Little Gretl could hardly keep her eyes shut. The thundering monster outside challenged her. His flashing eyes and scary roar made the seven Von Trapp kids shiver with fear on a stormy night of the year 1938, in Salzburg in Austria. They gathered courage and sprinted down the stairs, into Maria’s room.
Maria, the free-spirited, misfit nun had been sent from the abbey to work as a governess for the seven kids of widower, ex-navy captain Georg Von Trapp. Maria soon transformed the drab and militaristic air of the Von Trapp mansion into one redolent of love and music.
Long treks, adventure rides, singing, dancing, Maria had lots of fun with the kids. The discipline and learnings that Maria imparted were all wrapped up in the uplifting notes of music and her maternal love.
“How about a story?” prompted Maria. As the kids cheered, she quietly conspired to bundle some math riddles with a bedtime story.
Pulling the covers over Gretl, Maria began.
“A widow once told her family of kids, fetch me some wood for a fire big.
Off went into forest her offspring so many, 3 brothers and 4 sisters are total how many?” quizzed Maria.
“Seven!” shouted Gretl, waving her fingers.
“You are the smartest five-year-old I have met” cheered Maria.
“If sisters found five, and brothers ten, that makes how many sticks altogether with them?” Maria queried.
“Fifteen!” blurted, the seven-year-old Marta.
“You never fail to surprise me Marta” added Maria.
“Soon they found a stick hanging from a tree, big brother broke it into pieces three. Twenty pieces mother told, now how many in their hands they hold?” asked Maria.
“Eighteen!” exclaimed, ten-year-old Brigitta.
“That was awesome!” lauded Maria.
“How many more they need to find, to get as many mother had in mind?” inquired Maria.
Maria looked expectantly towards eleven-year-old Kurt for an answer. However, Kurt sheepishly ducked under the quilt.
Thirteen-year-old Louisa jumped in, “two more, they need only two more.”
Maria applauded Louisa with claps.
“Hours had slipped, O’ so many, six hours ticked, is what quarter of the day already clicked?” puzzled Maria.
Fourteen-year-old Friedrich hesitantly answered, “A quarter!”
“You are a smart young man,” praised Maria.
“As they return with sticks twenty, what percent it is of the required bounty?” tested Maria.
Sixteen-year-old Liesl proudly announced the answer “A hundred percent! They got the full lot needed.”
“I am so proud of you all” chorused Maria, hugging the younger ones.
“Before Captain comes and catches us red-handed, let’s all hit our bed and hide under covers” pleaded Maria.
Once the kids left, Maria retired with a satisfied smile. Overwhelmed by their endearing looks, she wondered how music, math, and love shared a similar rule. Fractions when added, notes when strung and love when shared, all added up to a whole, a symphony, and a happy life.
Photo By: Pixabay
This is an entry for Five00-9, #Vintage. Find all the entries here: https://writers.artoonsinn.com/category/five00/five00-9/
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