Title : Rita
Author : Anne Frank
Date : ?
English Translation by: Michel Mok
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
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
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
“Please, eat this, my dear; I’m going home to dinner,
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.