Title : Rita Author : Anne Frank Date : ? English Translation by: Michel Mok --------------------------------- Rita It was a quarter past four, and I was walking through a rather quiet street. I had just decided to drop in at the nearest pastry shop when, from a sidestreet, there came a couple of teen-aged girls who, chatting busily, walked arm-in-arm in the direction I had chosen. From time to time it is interesting and refreshing to listen to the conversation of teen-aged girls, not only because they laugh at the merest trifle, but also because their laughter is so infectious that everyone in their vicinity must involuntarily laugh with them. So I walked stealthily behind the pair and eavesdropped on their talk, which had to do with the buying of sweets for ten cents. They consulted each other seriously on what to get for their money, and one could tell that their mouths watered at the thought of it. At the pastry shop, they continued their chat while looking at the wares in the show window. As I, too, was fairly eating the delicious things with my eyes, I knew what their choice would be before they stepped into the shop. Inside it wasn't busy, and the girls were served at once. They had picked two fruit tarts which, wonder above wonder, they managed to take, untouched, out of the store. A minute later I also was ready, and once more the two walked, talking loudly, ahead of me. On the next corner there was another pastry shop, in front of whose window there stood little girl, taking in the display with greedy eyes. Soon the three were talking together, and I reached the corner in time to hear one of the teen-agers ask: "Are you hungry, little one? Would you like a fruit tart?" The tiny one, of course, said, "Yes." "Don't be foolish, Rita," said the other teen-ager. "Put your tart quickly into your mouth, as I did, for if you give it to this kid, you'll have nothing." Rita didn't answer but stood there undecided for a moment, looking from the tart to the little girl and back again. Then she suddenly gave the child the pastry and said: "Please, eat this, my dear; I'm going home to dinner, anyway." And before the little one could thank her, Rita and her friend had disappeared. As I passed the youngster, who had taken a big bite from the tart with obvious relish, she offered it to me. "Have a taste, miss; I got this for a present." I thanked her and, smiling, I walked on. Who do you think got the most pleasure from the fruit tart -- Rita, her friend, or the little girl? I think it was Rita.
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