My Friend Henna

The following submission appeared in “We Are Newton: A Neighbourhood Anthology.” See here for more information about the project.

By: S. Kaur Bath, Amazing Tutors Children’s Foundation

When my father decided to sponsor a child from a television program, we picked Henna. At first, I had not thought at all about what kind of girl Henna was, but she looked like a rose growing between weeds in the picture I held in my hand. Her life in India seemed so different from mine in Newton.

A few summers back, we decided to pay a visit to India and to meet Henna. I was excited to go to Punjab, the land of the five rivers. Flying from Newton to Punjab would be a long journey. My mother told me to take something for Henna, so I packed some of my old clothes.

When I first saw Henna, she was a beautiful, young child with hollow dark eyes; long, elegant bare feet and jet-black hair which covered her solemn, thin face. She was wearing tattered clothing and holding her blind grandmother’s hand.

The next morning, my parents took my brothers, Henna and me to a fair. They gave each of us some money to spend. My brothers and I were astounded by the amount of food and toys there were to spend our money on. In the end we chose a few things that appealed to us.

When we met back up with Henna, I saw that she had bought a spatula. I was thinking, what would a seven-year-old do with a spatula? When I asked her, she said it was her dream to buy a spatula for her blind grandmother. She could not flip anything on the pan without burning her fingers. I thought that we all have dreams for ourselves, but this was the first time I saw someone have a dream for someone else.

The joy I took in the toys I had bought was nothing compared to the satisfaction I saw on her face. As a token of appreciation, I replaced the bag of old clothes with a bag of brand new ones. I also gave her a small collection of children’s books. She really deserved them.

Henna was like a book you could not judge by its cover. She had nothing, but she sacrificed all her money to buy something for her grandmother. I had not thought that such a poor child could have such a rich heart.

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