Discuss these questions in class with your teacher and then write down your answers in two or three paragraphs each.
1. Kezia’s efforts to please her father resulted in displeasing him very much. How did this happen?
2. Kezia decides that there are “different kinds of fathers”. What kind of father was Mr. Macdonald, and how was he different from Kezia’s father?
3. How does Kezia begin to see her father as a human being who needs her sympathy?
1. As suggested by her grandmother, Kezia decided to make a pin cushion out of a beautiful piece of yellow silk for her father's birthday. After stitching three sides of the cushion with double cotton with great care and effort, Kezia was stuck as to what to fill the cushion with. Since her grandmother was busy in the garden, she searched her Mother's bedroom for scraps. Finally, she discovered sheets of paper on the bed table. She gathered these, tore them up and filled the cushion with the torn pieces.
Unfortunately, her efforts to please her father not only went in vain but also had an unanticipated consequence. This was because the sheets she had torn were her father’s speech for the Port Authority. Her father scolded her for touching things that did not belong to her and punished her by hitting her palm with a ruler.
2. Kezia decides that there are “different kinds of fathers” after secretly watching her next-door neighbour Mr Macdonald play with his children.
Mr. Macdonald had five children. He was a doting and indulgent father who used to spend a great deal of merry time with his children. One day, Kezia saw them playing 'tag', while the baby, Mao, was seated on his shoulders and the two girls hung to his coat pockets and happily ran around the flower beds. Another day, she watched the boys turn the hose on Mr Macdonald and the way he playfully tried to catch them.
Kezia's father, on the other hand, hardly spent any time with her. Everyday, he came back home tired after his day's work and busied himself with the newspaper sipping his evening tea. Even on Sundays, he spent his time sleeping on the sofa.
3. With her mother and grandmother at the hospital, Kezia is left at home in the care of Alice, the cook. At night, after she is put to bed by the cook, she has a nightmare.
She calls for her grandmother but, to her surprise, she finds her father standing near her bed. He takes her in his arms and makes her sleep next to him. Half asleep, she creeps close to him, snuggles her head under his arm, and holds tightly to his shirt. Her father asks her to rub her feet against his legs for warmth.
Her father goes off to sleep before her. This makes her understand that he has to work hard every day and this leaves him too tired to be like Mr Macdonald. She expresses her altered feelings for her father by telling him that he has a 'big heart'.