Vol. 13


The Day My Grandma Learned
to Pick Up Her Toys

c. 1945; Onstwedde, the Netherlands

A young girl named Wina and her friend came together to play outside one day in Onstwedde, the Netherlands. Wina found a jump rope and tied it to a bar on a gate. She and her friend took turns skipping rope, happily forgetting the silent street and the cruel war that was keeping their country hostage. Suddenly the girls stopped playing and stood, listening, for they were sure they heard a noise come from further down the street.

The sound became clearer and louder than before. The girls soon realized that this mysterious sound wasn’t an uncommon one. Looking down the street, they saw a threatening column of German soldiers solemnly led by a Nazi officer proudly riding on horseback. The soldiers were marching in strict formation right towards the little girls.

Terrified, Wina and her friend sprinted to the friend’s house as fast as they could, for they knew well that German soldiers were ruthless and dangerous. When they were in the house, out of sight, they hid, shaking with fear by a window. Secretly and noiselessly they watched and waited with bated breath as a German soldier on horseback stopped his horse and looked down at the jump rope. The girls watched even more intently as he suddenly bent down, untied Wina’s jump rope from the gate and, without looking back, took it on horseback!

After the soldiers were safely out of sight, Wina and her friend ran back outside, devastated that their favorite plaything was gone. They looked at each other and became angry, for that was their rope! Afterwards, with heavy hearts, they both grudgingly decided that from then on, they would take their toys with them whenever they would go inside.

Years later that little girl named Wina immigrated to America and became my grandma. Even now, at an older age, she remembers that frightening moment. She still wishes she and her friend had taken the jump rope inside with them that day. As a result, she still is very persistent in keeping a clean house all the time.

Julia Martin; Missouri, USA



This copyrighted story may be copied and/or printed for limited classroom or personal use. To reprint this story in an article about The Grannie Annie, please contact The Grannie Annie Family Story Celebration for permission.


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