What does an angel look like? | Nal'ibali
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What does an angel look like?

Author

Njabulo Mokoena

Illustrator

Chantelle and Burgen Thorne

One day at school, Teacher Jane told them about angels. Sharon was so excited about what she had learnt that she told her mom about all the good things that angels do as soon as she got home that day.

“Mom, what does an angel look like?” she asked as she ate her after-school snack.

“I don’t know, my darling. What did Teacher Jane say an angel looks like?”
Mom asked.

 

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“She said we would know an angel when we see one,” Sharon said, sighing. She wished that Teacher Jane had told them exactly what an angel looked like. At least then Sharon would know what to look for!

“Don’t you believe Teacher Jane?” Mom asked.

“I don’t know. I’m just wondering how I will recognise an angel if I don’t know what to look for,” Sharon said. Then she finished her snack and put her plate and cup in the kitchen sink.

“Come help me clean the table, please,” said Mom. “Put the vegetable peels in the compost bin and please put the bread away too.”

“Yes, Mom,” said Sharon and immediately did what her mother had asked her
to do.

When her dad came home from work that evening, Sharon ran to greet him at the door. She took his work bag to carry it for him. Her dad gave her a hug and smiled at her.

“Dad, I have a question,” Sharon said without giving her dad a chance to sit down.

“Yes, my dear, what is your question?” her dad asked with a big smile.

“Dad, what does an angel look like?”

“Well, angels are good, kind and lovely,” her father said.

“I know. Teacher Jane said that too. But what I want to know is what they really look like,” Sharon said.

Her father looked at her and thought for a while. Then he said, “I will take you out over the weekend so that we can see one.”

Sharon was very excited. “You know where to look?” she asked in amazement. “Mom!” she shouted. “Dad knows where to find angels!”

“That’s wonderful, Sharon. I’m happy you will finally have an answer to your question,” Mom said. She looked at Sharon’s dad with a big grin on her face.

The next morning in the school taxi Sharon told all her friends that she was going to see an angel on the weekend. Her friends smiled politely because they like Sharon, but they did not believe what she said.

Then she told her teacher about her plans for the weekend. Teacher Jane asked her to come and tell the class all about her adventure on Monday.

On Saturday morning, Sharon woke up early to do her chores. Then she bathed, dressed neatly and had breakfast. All that was left, was to wait for her dad to get ready. Soon enough Sharon was buckled into the backseat of the car and they were on their way.

“Dad, is it far?” she asked happily.

“We’ll be there soon,” he said with a smile. They drove a little while longer before stopping at a retirement home.

“Here we are,” Dad said taking off his seatbelt.

“A retirement home?” Sharon was confused. What were angels doing at a retirement home?

“Aah, good morning,” said a young man walking towards them. “You must be Sharon. I’ve drawn up a list of things that you could do to help out at the home today.” He smiled at Sharon and handed a sheet of paper to her dad.

Dad read the list. First, Sharon helped Dad sweep the yard. Then they cleaned the chairs that the old people used when they sat in the sun. Sharon did her work as quickly as she could so that her dad could take her to see an angel.

“Next, we’ll clean the dining hall,” said Dad. They swept and dusted and polished until everything was sparkling and clean.

Finally, it was lunchtime. Sharon and her dad washed their hands and faces and went to the dining hall. There Sharon helped to serve the meal and then enjoyed sitting with everyone as they told her stories from long ago. They also played some board games. Then one granny said to Sharon, “You’re such an angel,” and gave her a big hug.

“What is your name, my angel?” asked another granny.

“I’m Sharon,” she answered with a smile and rushed off to her dad.

“The grannies called me an angel. Then I remembered that you were supposed to show me one today, Dad,” she said.

Her father smiled and pointed to their reflections in a mirror nearby. “Sharon, that is what an angel looks like.”

 

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Sharon stared at herself for moment and smiled. She couldn’t wait to go to school on Monday to explain to her friends and teacher how much she enjoyed doing the good work of being an angel.

 

 

Get story active!

 

  • What do you think angels look like? Draw a picture of an angel. Cut out and paste material for the clothing and wool or string for the hair.
  • Write a poem that tells us what you think about angels.
  • Make an “I’m your angel” jar for someone you love. Invite that person to put little notes of easy things – like Make me a cup of tea – that they would like you to do for them in the jar. As often as you can, take out one of the notes and do something nice for the person that you love.