YOU short story: Memories

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The young scribe's love for her grandmother inspired her to submit this story. (Pic: Getty Images/Gallo Images)
The young scribe's love for her grandmother inspired her to submit this story. (Pic: Getty Images/Gallo Images)

Ten-year-old Mika du Plessis's story about her grandmother, who's her role model, was shortlisted in YOU's Youth Month writing competition.

As I walked through the jumble of boxes, a cat jumped from one onto my shoulder.

“Oh! Bobbi, you scared me,” I said, cuddling her.

“Mika! Come here!” Granny called. “I want to show you something!”

I put Bobbi down and ran into the lounge. Granny was sitting on the couch, holding a yellow-and-turquoise jumper with a hoodie with "MIKA" knitted on the front.

“Look at this one. Do you like it?” she asked, holding it out.

“Thank you! It's awesome!” I said, hugging her.

“Can you teach me how to knit?”

Granny thought for a second, then said, “Okay, how about Wednesday?”

A few minutes later, I was running up to my house to tell Mom, Dad and my sister Maya that I was going to learn to knit with Granny Sue.

Two days later, when my alarm clock rang at six o' clock, I switched it off and got dressed. It was freezing, so I put on the jumper that Granny gave me and a pair of mittens (also made by Granny).

I ran into the kitchen and made myself breakfast, then dashed down to Granny's house.

“Hello! What are we going to knit?” I said as soon as she opened the door.

“Hello! A beanie or a scarf?” she asked.

“Can I do a beanie?” I asked.

“OK” Granny replied, ushering me through to the lounge.

I spent most of the morning learning to knit on a loom. At first I was using very cheap wool, which was very clever of Granny, because I made a lot of mistakes. With Granny's teaching, I soon got the hang of it. So quickly, that by noon I was using good-quality wool in my favourite colours (yellow, green, blue and turquoise) and was making beautiful beanies.

In fact, when I took my creations home that afternoon to show Mom, Dad and Maya, they thought Granny had made them.

This was the last time I would smile in a long time.

By the next day, Granny was in hospital.

My dad had gone to visit her early in the morning, but he had to break into her house because she wasn't answering his calls. He found her lying on the floor unconscious.

Granny was rushed to hospital and when we visited her the next day, she was as thin as a scarecrow.

She died two days later.

My Granny knew she was dying and, in preparation, she had written letters to Maya and myself.

Youth Month, Fiction, Short Story
Mika, who wrote this story, with one of her best friends, Bobbi the Cat, and Bobbi’s knitted lookalike. (Pic: Supplied)

The reality of what had happened only sunk in when Dad read my letter to me. It reminded me of all the good times I had with my Granny – drinking Coke behind Mom's back, sneaking me Zoo Biscuits while I was sick . . . You could have filled the ocean with my tears.

Three years have passed since then and now I knit myself beanies, mittens, bags, scarves and more instead of buying them. I even sell them.

My Granny Sue is still with me, with every single stitch of each of my knitting projects. Granny, and knitting, will always be a part of me.


You could have filled the ocean with my tears.


Mika is from the Northern Cederberg and is home schooled. She taught herself how to knit on needles using the wool and the knitting books her granny left her. Last year, she sold enough of her knitting to buy herself a 21-speed racing bike. She plans to become a marine biologist one day.

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