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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Memory (07/10/08)

TITLE: Gertie Mae Elle Phant
By Deborah Caruso


Gertie Mae Elle Phant’s job was to water the beautiful, flower filled garden she lived in. Landlord had given her a strong, trunk to do this with. She was to get water out of the golden river that flowed through the garden. Landlord loved his beautiful flowers; they were all precious in his sight, but because he had other lands to tend to, he had to leave someone to care for it. Landlord told Gertie Mae Elle Phant that he would be back soon to check on his garden.

When landlord would return, all would not be well. His flowers were always wilted. Landlord would ask Gertie Mae Elle Phant. “Haven’t you been watering my garden as I instructed?”

“I’m sorry, I seem to always forget. I’m always busy getting food and discovering other things in your garden. I promise I will do as you ask if you give me another chance.”

“Very well.” Answered landlord, but when he returned, his flowers were still wilting.

“Gertie Mae Elle Phant, don’t you understand that the sun is beating down on my flowers. They are dry and thirsty. They must have water from the golden river in order to survive.” Landlord then extended his arm and called out, “Spirit, come.” A beautiful white dove flew gracefully upon the landlord’s outstretched arm. “Spirit, say, ‘water my garden’.” The gentle bird repeated landlord’s very words, exactly as he said them, ‘water my garden’. Landlord placed Spirit upon Gertie Mae Elle Phant’s back and told her, “I am giving you Spirit here to remind you to water my garden. Spirit is gentle, for I know how edgy you can be at times, and how afraid you are of even a mouse, so Spirit will speak to you softly.”

Landlord left and the time came for the flowers to be watered. Gertie Mae Elle Phant was not near the river when Spirit gave her a gentle nudge and said softly, ‘water my garden’.

Gertie Mae Elle Phant gave Spirit a slight glance, but didn’t respond.

Again Spirit gave another gentle nudge, and said ‘water my garden’.

Gertie Mae Elle Phant looked at how far away the river was and said to Spirit, “I will water the garden tomorrow, I’m tired and it will take too much time for me to walk all the way over there.”

This answer grieved Spirit.

The next day, Gertie Mae Elle Phant hurt her foot upon a sharp rock. She ran over to the golden river and placed her foot in the cool current. “Ah, that’s better.” She sighed.

Again, Spirit gave her a gentle nudge and said, ‘water my garden’.

Gertie Mae Elle Phant answered. “I know I said I’d water it today, but my foot is very sore, and I must tend to it.”

This again grieved Spirit.

Soon the time came for landlord to return and he found his garden wilting. He asked “How did this happen? I know Spirit reminded you of my words. Why didn’t you water my garden this time? What do you have to say for yourself Gertie Mae Elle Phant?”

“Whenever Spirit would say, ‘water my garden’ it was at such inconvenient times for me to do so. Today I had to take care of my sore foot; it was all I could think about that.”

Landlord answered, “I don’t know what else I can do. I’ve given you Spirit here to help remind you of my words. I’ve given you a beautiful trunk to get the water out with. How could you just let my flowers wither away like this?”

Gertie Mae Elle Phant looked upon the wilted flowers and her heart sank. She hadn’t really looked at them much; she had been so busy with other things. She felt sorry for the state the flowers were in. She was sorry she hadn’t used the trunk landlord had given her to help them with. She asked for another chance.

Because landlord loved Gertie Mae Elle Phant, he gave her another chance.

Gertie Mae Elle Phant was so grateful that landlord had forgiven her, and given her another chance that from that day on whenever Spirit said, ‘water my garden’, Gertie Mae Elle Phant did just that.

Every time landlord would return, he would be well pleased when he saw how vibrant and happy his flowers were, and would say, “Job, well done, Gertie Mae Elle Phant.”

Gertie Mae Elle Phant and Spirit would smile.

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Member Comments
Member Date
Rachel Stone07/17/08
When I had my tonsils removed at age eight, the hospital gave me a red stuffed elephant covered with tiny yellow flowers. I named her Ellie Phant. So, this article definitely caught my attention and I was glad! I enjoyed the light-hearted way you gave my beloved Ellie Phant a purpose in the Kingdom of Heaven. Thank you for the smile and the message.
Marlene Austin07/17/08
Love the fable. :) A few minor mechanical/grammatical errors, i.e. a name should always be capitalized, Landlord. Loved the elephant's character and name. Thanks for such a dear story. :)
Dee Yoder 07/17/08
This is a beautiful allegory! I simply love it. It has a wonderful, gentle quality that really gets the point across without being heavy or preachy. I don't think I've ever heard this POV before about the Spirit and what He can do for us if we only listen. (Please do take the time to correct your minor grammar errors in this piece once the Challenge is over because it really deserves a nice polish so it will sparkle and shine-and be perfectly ready for an audience to read and enjoy!)Lovely!
Arlene Showalter07/18/08
this was a very enjoyable read. Thanks
Linda Germain 07/21/08
Absolutely charming! Any child would be delighted, and any adult should see the blatant message. I agree. Polish, tighten, and PUBLISH! This is really good stuff. :0)
Lisa Johnson08/01/09
I agree that this shows an awesome potential. I could see me buying this from a Christian bookstore to read to my grandsons.