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Story time: The wold's best vase

September 14, 2013

ONCE there was a small kettle for brewing tea. Unlike other stylish teapots, there was no fancy painting on its body — except a modest green leaf on one of its sides — but it was not bothered about it and happily and faithfully served its household for many years.

As time passed, the family grew larger and larger and then the day came when the small teapot, despite giving its best, could not brew enough tea for the whole family. So mother thoroughly washed and dried it with a soft flannel cloth and stashed it away on the upper shelf of the kitchen cabinet.

Next day, mother went to the market and bought a new teapot. It was a magnificent large kettle of bright red colour, all covered in big golden twigs and leaves. A fat pompous bird sat on one of the wide branches on its side.

The new teapot was solemnly placed on the main kitchen shelf, along with the crystal coupe on a thin high stalk used for jams and an ancient biscuit bowl, decorated with various metal flowers. Very soon the threesome found a common language and even became friends.

And the little teapot was eventually forgotten by all, even by mother. But it didn’t feel offended, “So it goes!” it used to tell itself with a shy smile.

Life was going on routinely in the house when one day, it was the beginning of March, someone brought in spring flowers — gentle tiny purple petals on thin pinkish stems. These were the first forest violets!

“Water quickly! Please, find a vase! The violets are choking without water!” a cry rose.

But one vase was too large for the petite flowers, the other was too wide for the thin shoots, whereas the dark colour of the third one made the dark purple violets almost disappear on it.

“Oh, what to do now?” everyone cried in confusion. “We don’t have a vase for the violets!”

Suddenly an old brewing teapot caught mother’s attention.

“Though vases don’t have spouts,” she thought, “the teapot is quite suitable in size. Its top is not wide, so the violets will not fall down, besides its white colour will nicely accentuate the beauty of wild flowers.”

Without giving it a second thought, mother removed the teapot from the shelf, filled it with water and arranged the violets in it. Indeed, it was a wonderful sight — tender dark petals in a small white teapot with a green leaf on the side. The little teapot couldn’t be happier and its modest leaf was trembling so much from excitement that it almost fell off!

In the evening, the whole family gathered in the living room to have tea. On the round table there sat a coupe on a high stalk, full of strawberry jam, next to it was a beautiful biscuit bowl with freshly baked pastries, while in the centre of the table was the new large kettle with the beautiful bird. All three looked very important and festive.

Mother entered the room, carrying the teapot with the violets, which she carefully put on the table. Oh, dear, you could never imagine the bewilderment, the disturbance and the outrage that spun around the small teapot!

“Well, well, well!” sang the perturbed coupe. “Just look, look, look! What an audac-c-c-city!”

“Huh-huh,” the antique biscuit bowl snorted in anger. “It is really insulting that such a small, ugly and gawky … hmm … thing believes it is worthy of flowers. Huh-huh …”

The large red teapot did not say anything. It only angrily clanked its lid and sniffed in frustration. The pretty bird turned its head and gave the little teapot a sharp look. Though it also remained silent, it was clear that the bird was displeased at sharing the table with the old teapot.

How astonished the little teapot was! How sad! Almost smitten with such harsh comments! The poor little soul felt so bitter that the flowers it contained faded in an instance. Yes, just in the blink of an eye, in front of everyone.

It often happens: if you feel bad, somebody close to you senses it and suffers too. But the little pot did not know that and decided that the elegant coupe for jam, beautiful biscuit bowl and the large kettle with a bright bird, were right — it thought that the flowers were not happy with it and so they withered in sorrow.

For a whole year the small teapot with a green leaf on the side grieved on its shelf. A whole year! And then again, one spring day, somebody brought the first forest violets. And once again, well, I do not know for certain, but I am pretty sure, mother arranged the flowers in the old small teapot. Probably no other suitable vase was found for them in the house, and then — I do not know for sure but would love to believe — the little pot realised that it was important, well, absolutely vital for those violets!

The joy of the little pot grew more and more and it became so overwhelming that it affected the violets also! And the violets — just imagine — have not faded for almost a year now!

To tell you the truth, I’ve never seen that teapot and violets, somebody told me about them. I can’t exactly remember who it was, but that makes no difference!