The golden ball
Nora is an orphan who wanders around the big city. No one in the world cares for her. She lives in a small, dilapidated cottage on the outskirts of town. She doesn’t have many possessions, but Nora is always cheerful and full of hope. Every morning she gets up early and wanders through the city. Here and there she gets something to eat from people. It’s not much but Nora is always grateful for it.
Today she walks through the city and takes a seat on a bench in the park. The baker had given her a sandwich and the smell of it made her stomach rattle.
Suddenly, her eye falls on something that glistens. For a moment she blinks with her eyes because she thinks she hasn’t seen it right. There among the bushes lies a glittering golden ball. Surprised, she lets the ball roll in her hand. She carefully puts it into her backpack.
When she returns home, she admires the beautiful ball. She cherishes him as her most precious possession, which it is.
Days and weeks are passing by, and time increasingly takes its toll on Nora’s cottage. Here and there the roof leaks and the joints of the walls slowly disappear. With every step she takes in the house, the floor creaks. Nora loses weight because the food she gets is not enough for a girl of her age. In addition, the food is often one-sided and does not contain enough nutrients. She hungers for a better life but doesn’t know how she could achieve it.
In the park, Nora meets a girl, Tess. Tess is new to the city and, just like Nora, she feels lonely. Tess cannot find a shelter and Nora suggests that she come and live with her. The two girls find comfort in each other and together they dream of a bright future.
Nora shows Tess her golden ball and tells her where she found it.
“You know Tess, it’s like if he’s giving me strength. Surely there must be a reason why I found him.’
“Maybe you should sell it and repair the house with it,” Tess suggests.
“Do you think we can get a lot of money for it,” Nora replies.
“I don’t know, but we can investigate it. Maybe we should check first to make sure it hasn’t been stolen,” Tess says.
“You’re right let’s do that first,” Nora whispers.
Nora and Tess investigate. First, they ask at the police station whether a report has been received about a ball. The agent searches in the system and tells them that there is no report has been received. “Well, dear, it’s yours. He won’t be worth much. Just put him in your room quietly. Now I must get back to work so have a nice day lady.”
Giggling, Nora, and Tess walk outside. “Well, that was obvious,” Nora says.
They stroll along the canal and come to an antique shop. There they go in and Nora shows the man the golden ball.
“That’s a special example. How did you get it,” the man asks.
“He belonged to my grandmother,” Nora replies.
The man looks at her and offers her a reasonable price. Nora and Tess look at each other in surprise. The man thinks he has offered her too little and offers a considerable amount on top of it. Nora agrees and the sale is completed.
Some of the money Nora puts in her piggy bank and the other part they fix up the house. Together they repair the roof. They plaster the cracks in the walls and replace the worn planks on the floor with new ones. The walls, doors and windows are painted and after a while the old worn house starts to look like a true paradise.
The girls are proud of their work and feel happy for the first time in their young lives.
The news of the remarkable change of the cottage has not gone unnoticed in the village. Every day people ring the doorbell to ask if they can buy a house.
As crazy as it sounds, now owning that little house is worse than poverty.
For some reason, Nora no longer feels happy in her cottage and slowly she starts to doubt whether she did the right thing in fixing up her house.
“Tess, the bell is ringing. Would you like to see who’s ringing the doorbell,” Nora asks.
When Tess opens the door, a lady is standing in front of the door.
“Hi, I’m Mrs. Smith. May I come in,” she asks.
“I’ll have to ask my girlfriend ma’am. It’s her cottage,” Tess replies.
Mrs. Smits is allowed to enter and is deeply impressed by both girls and says that she wants to help them.
“We don’t sell ma’am,” Emma whispers. ‘Everyone wants us to sell our cute little house for a low price. You’d better leave.’
“Oh, but I didn’t come here to buy your house. I have another proposal. I want to invite you and your girlfriend to come and live with me in the mansion for the time being. In the meantime, we will ensure that your house remains in neat condition. I would like you to keep me company and, in the meantime, I educated both of you on all kinds of things.
If you ever decide to sell the cottage, I will make sure you get a good price for it. Just think about it. I’ll be back next week, and I’ll hear from you what your decision is.’
When Mrs. Smits has left, Nora and Tess look at each other in surprise. Both don’t know what’s happening to them. They don’t have to think about their decision for long.
The girls are surrounded by Mrs. Smits with love, comfort, and wealth. She ensures that the girls receive an education so that they can later stand on their own two feet.
The small house is still owned by Nora and Tess. They know the downside of life like no other. Wealth can have its charm, but so can poverty.