Fragment False Jasmine

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Galanthus nivalis

The snowdrop is a little strong plant that threads its way through the snow. It’s the symbol of hope and of anew awakening after a long sad winter.


I’m standing on the back of the sofa. Outside it’s snowing. I push my face against the cold glass of the window. My nose flattens so that it looks silly. When I breathe out, two little clouds appear on the windowpane. When I hold my breath, they disappear.

I’m not allowed to touch the windows. Mommy always says to me, “Don’t do that Rosalind, you’ll dirty my window panes.”. I’m not allowed to climb on the sofa either, but by doing this, I can just look over the edge of the balcony into the nursery. It has cheerful colours on the windows. Yesterday the children were making Christmas Bells. I wasn’t. Last week I missed all the fun too. I wasn’t at school then. Here in our living room we already have a Christmas tree with pretty decorations. Daddy said this morning: “Ten more sleeps, and then it’s Christmas!”

Children are running in the classroom, waving their arms and there… the teacher! She waves. I raise my arm, but I don’t wave. I put my hand against the glass. Lifting my arm hurts. Climbing on the back of the sofa hurts as well. It makes the bandage around my tummy pull. My leg is throbbing.

Tears are coming again. Not only from the pain. I cry quietly. Mommy mustn’t hear me crying. She’ll get angry. I feel so lonely; I want to go back to school. The teacher is much kinder than my mommy. I don’t want to be at home with her.

It’s all her fault. I didn’t fall. She pushed me! It was awful. I don’t know why she did it. She was telling me I had done something wrong when the doctor examined me. Other children behave well at the doctor’s mommy said. I don’t know what I had done wrong. She said I should have shown the doctor where it hurts. But daddy always says I mustn’t tell lies. I didn’t know what to do. Mommy sounded more and more angry.


I’m lying sopping wet in mommy’s and daddy’s bed. It hurts a lot. I can hear screaming. The woman next door whom I always call “aunty” is quarrelling with my mother. I can hear their voices: “… hospital… doctor…” again and again my mom says: “No, not on purpose.”. I’ve got so much pain. Mommy is crying. Suddenly my uncle appears. What is he doing here? Then the doctor. He gives me an injection. That hurts as well. I hear him say something about an “ambulance”. More quarrelling and angry voices, but they are getting softer...


When I wake up again my father is home. My beloved daddy. Everything will be alright now. He’s afraid, like me. I can see it in his eyes.

Hello, little one, are you awake?” Daddy sits on the bed with Puddycat.

Oh? I’m in theirbed. I can see a very big bump. I look under the blankets. That’s strange; the neighbour’s footstool covers my tummy. The blankets and the bedspread are over the top of the stool. Mommy’s and daddy’s beautiful white bedspread has little ridges, like tiny streets. You can follow them with your finger to the big, red flower in the middle. I’m not allowed to do that in case I make it dirty. And now I’m under that same bedcover. My tummy and leg are bandaged.

Daddy sees me looking and says: “Mommy has carefully put you into our bed. You fell against the stove, remember?”

I didn’t fall.”

Yes, you did. You fell against the stove and you burnt yourself very badly,” says daddy again.

I didn’t fall! Mommy pushed me against it!”

Daddy looks at me in a funny way. Then he starts to laugh aloud and says: “My little Rosy, what on earth are you thinking of? Do you think mommy would do that on purpose? It was an accident, silly girl. The towel slipped out of mommy’s hand when she was drying you.”

That’s not true. She pushed me against it. I know I’m not allowed to go near the stove, because it’s hot.”

Go back to sleep now. Puddycat can stay with you on the bed for a little while. Just this once! It was an accident silly, as if mommy would push you against a stove!”

She did.”

Daddy’s face isn’t smiling anymore. Curtly he says: “Why on earth would your mother do that? Daddy doesn’t want to be angry with you, while you are very ill, but you must never say things like that again. Mommy loves you very much, and mommies don’t do things like that.”


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