A gift for the Queen

7 Aug

“The Soul has no Culture” Gregory David Roberts

Author of Shantaram


A few weeks back, I was wandering the isles of Office Depot. Anyone in Yeongju will tell you that you can get lost in the wonder of Office Depot for hours: rows and rows of every imaginable gadget, art supplies, stationery, kitchen ware, snacks, sports gear and more. I was somewhere near the Art section when I heard two little girls giggling. Moments later, two bright-eyed, astonished faces rounded the corner to stare at me.

“Hello,” I said –  to which they responded with fits of giggles and disappeared around the dusty shelves. As I made the way through the Art section and towards the stationery, the slightly smaller one popped her head around the next corner and said, “Hello” before disappearing into a cloud of childish titter. By the time I’d made my way through the dusty shelves and into the payment area, the two familiar faces reappeared and with practiced precision asked, “What’s your name? My name is Eun Na. I’m 10 years old. Nice to meet you. Thank you.”

“It’s nice to meet you Eun Na. My name is Kate,” I replied and watched as they again disappeared from my site leaving behind the only English conversation they knew.

With my parcel in hand, I left Office Depot and walked towards the bus stop giving little thought to this encounter. I was probably 100 metres from the shop when I heard children’s shoes slapping the ground in a fast-paced run and the sounds of breathless panting behind me. I turned to find the two little familiar faces racing after me. I stopped. The little one held out her hands to me and wrapped around her little fingers was a beautiful pink hair clip. They smiled at me and said, “present for you.” I took the delicate plastic clip in my hands, and beamed a “thank you,” touched by their innocent kindness and I watched as they bounced off back in the direction they’d come. They will probably never know that I felt like royality that day.


4 Responses to “A gift for the Queen”

  1. trish August 7, 2012 at 6:03 am #

    so beautiful.

  2. Ann Dowie August 8, 2012 at 6:41 am #


  3. Sue jordaan August 9, 2012 at 6:07 pm #

    I love this story. Simple yet profound

  4. Margie August 25, 2012 at 7:50 pm #

    Lovely to read this story, especially just after Badens one on spitting!

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