In a small village somewhere in the mountains of Kashmir, there lived a little girl who had curly brown hair and brown eyes. Her skin was as smooth as velvet.
Her parents had decided that if they ever had a daughter, they would name her Hana. She loved the colour red.
Hana lived with her parents and grandparents in a small wood house surrounded by fruit trees, meadows and small streams.
When she started to walk, her parents took her along when they went to tend to the farm animals, fruit picking or to the kitchen garden. She played with the farm animals and rabbits and ducks.
Hana had no friends and she prayed quietly everyday for a friend to play with. When she was five years old, God granted her wish. A family came to live in a house next to Hana’s. They had a daughter, Noora.
Soon, Hana and Noora became friends and would play with each other.
Noora had dolls, toy cars and games, but Hana did not have any toys. They would play with the toys, but Hana wished her parents would buy her toys.
It was winter. The trees had turned leafless and the sun seemed to have no warmth. When her birthday came, her father gifted her a pair of long red boots. Her mother gifted her a red coat and her grandparents gifted her a red umbrella with floral motifs and gold tassels. Though it was her favourite colour, Hana was not happy. She wanted toys.
Her family had chosen the gifts wisely, keeping in mind the harsh winter.
She put the gifts away in a glass cupboard in their living room. But every time she would pass by the cupboard and see the red shoes and coat, she would wish that her parents had instead bought her toys. This would make her sad.
That winter, the water froze in the streams. It snowed heavily and it often rained.
One winter day, when Hana woke up in the morning she looked through the window. She saw snowflakes swirling and falling to the ground. Everything was white. She wanted to go out and play.
So, she rushed out of her room, opened the cupboard and pulled out the coat, shoes and umbrella. She put on her coat and shoes and went out to play carrying her umbrella.
When she went out, she saw Noora on the patio of her house. Hana waved at her. “Come, let us play,” said Hana.
But Noora did not have snow shoes and a coat so she stayed where she was. Hana then understood that her parents had chosen the best gifts for her.