Henry’s “The Gift of the Magi”

A total of one dollar and seventeen cents. That was it. And sixty cents of it in pennies, the tiniest units of currency. Pennies bargained with the men at the market who sold meat and vegetables, saving one and then two at a time. pleading till the knowledge of one’s impoverished state burnt into one’s face. Della counted it thrice. A total of one dollar and seventeen cents. And Christmas would come the following day.


It was obvious that the only thing to do was to sit and cry. Della sobbed. It made me think that there are more little cries than smiles in life, and that’s what makes life worth living. After Della had stopped crying, she patted her face. With dismay, she stood by the window and observed a gray cat ambling through a gray backyard surrounded by a gray fence. Christmas Day was coming up tomorrow, and she only had one dollar and eighty-seven cents left over to buy her husband Jim a present. For months she had been saving every money she could, and this was the outcome.


Jim’s weekly salary was twenty dollars, hardly much money. The costs had beyond her initial expectations. They are invariably. She had spent many a joyful hour organizing what to get him. Something exquisite and unique, almost deserving of the distinction of being Jim’s property. The room had a big glass mirror situated between the windows. Della abruptly moved away from the window, stood in front of the glass mirror, and took a close look at herself. Her face was pale after twenty seconds, but her eyes were bright. She swiftly undid her hair and allowed it to fall to its natural length.Mr. and Mrs. James Dillingham Young were now the proud owners of two valuable things. First was Jim’s gold watch, which had belonged to both his grandpa and father. Della’s hair was the other.


Della would have hung her hair out the window to dry if the Queen of Sheba had resided in their building, merely to devalue the queen’s treasures. Now Della’s gorgeous hair cascaded down around her, gleaming like a torrent of brown hair. It formed itself around her almost like a cloak, reaching below her knees. She swiftly put it up again after that. A few tears spilled over the ground and she remained motionless. She pulled on her old brown hat and coat. She danced out the door and down the street, her brightness still shining in her eyes. The sign that said “Madame Sofronie” was where she stopped. Hair Products of Every Sort.” Breathless, Della hurried up the steps to the shop.


Della enquired, “Will you buy my hair?” Madame said, “I sell hair.” “Take your hat off and let us have a look at it.” The gorgeous brown torrent of hair fell. “Twenty dollars,” Madame replied as she skillfully lifted the hair. Della responded, “Give it to me quick.” It felt like they had wings as the next two hours flew by. Della browsed every store in an attempt to find Jim a present. Finally, she located it. Without a doubt, it had been made just for Jim. It was a chain made out of plain silver round rings. It fit Jim’s gold watch perfectly. She knew it had to be for him as soon as she saw it. It resembled him. Both quiet and very worthwhile. She ran home with the eighty-seven cents that were left after giving the shopkeeper twenty-one dollars. Della started mending what remained of her hair as soon as she got home. Her love and her wish to present a unique gift had destroyed the hair. Restoring the damage was an enormous task.




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