I RAN INTO A STRANGER

I RAN INTO A STRANGER _ Anon



I ran into a stranger as he passed by,
"Oh, excuse me Please" was my reply.
He said, "Please excuse me too;
Wasn't even watching for you."
We were very polite, this stranger and I.
We went on our way and we said good-bye.


But at home a different story is told,
How we treat our loved ones, young and old.
Later that day, cooking the evening meal,
My daughter stood beside me very still.
When I turned, I nearly knocked her down.
"Move out of the way," I said with a frown.
She walked away, her little heart was broken.
I didn't realize how harshly I'd spoken.


While I lay awake in bed,
God's still small voice came to me and said,
"While dealing with a stranger, common courtesy you use,
But the children you love, you seem to abuse.


Look on the kitchen floor,
You'll find some flowers there by the door.
Those are the flowers she brought for you.
She picked them herself: pink, yellow and blue.
She stood quietly not to spoil the surprise,
and you never saw the tears in her eyes."


By this time, I felt very small, and now my tears began to fall.
I quietly went and knelt by her bed;
"Wake up, little girl, wake up," I said.
"Are these the flowers you picked for me?"


She smiled, "I found 'em, out by the tree.
I picked 'em because they're pretty like you.
I knew you'd like 'em, especially the blue."
I said, “Daughter, I’m sorry for the way I acted today;
I shouldn’t have yelled at you that way.”
She said, “Oh, Mom, that’s okay. I love you anyway.”
I said, “Daughter, I love you too,
and I do like the flowers, especially the blue.”



Aids to Comprehension
I. The incidents narrated in the poem are arranged in a jumbled manner here. Rearrange them in a proper order as they occur in the poem. You can work in pairs:

1. The mother went to her daughter’s room
2. Seeking excuse politely from the stranger she went her way.
3. In the end, the bonding between the mother and daughter got strengthened.
4. Late that night her conscience made her feel guilty of her insensitive behaviour.
5. She softly woke her daughter up.
6. She appreciated her daughter’s gift of flowers.
7. The poet ran into a stranger on the road.
8. She said sorry to her daughter for yelling at her.
9. Her daughter comforted her by saying she loved her.

Ans. 1. The poet ran into a stranger on the road.
2. Seeking excuse politely from the stranger she went her way.
3. Late that night her conscience made her feel guilty of her insensitive behaviour.
4. The mother went to her daughter’s room
5. She softly woke her daughter up.
6. She said sorry to her daughter for yelling at her.
7. She appreciated her daughter’s gift of flowers.
8. Her daughter comforted her by saying she loved her.
9. In the end, the bonding between the mother and daughter got strengthened.



II. Answer the following questions working in pairs / groups:


1. Do you think the bonding between the mother and daughter was strong enough to care about the incident? What do  you learn from this?


Ans. I think, the bonding between the mother and daughter is always strong enough to overcome the situation like this. Conflicts between a mother and child do happen since the relationship is very affectional one. But the conflicts and disputes are mostly a temporary one.


I learned from the beautiful and sensitive poem is that it is always sensible to acknowledge one’s mistake and clear all misunderstandings between our loved one.


2. How would you behave if such an incident happened with you in your family?


Ans. If such an incident happened with me in my family, then I would react aggressively in the beginning if mistake is not on the part of me. But later, i tried to understand the reason.

3. Love and forgiveness are the core values for family members to remain attached to each other. Pick up any incident in your life to describe how it helped you understand your family members better. Narrate it to your friends.


Ans. My Mummy and daddy are normally very nice to me and we are very good friends too. But, I remember, on one occasion, When I had argument with my younger sister, mummy without knowing the actual fact, scolded me because I was the elder one. I felt very hurt and upset as I thought that was injustice to me. But that situation helped me to understand my family members that we should not fight with the one who is younger than us.


4. You may have had the same experience with your father/brother/sister.
Describe it to your friends.

Ans. My Mummy and daddy are normally very nice to me and we are very good friends too. But, I remember, on one occasion, When I had argument with my younger sister, mummy without knowing the actual fact, scolded me because I was the elder one. I felt very hurt and upset as I thought that was injustice to me. But that situation helped me to understand my family members that we should not fight with the one who is younger than us.



Poetic Devices


(1) Pick up the rhyming pairs of words from the poem.


Ans. Stanza 1 : by - reply; I-good-bye
Stanza 2: told - old; meal - still, down - frown, broken - spoken
Stanza 3: bed - said; use - abuse; floor - door; you - blue, surpirse - eyes.
Stanza 4: small - fall, bed - said
Stanza 5: you - blue, today - way- anyway; too - blue.


(2) Figures of Speech.


Alliteration


(i) “We went on our way and we said good - bye”
Sound of the letter ‘w’ is repeated.


(ii) “I didn’t realize how harshly I’d spoken”
Sound of the letter ‘h’ is repeated.


(iii) “God’s still small voice came to me”
Sound of the letter ‘s’ is repeated.


(iv) “Common courtesy you use”
Sound of the letter ‘c’ is repeated.


(v) “She not to spoil the surprise” stood quietly
Sound of the letter ‘s’ is repeated.


Repetition


(i) We went on our way and we said good - bye.
Word ‘we’ is repeated for poetic effect.


(ii) The children you love, you seem to abuse.
Word ‘you’is repeated for poetic effect.


(iii) Wake up, little girl, wake up.
Word ‘wake up’ is repeated for poetic effect.


Simile


“They’re pretty like you.”
The beauty of the flowers is directly compared to the beauty of the mother.


Inversion

“The children you love, you seem to abuse.”

The word order is altered to maintain the poetic effect of rhyme scheme. The proper order is :

You seem to abuse the children you love.