It was a rainy day once again. NOM felt happy because of his quotes. They had kept him happy all week long when it had been pouring with rain. Especially one of them:”Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass; it’s about learning how to dance in the rain.”
That’s exactly what NOM had done. Literally. Everyday he had gone outside, stepped into the pouring rain, danced, laughed and felt happy. Afterwards he had taken a long hot bath in his cardbaord box and made sesame seed tea.
Because of that NOM was in high spirits. Today he decided to go to town for a change. He needed to go to the supermarket to buy some sesame seeds and other groceries. NOM got out his green shopping bag and put on a rain coat. Then he skipped off to town in the pouring rain. The colours of the clouds were a grey-ish black and the grass and leaves were dripping wet. Add the mud and a downward hill and the fun could begin (for NOM)! Because it was way to slippery to walk, NOM simply slid down the hill sitting on his rain coat. He laughed and waved at the birds that flew past him taken aback by the sudden movement.
By the time NOM arrived in town he was completely covered in mud. His yellow raincoat was no longer yellow, it looked like a big muddy leaf. NOM’s fur was all tangled and knotty and looked awfully brown. But NOM didn’t care. In fact he still laughed when he stepped into the town square. “That was fun!”, he said and walked into the supermarket his feet leaving trails of mud behind. Inside people glared at NOM. Everyone looked cranky and moody. ‘Why is everyone so grumpy?‘ NOM thought. ‘Is it just because of the weather or what?’ He wished he could help them but didn’t bother about it anymore. He had to go shopping!
NOM stood in front the sesame seed section of the supermarket and started picking out different flavours. Plain, caramel, chocolate, vegetable flavour…
“WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU ARE DOING HERE???” a voice suddenly screamed behind NOM.
NOM flinched. He turned around slowly to find one of the shop assistants staring at him in disgust.
“YOU ARE MAKING THE BIGGEST MESS IN HERE! This mud is DISGUSTING. Who told you you could go SNEAKING around the supermarket thinking NOTHING of this MESS you made here??!!” the shop assistant yelled so loud, there was spit flying out of his mouth. ‘Jeeesh he’s in a mood!’ NOM thought. “t’s just a little bit of mud…”
“NO, it’s not just a LITTLE bit of mud!!” the man kept yelling.
‘Oops..did I just say that out loud?’ NOM thought. ‘Okaay I have to come up with a solution to calm this man down otherwise I’m not going to get my sesame seeds…’
“I’m really sorry I ma….”, NOM started.
“NO YOU ARE NOT SORRY. I KNOW IT!”
‘Ok, so a simple apology doesn’t work…what else could I do?’ NOM really had no idea how to get out of this.
“If you don’t leave in ten seconds I’m going to report this to my boss and there will be some SERIOUS consequences.ONE….” the shop assistant threatened.
‘Oh ok…’ NOM thought… ‘Now he’s getting seriously angry.Keep thinking, keep thinking…’
‘What can I do? Uhm Uhm Uhm…’
‘Why is it so hard for me to think of an excuse? I need my sesame seeds…‘ NOM was desperate now.
“Uhh well I could uh clean the floor?” NOM said unsure.
“FIVE…SIX….” the assistant kept counting.
‘OK that obviously didn’t work…’ Then he remembered one of the post-it notes that were stuck to his mirror back in the cardboard box: SMILE! It always works! ‘Yes that’s it!’
NOM started smiling at the shop assistant and said: “You know I will clean the whole mess, I really don’t mind and then I can give you a hand and work in your shop for today, cheer everyone up a bit…and later I’ll invite you for a little coffee at the cafe up the road, the one with the pretty lamps. You know I really am sorry I left mud all over the floor. It’ll all be clean in less than one hour. I just want to take one thing: sesame seeds. Thank you.” Throughout the whole speech NOM smiled brightly at the assistant.
The man stared at NOM speechless. Then he managed to stutter a few words: “Uh well if you…you do that…that would…be..uh..yeah”
NOM just kept smiling. The shop assistant didn’t know what else to say so he just stuttered something and turned around to go to some sort of room that had a sign saying ‘Staff only’ on it. NOM thought he could see the trace of a smile playing over the man’s mouth as he disappeared into the staff room.
‘Did it work?’ NOM wondered. He chose all the sesame seeds he wanted and a moment later the shop assistant returned carrying two mops and a bucket full of water. He handed one to NOM and kept the other one for himself. Then he started sweeping the floor whistling.
‘Wow what happened to him?’ NOM couldn’t stop gaping. Just minutes before the man had yelled at NOM like he was some sort of thief…and now he was whistling and sweeping the floor.That smile trick had actually worked! NOM started sweeping the floor too and an hour later, everything was spotless. NOM found out that the man’s name was Paul and he worked here everyday except for Mondays.While they had been sweeping the floor people had passed them, looking grumpy at first but when NOM smiled at them they cheered up and smiled too.
Two hours later NOM sat in the cafe with Paul and some of his colleagues who had been just as cranky and were now happily chatting and sipping their coffee. The afternoon had turned out to be really fun. Everyone had been in a mood, but when NOM smiled at them they cheered up. Smiling was the key to making people happy. Especially on rainy days. Then, later in the afternoon, the sun came out and a rainbow appeared on the sky.