The temperatures are warming, the birds are singing, and that means the Spring Fling Writing Contest is now in full bloom! Requirements are simple: write a kid-friendly spring-themed story (inspired by a spring-themed gif) with a beginning, middle, and end in 150 words or less. Thank you to Kaitlyn Sanchez and Ciara O'Neal for creating another wonderful opportunity for writers to write, revise, and submit! If you would like to learn more or read all the amazing entries, check out their Google site here.
Below is my entry, followed by a little behind-the-scenes look at the inspiration for my story. Enjoy!
Susie and the Daffodil
Daffodil lifted little green arms to brush aside earth’s blanket. This was it – her first growing season.
Susie bounded out of bed and took the stairs, two at a time. This was it – her first gardening season.
Daffodil peeked at her new world from behind silken petals.
Then … loud footsteps -
A dark shadow!
She shrank back.
Susie’s eyes widened with worry. Why was her daffodil drooping instead of dancing?
She tried water. GLUG-GLUG! Ugh. Too fast!
She tucked in more dirt. Uh-oh! Too much!
She sang Grandma’s favorite growing song. LOUDLY.
Still, her daffodil hid. Susie sank to the ground.
Daffodil tasted salty water drops.
She peeked out at the wilted little gardener who cared.
Leaning forward, she brushed soft petal against small hand.
Susie looked up.
Daffodil gave a golden smile.
Brave little daffodil,
Brave little gardener –
Learning to grow together.
I am always fascinated by the "story behind the story," so if you are too, here is a behind-the-scenes look at my contest entry.
First, a confession: I've always had a bit of a black thumb.
But I'm also a perennial optimist.
When my husband and I bought our first home, I may or may not have had visions of singing to all the plants, sprinkling magic fairy dust on their leaves, and twirling around in fields of flowers like that iconic scene of Maria in The Sound of Music.
In reality, my gardening journey had a rocky beginning. I watered the plants too much, or too little. I forgot to fertilize. I gave them bad haircuts. I begged them to give me another chance.
The first plant to survive my many gardening disasters was a Pothos houseplant. I love that plant. Somehow it decided to give me a chance, and it thrived in spite of my enthusiastic (albeit misguided) efforts. That resilient houseplant gave me the courage I needed to keep trying, and growing. I even have rose bushes now. And a hydrangea!
Thinking about my gardening journey, I wondered - what if a plant feels just as nervous about blooming for the first time as I felt about gardening for the first time?
I love "what if" questions. There is always a story to be found in the asking. And in my question, I found a story of firsts ... a story of finding courage ... and a story of friendship.