Blind for a Day

By Linda Porter Carlyle

Hannah Maria Estevez was dreaming. A giant fly buzzed around and around her head. She took aim and swatted at it. Hannah Maria Estevez hit herself in the nose. She abruptly woke up!

Hannah sat straight up in bed and tenderly touched her nose. Ow! She laughed softly. She’d better not tell anybody how she woke up this morning—she’d be teased about it for the rest of her life!

Hannah cocked her head and listened. The buzzing noise from her dream continued. What was it? she wondered. Then she remembered. It was the sound of Mama’s new mill. Mama was grinding flour. That meant either homemade bread or Mama’s special waffles! Hannah was suddenly starved. She threw off the covers. It must be waffles! It was breakfast time after all!

As Hannah bounced out of bed, she noticed the pink bandanna on her desk. Oh, yes. Today was the day of her experiment. She pushed her curtains aside and looked out the window at the bright, sunny, probably-going-to-be-hot day. Then she reached for the bandanna. She tied it securely around her head, completely covering her eyes. She adjusted the edges so she couldn’t see a thing. No cheating. She scuffed slowly across the bedroom floor toward the door, her hands out in front so she wouldn’t do any more damage to her nose.

Hannah found the door and opened it. Very carefully, she scuffed forward, touching the wall, until she found the top of the stairs. She grabbed the handrail and went down. Twelve steps. No problem.

Hannah walked slowly through the hall, her fingers trailing along the wall. She stopped in the kitchen doorway. She could hear Baby Paulo making happy eating noises in his high-chair. She could hear Mama humming at the sink.

“What are you doing?” Mama suddenly exclaimed. “Why do you have your head tied up?”

Hannah giggled. “It’s an experiment,” she explained.

“What kind of experiment?” Mama asked. Hannah could tell she was frowning. There was a frown in her voice.

“Pastor Chuck said in class that the light of God’s Word is even more important to us than regular light that helps us see things,” Hannah began. “He said it would be better to have blind eyes than to be spiritually blind. He said we should try being blindfolded for a day and see how hard everything would be and how much we would miss out on. And then we could think about how hard it would be to go through life without God’s Word to guide us, and keep us safe, and help us see the right way to go.” She stopped for breath.

Mama took a deep breath too. “Do you mean you are going to wear that blindfold all day?” she asked.

Hannah could tell Mama had thrown her hands in the air like she always did when she was excited or upset. Definitely, Mama had her hands in the air! “I don’t know,” Hannah admitted. “Maybe.”

Baby Paulo banged his spoon on the high-chair tray. Then he threw his plastic cup on the floor. You could tell a lot that was happening by just listening, Hannah decided.

“I guess you won’t be helping much with the baby today,” Mama said. She stooped to pick up Paulo’s cup.

“Are you making waffles?” Hannah asked hopefully.

“Yes,” Mama answered. “I guess you won’t be helping me with that either.”

“I can help!” Hannah insisted. “I can stir if I’m careful!”

“You can’t measure ingredients though,” Mama pointed out.

It was Hannah’s turn to frown. She loved measuring ingredients! “Today I’ll just stir,” she finally said, feeling her way to the counter.

“I need the two largest mixing bowls,” Mama said. “Can you find them, blind like that?”

Hannah felt for the cupboard. She opened the door. She carefully lifted out the three mixing bowls that sat nested inside each other on the shelf. Then she put the smallest bowl back in its place. “I did it!” she said happily.

“I need the measuring cup,” Mama said, slicing up a banana for Paulo.

Hannah felt her way across the kitchen and found the measuring cup in its cupboard.

“Two eggs,” Mama said, taking the lid off Paulo’s special cup so she could pour him more juice.

Hannah found the refrigerator with no trouble. She opened the door, and the cool air rushed out against her legs. She felt for the egg carton. It was very handy that Mama always kept it on the left side of the second shelf! Hannah opened the carton and took out two eggs. She shut the refrigerator door.

“Put them on the counter,” Mama instructed, wiping Baby Paulo’s face.

Hannah walked slowly across the kitchen again and did as Mama said.

“Watch out!” Mama exclaimed.

Splat! Splat!

The eggs hit the floor and gooey raw egg splashed across Hannah’s bare feet. “Oh, gross!” she exclaimed, yanking off her blindfold. “Oh, gross!” She looked down. “Oh, gross!” she wailed again.

At that moment the back door opened, and Dad came in. He peeled off his garden gloves. “I see you had a little accident,” he commented. He grinned at the horrified expression on Hannah’s face. “It’s just a couple of eggs,” he said encouragingly. “Clean them up.” He leaned over to kiss Hannah on the nose.

Hannah’s hand flew up to cover it. “Don’t touch my nose! It’s sore!” she exclaimed.

Another accident?” Dad asked. “What in the world happened?”

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