In their town, everyone received their first errand the year they turned three.
The week she turned three, a serious illness left her bedridden for two years. Even after she recovered, it took another two years before she could walk without losing her breath.
Because of that, she only ran her first errand when she was seven. Her parents didn’t want her to go at first, but everyone else was busy, and it was a simple task. All she needed to do was to bring a small bag of pumpkin seeds to a house down the street, so she volunteered herself.
Bag in hand, she walked over. Halfway out, her knees buckled and she tripped over her own feet, scattering the pale seeds all over the ground.
For a long moment, she stared at the mess, unable to believe her eyes. She was seven, and she’d failed a task that people half her age did. Not only did she fail to help, she was creating more problems. She was being a burden, again.
Hot tears running down her cheeks, she picked up the seeds, making sure not to leave a single dot behind, and turned back home.
“You dropped them? That’s alright. The seeds are for planting.”
The words gave her hope. Steps light, she set off again.
This time, she didn’t trip.