“…Worried?” asked the peony. “Well, your mother and father shouldn’t be worried.”
“I wish I could get out of here,” said the sad little girl-flower.
And, SHOO, straight with those words, she was picked up by a wave of wind and dropped into another spot on the ground. What? Where? How had the wind moved her completely? She tried to bend the bright orange part of her flower toward the ground, as if touching her toes – if she had had toes. She could bend towards the ground, and she saw that she was standing in a new spot.
The first part of this short story is here.
She heard the wolf’s steps thump-thumping away and again, she thought to herself, “What do I do now?”
Her heart was still running fast inside her, and she felt that she was breathing quickly. But the wind outside her was quite powerful, and calmed her. Soon, she breathed more calmly. The little zinnia girl-flower realized that as a flower, the wind seems very, very strong, and it could blow her side to side.
She wanted to see herself. How could she be a flower? What kind of flower? All she saw were the outsides of her petals, bright orange.
She looked straight up at the tree branches and the light blue sky beyond the branches. She looked at the trees all around her – there was a squirrel running around the trunk of one tree. She looked at the roots of the trees in the earth, and sawa a frog in the moss at the bottom of one of the trees. And she saw the outside of her bright orange petals. The wind was very loud and strong on a thin flower. She asked aloud, rather matter-of factly, “Who am I?”
“You-ou-ou are a bright beautiful zinnia, my dear,” answered a very soft voice. The little girl-flower thought she was dreaming.
“Oh no, ha ha ha, no, no, no, my dear. You are a zinnia,” answered the voice, and the word zinnia floated on the strong word.
“I am a zinnia?”
“Yes, you are,” the voice laughed comfortably and softly. “You are.”
“Do I like being a zinnia?”
“You tell me,” answered the soft voice.
“And who are you?”
“Smell me,” said the soft voice.
And the girl-flower reached her neck up to the sky and smelled, smelled, smelled, “You are the flower that my mother has in the late spring near the house!”
“Who am I?” the soft voice asked.
“You are a Penelope?”
“Close,” and the soft voice laughed, “I am a peony.”
“A peony. Where are you?” asked the zinnia girl-flower.
“Look behind you,” answered the voice.
And the girl flower started to shake, but she could not turn around, “But how can I look behind me?”
“You must bend your stem as if you were bending your little girl knees, and then turn around.”
And the zinnia-girl flower did, and she saw the most welcoming, the softest, the most comforting peony she had ever seen.
“Ohhhhh,” said the little girl, “You are like home.”
“Maybe,” said the peony humbly. “Many of the flowers know me and ask me about how they should reach for the sunshine and how they should position their roots for the water. Maybe I am like home around here.” She suddenly appeared a little bit shy.
“What should I do, Ms. Peony?” asked the girl-flower.
“What do you mean?”
“How can I go home to my mother and father?”
“Oh, that I don’t know about,” said the peony, “You are a flower.”
“But when it gets dark, my mother will worry, and I will want to sleep in my bed.”
“Ohhh, we have never had that happen before,” said the peony.
“What if you don’t get home by the time it gets dark?”
“Then my mother and father will worry, and they might cry, and they’ll come outside to look for me.”
(to be continued here in the third part…)
There was a girl who went out picking flowers and raspberries and blueberries all day long. She carried a small metal pail. She was eight years old, old enough to know better and young enough to be a little girl about everything.
One day, as she grabbed her metal pail, her mother said to her, “Have fun!” And the girl smiled and waved. She skipped down the long gritty pebbled path in front of her house, and started walking slowly as she got to the woods. She made a whisper sound to herself, putting her finger over her lips, “Shhh.” She always told herself to quiet down as she was entering the woods. There were so many secrets in the woods that you could only see and hear if you yourself were not seen and not heard!
|There was the thistle and the moss. There were the puddles and the ladybugs.
The little girl walked slowly and sometimes just stood waiting for nature to move all around her.
Sometimes she saw rabbits hopping. Many times, she saw chipmunks and squirrels. In the spring, she had seens a whole duck family by the river. Her mother told her that other people had seen bears and wolves in the woods. The little girl had once seen a pretty, pretty fox.
Most days, after she watched and looked, the girl always went to her main raspberry bushes and ate enough berries to have red, red lips, and after that, she usually got tired, and went to lie down in the sun.
This day, after she had stood still and had looked around, she went to her main raspberry bush and ate the raspberries. She was walking to the sunny clearing when she saw a beautiful flower. She stopped completely. Then she took a step closer. It was a soft-petaled flower. And the petals changed from an inner pink to an outer white layer. She stood and looked and looked at it.
“Hello,” said the flower.
“What?!” said the girl, taking a few steps back, looking around her in the woods.
“Hello,” said the flower again.
“Is that you, beautiful flower?” asked the girl bending down.
“Yes, I am a camellia.”
“You are a wonderful camellia,” said the girl, “I wish I were a beautiful colorful flower like you!”
“Shh, shh,” said the pink camelia, “You don’t wish you were a flower like me! In the woods, what we wish is what happens.”
In yesterday’s post, I showed you some assessments. I assume your first question is, “Well, which assessment should I use?” It depends on your goal. Not to get too philosophical, but many things in life depend on your goal. Entire interpretations of situations can vary depending on your goal. Here’s a mini-story that I really like.
There is supposedly a trick question that comes up again and again during Microsoft interviews: â€œIf you had to design a house, what would it look like? Please use the whiteboard.â€ The person who moves straight to the whiteboard and draws a rectangle and continues drawing detailed designs is a goner. Why? Because after he finishes the house, the interviewer says, â€œOh, I didnâ€™t tell you? Itâ€™s for a family of twelve 48-foot-tall giraffes.â€
So, it depends on your goal.
BTW, this mini-story is quite a bit briefer than usual stories on Tuesdays, so enjoy the respite. :)
This week’s short story is by a guest author! This is a children’s story by my friend, who appears here as the author VITO. Enjoy! S.
It was just the beginning of summer, and it was the first time a little boy would be spending time with his grandparents in the countryside by himself. He already was a little bored: no television or video games, and everything smelled musty. His grandparents didn’t seem to like anything very sweet or loud, or have anything made of brightly-colored plastics. He sat in his room, wondering if maybe he could convince his grandparents that going to McDonald’s for his birthday would be a good idea. He had already worked out an escape plan: he’d swap clothes with some other boy, slipping him the 5 dollars of “emergency money” that Mom had solemnly entrusted to him, and then hide under the giant pile of balls in the playroom. Then he would live at McDonalds until his parents came back. He felt a little bad about using the emergency money, as he had thought it would be useful for the purchase of chocolate if he saved it, but if this wasn’t an emergency, he didn’t know what was. He was going to be stuck here for a whole week otherwise! It had already been 30 minutes since he’d been dropped off, and he felt like he was going to die of boredom.
There was a gentle knock at the door, followed by the craggy head of his Grandfather.
“Hello, Vito!” said Grandpa. “Your mother told me that your birthday is today!”
“Yeahâ€¦â€ muttered Vito, who was still lost in the planning of his escape. He did not fail to notice, however, that Grandpa was carrying a small covered basket. That had some entertainment potential, especially in the context of birthdays.
Grandpa sat next to Vito with a thump, looking him in the eye appraisingly, “Bored?”
Vito nodded sullenly.
“Well, maybe this birthday present will cheer you up. Your mother tells me that it was today. Did I already say that? Happy Birthday!” He handed the basket to Vito with a small flourish. Vito took it and gave it an exploratory shake. It was awfully light. Upon opening it, he saw it was empty. Vito, veteran of many birthday parties, fished around with his hand to make sure there wasn’t a check or gift card stuck inside. Nope, it was emptyâ€¦it was quite probable that—and the horror of this was not lost on Vitoâ€”that the basket was the gift. Grandfather noted Vitoâ€™s expression of consternation with amusement.
“Grandpaâ€, said Vito slowly, so he would be understood, â€œThe basket is empty.”
“A Hah! But the basket is just the key to your present!” boomed Grandpa. “Your real present is out in the field in back of the house, but first I’m going to tell you a secret that only your grandmother, myself, and now you know. There’s a treasure in that field that has been lost for many years, and because you’re such a good boy we’re going to let you look for it. The basket is for putting clues into, so you can bring them back to the house for inspection, and we can tell you if you’re getting warmer or colder. Whaddya say?”
Treasure! Vito was all about treasure! But still…”Grandpa, is there a McDonald’s nearby?”
A WARM FUZZY TALE
By Claude M. Steiner
Once upon a time, a long time ago, there lived two happy people called Tim and Maggie with their two children, John and Lucy. To understand how happy they were you have to understand how things were in those days.
You see in those happy days everyone was given a small, soft Fuzzy Bag when born. Any time a person reached into this bag they were able to pull out a Warm Fuzzy. Warm Fuzzies were very much in demand because whenever someone was given a Warm Fuzzy it made them feel warm and fuzzy all over. In those days it was very easy to get Warm Fuzzies. Anytime that somebody felt like it, he might walk up to you and say, “I’d like to have a Warm Fuzzy.” You would then reach into your bag and pull out a Fuzzy the size of a childâ€™s hand. As soon as the Fuzzy saw the light of day it would smile and blossom into a large, shaggy, Warm Fuzzy. When you laid the Warm Fuzzy on the person’s head, shoulder or lap it would snuggle up and melt right against their skin and make them feel good all over. People were always asking each other for Warm Fuzzies, and since they were always given freely, getting enough of them was never a problem. There were always plenty to go around, and so everyone was happy and felt warm and fuzzy most of the time.