From Chicken Soup for the Soul Daily Inspirations for Women

May 1

Mrs. Pearson wasn’t really a witch, but she lived on our lane in an old gray cottage whose overgrown yard was enclosed by a sagging fence. Every year, at Mother’s urging, my sisters and I took one of our handmade May baskets to her house. Our other neighbors always made a great fuss when we visited, but Mrs. Pearson never opened her door.

The year I turned ten we once again crept up to her door, knocked rather halfheartedly and scurried behind a bush. The door slowly opened, and a tiny white-haired lady stepped out. She sat on the top step, our basket in her lap, and suddenly began crying. Ellen, Beth and I climbed the stairs.

“Are you all right?” I asked with concern.

“I just got a bit overwhelmed.” Mrs. Pearson invited us in for milk and graham crackers and showed us pictures of her and her sister proudly holding their little paper May baskets.

For the next several years, until we grew too old to weave paper baskets and hide behind lilac bushes, each May Day, we would climb the steps to Mrs. Pearson’s porch and find a little basket just for us—full of flower-shaped cookies with pink frosting and sugar sprinkles.

Faith Andrews Bedford

Encourage kindness. It will benefit both the
giver and the recipient of the gesture.

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