| genna 10 Massachusetts, United States|
Once upon a time there was a ladybug. Her name was Ladybug.
"Oh, how I love my dress and shoes and hair and self," she said. She was a very stuck up ladybug.
One day, Ladybug was walking around when she saw Elf. Elf was a very mischievous fellow, and so when he saw Ladybug he decided that he would play a prank on her and her dress and shoes and hair and self.
"Hello Ladybug. How are you on this fine morning?" asked Elf rather suspiciously, because elf was NEVER nice.
But Ladybug, being the dumb, self-centered, compliment-hungry ladybug that she was, didn't notice and said "Fine, Elf, and you?" in a rather pleasant way.
"Good, good. Listen, I hear that is is a very nice time of year in Maine," Elf said. He laughed silently. It was freezing cold in Maine this time of year! Ladybug would hate it! But Ladybug didn't know any better, so the next day she flew to Maine. It will take her weeks to reach Maine, thought Elf as he waved her goodbye.
In her haste and eagerness to get to Maine, Ladybug had left her leaf house unlocked. Elf slipped in and stole everything--her shoes, and clothes, and silverware and plates and glasses and everything else that he could carry. Then he came back to the house with a big truck and he put everything that he couldn't carry like her mushroom table, her cotton bed, and everything else that was too big for him to hold. Then he drove away and put everything in his own home and sat back and relaxed for a whole two months. Soon, Elf started to get fat. He couldn't get off Ladybug's comfy cotton bed, because he wasn't getting enough exercise. He wanted to get up and play more pranks on his other "friends", but he was too busy delighting in the comfiness (is that even a word?) and luxury Ladybug's household items brought him. So when Ladybug returned from Maine, he didn't even notice. He was sleeping and eating cheese.
But the next day, Grasshopper walked into Elf's house. He didn't knock on the door, and didn't even take off his muddy shoes. This was not like Grasshopper--being Leaftown's personal policeman, he was usually very polite. But he was there to solve a crime, so he didn't have time for etiquette. Once he walked inside Elf's bedroom, he was stunned!
All of Ladybug's personal items were in this room! Her rock-washer! Her shoes and clothes! Her cotton bed! Her…balloon?
Then Grasshopper realized that what was sitting on Ladybug's not-so-missing-anymore cotton bed was not a balloon, but Elf. He was so fat Grasshopper barely recognized him!
"Elf, have you stolen Ladybug's bed?" asked Grasshopper.
"Not stolen, exactly, but borrowed," said Elf.
"Same with her shoes?"
"Have you stolen EVERYTHING in Ladybug's house?" asked Grasshopper.
"Then what haven't you stolen?"
"Everything. I haven't stolen anything. I've BORROWED it, like I told you."
"Well then what haven't you BORROWED?" Grasshopper asked. He was getting very frustrated.
"Her wallpaper. And her roof and her floors and her walls and her nightstand."
That was true. The nightstand had been a rather ugly thing to look at, so Elf had decided to leave it behind.
"You know that's not what I mean! Oh, never mind. I demand you to return Ladybug's things this instant!"
So, being the fat little elf that he was, Elf hired a team of moving cockroaches to do all the work for him. But no matter how much he tried, he still couldn't get off of Ladybug's comfy cotton bed, which didn't displease him at all, by the way. So after three weeks of sleeping on her not-so-comfy wood chip couch, Ladybug complained to Grasshopper again, who decided that, again, he'd have to take matters into his own hands.
6/28/10 genna 10 Massachusetts, United States
genna 10 Massachusetts, United States
The Summer Children
The next day, Alexis was washing dishes with Mom after breakfast. She hadn't worked up the nerve to tell her about her little night walk outside last night, or the flash of light, or the sonic boom, or the aliens (or at least, what she thought were aliens). Finally, as Mom was wiping the fog off her glasses, Alexis blew it all out. "Aliens, Mom! Last night, outside, there were aliens!" Mom looked up from her glasses. "What?" she said, confused.
Once she was done explaining the whole thing, being outside, eating the ravioli, seeing the flash, hearing the boom, getting freaked out by the alien kids, Mom just stared at her, probably more confused than ever. Finally she decided. "A dream, honey--it was all just a dream. You probably ate that ravioli and went to bed, and you were so tired you didn't even realize it. That food before bed probably gave you a bad dream. Don't worry, sweetie, there's no such thing as aliens," Mom reassured her daughter. But Alexis wasn't so sure. The boom, the flash, the kids--it had all been as real as her toes. But she went along with it. "Oh, yeah, I was probably just dreaming," said Alexis.
"That's right, honey. Dry this one for me, will you?" Mom handed Alexis a plate. But that wasn't on Alexis's mind. All she was thinking about was that "dream" last night. She wasn't concentrating at all and dropped a plate. She grabbed for it as it fell, but she couldn't reach it. She anticipaited the crash. She waited.
But it didn't come.
Alexis opened her eyes. There, hovering a mere inch or two above the floor, was the plate she had dropped, perfectly intact, not a crack in sight. Alexis couldn't believe it, but Mom hadn't noticed, and her stack of dishes to dry was getting bigger. Alexis put the plate gingerly away in the cupboard, and then turned to the rest of her dishes. She dropped none of them, and none of them appeared to float or fly away. But Alexis was still creeped out beyond imagine. Once she was done with the dishes, she decided to go outside.
Thanks to past summers, Alexis was an avid explorer, and her night vision was great. But it wasn't great enough to lead her to entirely new places every day. The woods in her backyard were full of little crawl spaces and secret hideouts, made out of some fallen tree or a past avalanche, from the times when the slopes of her backyard was actually a mountain, back when the dinosaurs lived. Alexis could see everything in the light of day, explore ever tunnel, crawl under every fallen tree, shimmy through every hollowed out log, see every frog and bug out on the swamps and puddles. Alexis loved it.
But there was one tunnel. One tunnel just like all the others, a little bigger in size, but perfectly the same. It was covered by a rock formation that Alexis thought was hardly "natural", because it looked like the maker had selected very specific shapes of rock and limestone to make the cave. It was like the opening to a subway tunnel--like a piece of macaroni cut in half sticking out of the ground. The doorway looked like something out of Stonehenge. Alexis couldn't wait to explore it.
genna 10 Massachusetts, United States
The Summer Children
Alexis wished it wasn’t summer.
It was late July, and all the other people in her neighborhood were outside doing something. But if it weren’t for her mom, Alexis would be asleep right now. A few summers ago at school, she had decided that, to hide from the harshly hot weather, she would sleep during the day and go out during those cool summer nights she loved so much. She would feed herself then, too. Being thirteen, that wasn’t too hard.
But this year Mom had told Alexis otherwise. She had enrolled her in a summer camp at school. For a whole month! It wasn’t an overnight camp, but it still wasn’t fun—or cool. None of her friends were doing anything that summer. Sure, they weren’t sleeping, but they were hanging out at the pool, shopping going to the beach, no doubt meeting cute guys and making new friends, like what normal teenagers do over the summer. But no, Mom had to torture her by making her be the oldest person at the camp. All Alexis did all day was do lame and boring crafts and projects. Alexis was a fairly well behaved child, but she did have her own opinion on things. She wished she wasn’t spending a whole chunk of her summer sitting on a park bench making door hangers with kindergarteners. SO not fun.
And as if that weren’t enough, Mom’s camp had thrown her sleeping pattern way out of whack. Six days of the week she had to go to bed at night and then wake up at nine for the camp. Summer, and you had to wake up at nine. Jeez! Harsh! So even if she had had at least one day of sleeping until ten pm, she wouldn’t have been able to do it because she was so used to doing it so she could go to camp. But her lame (but usually effective) excuse—I’m tired!—hadn’t worked on her mom this time. Alexis let out a puffy sigh and lay back on her bed, bummed she was too awake to fall asleep.
That night, when the stars were shining and the moon was glowing like a huge lightbulb, Alexis crept outside slowly and silently. It was a cool night for such a hot day—highs in the 90’s. It was Saturday night, so she had just spent the day staring out the window. Even on a “nice” day like this, kids weren’t out and about. Huh, she had thought, I wonder why.
She twirled on her tippy toes. She sashayed across the lawn and leaped across the dewy fields. Her toes were wet and she probably stepped in dog poop on her way out. Still, she was as happy as can be.
She jumped so high she thought she would touch the moon, the stars, the sky. She got acrobatic, cartwheeling and tumbling across the spacious lawn. She stared up at they sky and made a wish. Then she remembered how nine-year-old that was of her and reminded herself that it would’ve been okay four years ago, but not now. What was she doing, anyway? Alexis scolded herself and went inside. Out of habit, though, from the previous summers, she dumped a can of ravioli into a dish and stuck it in the microwave. She sat down at the table and thought. She deserved some time outside. After her ravioli, she would go outside and spend just two more minutes…
A half hour later, Alexis was shivering in her bed even though it was something like ninety degrees in the house.
Oh, my god, she thought. Oh, my god. What just happened? Is the planet being abducted by aliens? Are Martians trying to take over the planet? Oh, my god, I’m going to die. No, I’m going to be experimented on, then tortured, and then I’m going to die. Yeah, that seems about right. Okay…the only problem being I don’t want do die!
Alexis shivered again. She thought about what had just happened. Minding her own business. Then a blinding flash of light, and a noise like a sonic boom. Silhouettes of kids walking towards her. Then total blackness.
How she had gotten back in the house was a miracle. But one thing was for sure: she was never going out there at night. Never. Ever.
Not for a million dollars. Well, maybe.
genna 10 Massachusetts, United States
Once I was afraid; now I am strong. Those words can mean nothing – almost everything will go through the change, or maybe you already have, like me. I’ve gone through it a while ago, maybe four years back. My dad and sister came along with me to go walking outside one day. I was leading the hiking party, marching across the bridges and the thin, upward paths with ease. We were near the loop-around to our house. My sister was tired, so we sat down for a minute and broke out the waters in my dad’s pack. I, however, wanted to explore a little further.
“You know, Genna,” said my dad, “someday, you could go exploring by yourself.” I stopped. He knew that was something I wanted like a Christmas present, even at five. I was independent, but still young – I could dream up the worst case scenarios in a matter of seconds. I turned around. “Really?” I asked.
My dad smiled. “Only if you want to.” But I had the feeling that this wasn’t something I could say no to.
“Come. We’ll do it from closer to the house,” said my dad. He gathered up our drinks and took my sister by the hand. We walked for a while, but I didn’t walk in front – I was mortally terrified.
We walked until we could see the house. At first, I thought it would be straight up to the house, over the rock wall – I wanted to climb; I felt strong. I really felt like I could do anything. But if anyone knew my dad, it was me – I knew he wouldn’t make things that easy. I turned out to be right. I was really scared as I watched my dad show the way out towards the edge of the woods, out to the field. “So you go out here, and then you turn about here.” He stopped talking, probably to mark where to stop, but he was so far away I couldn’t tell, and even though it mattered, I found myself not caring.
“And then you turn right here, about a few feet in front of this wall.” Good. At least I’d be able to climb the wall – or maybe my dad was going to make us go around it.
“And then climb over the wall and then up to the house. Simple. You ready?” he called down from beyond the wall. I hesitated, unsure. Then I nodded. That feeling I had had when I had seen the wall, ready to climb it – there was still some of that courage left, somewhere deep inside me. I tried to reach down deep and pick it up. Then I set out to the trees separating the rest of the forest and the field.
I went through the trees over to the field. I walked for a ways, slowly placing one shaking foot in front of the other, taking small, close steps. “Come on, you can do it!” promised my dad. I saw the faint shadow of the stone wall and turned before I hit it. I had come out so early, though, my knee scraped against the edge of the wall, then it started to bleed. I cried out, but then sucked in a deep breath and stuck my foot in the first notch. Then on and on and on until I reached the top. I jumped down from the ledge, trying not to land too much pressure on my scraped knee. I looked up and saw my dad smiling. I smiled too and ran up to him, even though my knee hurt. That courage I had had when I saw the wall; it was all back. Every last shred of it. My dad took me to the house to warm up and have some hot cocoa.
“You did a great job out there,” said my dad. I was sitting on the leather chairs in front of the kitchen windows, snuggled up in the corner with a blanket over me. From here, I could see the view of the wall and even the fields through the trees. I sighed and snuggled up. I was so proud of myself, because I had been brave, no matter what. But of course, when my dad asked if I wanted to do it again, my answer was, obviously, “No WAY!
I was in 4th grade, trying frantically to finish an assignment that had been due the day before. But when Anna yelled, “Come! I can’t find Poseidon, Genna!” I was caught off-guard. Poseidon was a hermit-crab, and Anna and I were the apprentices of Azuri, the main caretaker of the hermit-crabs.
I hurried into the Sottovoce Room where everyone was swarming around the tank like bees around a jar of honey. “Sottovoce” means “quiet,” but at the moment, it wasn’t very quiet at all.
“Have you checked EVERY shell?” I asked.
“Yeah, every one,” said Anna. I lifted up the lid and started rearranging the tank, but I didn’t find anything.
Well, the news got around to Azuri, because all of a sudden she was parting the crowd of pepped-up fourth graders.
“Hermit-crab master, coming through!” said Azuri. She turned to Anna and me. “Is he really dead?” asked Azuri.
“No, I don’t know,” said Anna.
I picked up the empty spider-man shell to show Azuri, but was pushed back into my seat by the excited crowd. The shell clattered to the floor. Azuri and Anna didn’t notice. I saw Azuri double-checking the tank. “I can’t find him, peoples! Go back to your work!” That was all I heard because the grammar lesson had to go on.
As I tried to fill my head with the facts about commas and apostrophes and plurals that I already knew by heart, I still couldn’t keep my mind off Poseidon. He had been my best buddy and favorite of the hermit-crabs. I was going to miss him so much.
Gradually, the gnawing feeling I had been suffering from faded away. Although the feeling isn’t as strong now, I still feel sad when I look at that empty space where Poseidon’s nametag used to be.
| genna 10 Massachusetts, United States| genna 10 Massachusetts, United States
My dad, my sister, my brother, and I were camping. It had been cold that day, but we had lived. We had huddled around the campfire. Christopher was half-asleep, but Adrianna was still awake. It was somewhat dark out, the sky a lighter blue than the trees. I shivered along with the branches of the trees, despite the warmth of the fire.
“Whoa!” my dad said. “What?” I said, a little panicked, worried He shined his flashlight on the sound, and my heart almost skipped a beat. It was a baby skunk! Adrianna came up to me. “Wow!” she said. Startled, I took a step back, ignoring my brother’s cries of “It’s okay!” coming from near the warm glow of the fire. I pictured myself taking a bath of tomato juice to get rid of the smell as the skunk cocked his head at us as if to crawl closer. But instead, he stayed still. Too nervous to do anything, I backed into the tent and watched through the screen windows as it scampered away.
I came out five minutes later. Adrianna had fallen asleep. Christopher was snoring. The flashlight was of and my dad was roasting marshmallows by the light of the fire. “Want one?” he asked.
Nodding, I gulped down a perfect one, trying to appreciate the way the mushy inside swam down my throat, the way the roasted outside was crunchy and took some time to swallow. I could still picture the skunk very clearly in my mind.
And I always will.
It was a Monday and I was off from school, so I was going to my dad’s office.
“Yay!” I said as we pulled into a parking space. He led me inside the building, up some stairs, around some corners, through some doors and into his office.
It smelled like eye drops and medicine in the office. Nurses in flowery and green pjs walked around with boxes of pills and sharp tools in their hands. I turned around. There, standing next to me, was a nurse in regular clothes.
“Are you Mary?” I asked.
She nodded “And you’re Genna.”
I nodded my head yes.
“Then come with me. I’m going to teach you how to pull charts,” said Mary. I followed her into a room behind the desks where there were a lot of shelves.
“I’ll give you a tour after lunch,” said Mary as she handed me the sheet of charts I had to pull. I had a lot – 23 to be exact. By 10:00 I was done with the list.
“Mary, I’m done,” I said. I handed her the sheet and the charts. She took them to her desk.
“Alright. I’ll give you a – wait! Isn’t that your dad?” She asked. I saw my dad peek from inside the room. I followed him into the room, not knowing what was going to happen.
There was a patient in the chair covered with leather in front of me. There was a little table with wipes and a desk with a lamp and a chart. It read “Maria Loring.”
“Here. Here is an eye drop bottle. Put some eye drops in the left eye,” said my dad. I took some eye drops and squeezed them in the left eye.
But on the first try I missed. Eye drops squirted on the floor and slowly made a puddle. And it was a big one, too.
My dad didn’t pay the puddle much attention. All he did was glare at it and tell me to try again.
This time it was better. The eye drops fell in the eye and not on the floor.
“Good job!” said my dad. He patted me on the back.
I was very startled. The eye drops fell out of my hand and flew in the air. They landed on the floor and started leaking, making yet another four-inch puddle.
My dad mumbled something and handed me a sharp tool.
“Give this to Mary in room three. She needs it,” he ordered. He left to go check on another patient. Once he was out of the room, I started to the door.
Halfway to the door, I slipped on a puddle. I fell down hard and the sharp tool went flying into the air.
Pain shot through my body. It gave me a headache and made me dizzy. But that wasn’t what was worrying me.
The sharp tool was flying through the air and was about to fall pointy-side first on the patient.
She could probably sense the pointy tool, too. She yelped and pushed herself out of the chair just as the tool pinned her dress to the chair like a spear.
“AAGGHH!” screamed the patient. She fainted and landed in the second puddle of eye drops next to her chair.
I unpinned her dress and took the tool to room three were a patient was having a nervous breakdown and announcing that he was going to die.
“Calm down,” said Mary, but I chose that moment to hand her the sharp tool.
Well, the patient in the chair started going cukoo. I decided it was getting out of hand and a little disturbing after a while. The patient had stopped screaming. He was holding onto the chair for dear life and making monkey noises.
My dad’s patient was still out cold when I got inside his room. I had to help drag her to the hospital part of the building so she could at least lie on a bed.
Then he went for a conference. He left Mary in charge of me, which I guess I enjoyed. She didn’t go to the cafeteria for lunch, though. She took me to some restaurant down the road. I guess it was nice.
But as I ate, I thought to myself, I should be a doctor when I grow up. I’m great at it!