The Flag

I was in grade 5, the last year of my elementary school. One thing I always wanted to do was to carry the flag on April 23rd, Children’s Day Celebrations.

They usually chose kids that were tall and strong. My height was fine but I had a little problem with my weight. From two months before, I was preparing myself to the task. I was stopping by the neighbourhood pharmacy everyday on my way home and weighing myself and checking my height. The pharmacist Mr. Michaels, was well respected and loved by everybody in the neighborhood. Again one day when we stopped by to check our height and weight, he said: “Listen Kids, this can’t go on every day. Your height and weight won’t change on a daily basis, why don’t you drop by once in three months?” Actually, it was the same every time, 57 pounds in weight, and 4 feet 10 inches height.

When the selection day finally arrived, I told my teacher that I wanted to carry the flag. She smiled back and told me that she would consider. I thought I had a good chance because I was a good, hard working student. Would that work, I wondered? A little while later my teachers called me in to the room and told me that I could not carry the flag but I could carry the sanjak. That would be fine, I was so happy.

Then came the day of the celebrations and the parade. As usual, my older sister told me that I could not get my picture taken, because it cost too much and we could not afford them. This wasn’t right! If it was, how come every year, on April 23rd, my cousin Leila had her picture taken with her new clothes she was wearing. One time, I cried, telling them that I wanted a picture taken too. She replied that she was working and could afford it, and that I should have my father work to pay for mine. This was the first and the last time I would have asked something from my sister. I have never asked for anything from her since.

Let’s get back to the parade. The flag was in the front and I was behind with the sanjak joined the festivities. I did, but I learned my lesson too. After carrying the sanjak I had difficulty carrying my lunch box for a week.

I was wondered how I would feel, if I had carried the heavier flag instead!

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