Image: Gary Larson – Google Images.
Cyril Rum, an angel on sabbatical, found emotion an intriguing feature of human beings. Being an angel, the notion of happiness and or sadness, was something novel to him.
On earth in his efforts to understand the inhabitants, he found them possessed with the desire to find happiness. They sought it in so many ways, and he thought it all rather futile.
As a result, he was very much aware that around him, people were often unhappy and he could see the reason for that.
Humans he understood were basically greedy.
In the street, he lived in were several families who were always downcast, who appeared to struggle to find their way and whose children especially reflected their predicament.
His guide to finding his way on earth was his neighbour, Mildred Thrupp, a single, aged woman whom Cyril relied on to teach him the complex ways of humans.
Mildred knew everyone’s business, she knew about the Millsons, in particular, who were poor and miserable in their own way.
The Millson’s were a large family, an out of work father who drank and who came home late, argued with his wife and ordered his children about in no uncertain manner.
Mrs Millson did her best, she took in washing and worked on the farms during harvest time.
Cyril would see the family each Sunday morning troop past his house with Mrs Millson leading the five children to church. He noticed her black eyes, the children’s unhappy faces, the poor state of their clothing.
One morning he greeted them as they went past. Mrs Millson returned the greeting and the children all looked at him unsure as to what to say the old balding man standing at his gate.
The youngest, a red-haired girl announced it was her birthday. Cyril wished her a happy birthday and noticed she limped as she went by.
On their return, they saw him once again. He had a cake for the youngest one, complete with candles (thanks to Mildred).
The children had never had a birthday cake before, and they were very grateful to Cyril.
Later that day, the red-haired girl knocked on his door to thank him for the cake.
She also said they had enjoyed it and her father after eating his share was the happiest she had ever seen him. He stayed home rather than going to the pub and helped his wife with the household chores, something he’d never done before.
She said her family sang songs around the dinner table, her birthday was the best ever and her family the happiest she had ever seen them. Having given Cyril this message, she skipped off home.
She left Cyril, feeling he had done something useful, his happiness cake had been a winner, and that gave him a good feeling, something he surmised must have been happiness.