Photo by Aditya Chinchure on Unsplash
Nina: Merry Christmas Nana. What did you get me?
Nana: Do I look like Santa Claus to you?
Nina: No Nana. Santa could never be so grouchy. Besides, he already gave me some lovely hair clips, a bar of chocolate and some art supplies. Grumpy as you are about it, you usually get me something for Christmas. Don’t I get anything this year?
Nana: Fine, here you go. You mother asked me to give you these.
Nina: These are home made playing cards. That’s a little disappointing.
Nana: Is it now? Your Mom told me you’d be over the moon with these. I told her you were too materialistic to appreciate her hard work.
Nina: Wait, Mama really said that? Oh! I get it now.
Nana: What’s that you get?
Nina: Then these must be like those playing cards that were sent by the British government to their prisoners of war at the German camps through Red Cross’ special Christmas parcels.
Nana: So generous of them. The prisoners must have been thrilled. So much more useful than food or warm clothes.
Nina: Well if the cards got wet, the prisoners probably did thank their lucky stars.
Nana: What??? Why would prisoners want a bunch of damp playing cards? It’s not like they were at a bridge party, you know.
Nina: These cards were made by ordinary card playing card manufacturers with the help of allied intelligence agencies. Playing cards were such common gifts, the Germans had no reason to suspect anything. But these cards, when wet, could be peeled apart to reveal a secret escape map to help them get back to the allied lines.
Nana: No way!! Really?
Nina: Yes, Nana. Mama told me all about it last week. Only two such packs have survived, but these cards supposedly helped atleast 32 prisoners escape.
Nana: Haha! Talk about a get out of jail free card.
Nina: Actually, that’s a Monopoly term, a game which was also used by the allied powers to help prisoners escape.
Nana: So, spy stuff is actually child’s play. Haha!
Nina: Children are smarter than most people think, Nana. Sherlock used street children as spies. I bet, if I peel these playing cards they will reveal a map to where Mama has hidden all my Christmas presents, including the one you got me. Well played Nana. You almost had me fooled. This is so much fun. I love it!
Nana: Any gift for you that keeps you busy for an hour, and out of my hair is really a gift for me.
Nina: Oh that reminds me, I got you a Christmas gift too. It’s a recording of me singing The Twelve Days of Christmas, so you don’t get too lonely when I am busy. I’m programming Alexa to play it now, since I’ll be busy with the treasure hunt.
Nana: I hate that song. It goes on forever. Shut it off now, young lady. Alexa, SHUT UP. How does one turn off this abomination? Help!
Nina: See, I told you children are smart. Haha! On the first day of Christmas my true love sent to me ....
This post is a part of the #NinaAndNana series I co-host with Lavanya Srinivasan. Her posts can be found here.