She was bored. The mass always took so long and she just wanted to go outside and run and play. She swung her little legs in agitation, breathing deeply. She looked around for a distraction. Her sister sat next to her, dressed all in white for her First Holy Communion. A sparkle caught the little girl’s eye. Pearls- beautiful, little pearl-like beads that her mother had carefully sewn into her sister’s First Communion dress.
She reached and caught one between her fingers. Her sister did not notice. She liked the feel of the pearl, it was cool and smooth and small. She carefully plucked it off her sister’s dress and laid it down into the crevice where the pew back met the seat. It looked perfect against the smooth, varnished wood of the pew. But it looked lonely. The little girl looked around. No one was paying attention to her. The voice of the priest droned on. It was such a pretty day outside. Oh well. She reached out and plucked another pearl from the dress and laid it next to the first. That was better.
Now she rolled the pearls against the pew. The feel of their smooth forms was enchanting. But they needed company. She reached out to grab another and her sister noticed. She slapped the little girl’s hand away and told her to stop in an angry whisper. But the little girl knew that her sister couldn’t make a scene because they were in church. That would be a sin and she would get into lots of trouble. She gleefully snatched another pearl and added it to the others.
Her sister glared at her and the little girl smiled. She felt all giggly inside as she grabbed another pearl off the dress. Her sister slapped at her again and told her mother. The little girl’s mother snapped her fingers and told her to leave her sister’s dress alone. The little girl stopped. The priest droned on. The temptation was too much. She quietly reached out and grabbed another pearl to add to her collection. They looked so pretty. Her mother snapped her fingers again. That’s two. One more snap and she’d get a spanking or a punishment of some kind.
It will be worth it, she thought, as she happily plucked several pearls from her sister’s dress, adding them to the row on the pew. She could hear her sister complain to their mother. She vaguely heard the third snap of her mother’s fingers. But none of that mattered. She was entranced and delighted by her collection of beautiful pearls, her pretty little pearls.
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