Grandma’s house was wonderful! She had a beautiful room where she kept all her “special” things -- handkerchiefs, old dresses and hats that Stella would play dress up in. But what Stella loved most was Grandma’s tea cups. Grandma had hundreds of old tea cups in white cupboards with shiny golden handles. The tea cups were decorated with colorful pictures. But her favorite was the ballerina. It was so dainty and beautiful! Every time she visited, Stella begged to hold the ballerina, but Grandma always said she was too young, that she might break it. Finally, Grandma said the next time she visited she would her hold it. She was going to visit Grandma today. She could hardly wait!
When she arrived Stella jumped out of the car and ran up the steps into Grandma’s waiting arms.
“I have a special surprise for you, my dear,” said Grandma with a smile.
“Oh, I love surprises!” exclaimed Stella. She just knew she was going to finally hold the ballerina tea cup!
“Well, I was cleaning the attic and found a trunk of old clothes. I thought you might like to play dress up,” said Grandma.
“Oh, that’s nice,” said Stella.
“What’s the matter, my dear? You don’t seem very excited,” said Grandma. “I thought you liked to play dress up.”
Stella didn’t want to hurt Grandma’s feelings. Maybe she forgot her promise about the tea cup.
“I do, I guess I am just tired from the trip,” she said.
“Well, you will feel much better tomorrow after a good night’s sleep,” said Grandma.
She was so disappointed that Grandma had forgotten her promise. She had been looking forward to this trip all year and now that she was here, she was not going to get to hold the ballerina.
“Stella, would you like to walk to Mr. Thompson’s store with me?” said Grandma.
“I’m a big girl now; I can hold tea cups and not break them,” said Stella to herself. So she ran upstairs and took out the ballerina tea cup. Just as she picked it up she heard a noise. As she twirled around to see what it was, the tea cup fell out of her hands and crashed to the floor.
“Oh, no!” cried Stella. She had broken Grandma’s favorite tea cup. What was she going to do? As she stood there looking down at the broken pieces, she heard Grandma downstairs.
“Stella, I’m home,” called Grandma.
Stella hurriedly picked up the broken pieces, put them in a box she found lying on the floor and ran downstairs.
“I was just upstairs putting my suitcase away,” lied Stella. She knew she shouldn’t lie, but Grandma would be so angry with her, and she just knew she wouldn’t love her anymore.
“I was thinking about a promise I made to you the last time you were here,” said Grandma. “I think it’s time that you get to hold the tea cups,” said Grandma as she smiled at Stella.
“Oh, that’s okay, Grandma, I can just look at them in the cabinet. I wouldn’t want to drop one and break it,” said Stella.
“No, a promise is a promise. We will look at them tomorrow,” said Grandma.
Maybe Grandma wouldn’t see the missing ballerina tea cup. After all, it was in the back of the cupboard and she would just get one from the front and she would never know.
Grandma opened the cupboard. “My goodness,” she exclaimed. “I know it was here. I can’t seem to find the ballerina tea cup.”
“Oh, Grandma, I’m so sorry! Please don’t hate me. I thought you forgot your promise, so I got it out myself, but I heard a noise and I dropped the tea cup and it broke,” she sobbed as she went to get the broken pieces. But the box was empty!
“Stella, come here,” said Grandma. “I could never hate you. I love you!”
“Even after what I’ve done?” sobbed Stella.
“Even after what you’ve done,” said Grandma. “But I hope you learned a lesson.”
“Oh, I have. I was disobedient and I lied to you. I should have listened to you when you told me not to touch the tea cups. You were right,” said Stella.
“Yes, you were disobedient, but I know you are sorry and that you won’t disobey me anymore.”