 2018 Susan Helene Kramer
Home Page http://www.susankramer.com
Dutch translation of other stories in the series