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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Spring (the season) (07/23/09)

TITLE: Metamorphosis
By Deana Thomas


“Grandma! This dirt is walking, eight year old Elizabeth shouted excitedly. I brushed a wisp of hair away from my face and tasted sand from my garden glove. Cramming last years dead crop of petunias into my Hefty bag I said wisely, if a bit absentmindedly, “Honey, dirt can’t move. Can you help Grandma clean up these leaves over here?” I wanted to get my garden ready to plant some Spring color. Maybe I’d plant some Pansy’s right here. Elizabeth responded in a serious tone, “I would Grandma, but I just discovered a scientific breakthrough here. You really gotta see this!” I glanced over. Elizabeth was hunkered down staring intently into the soil. Well, it was better than staring mindlessly at SpongeBob on TV, or dwelling on her Daddy being gone again, I thought. I grabbed my rake and started raking.
I ruminated about my son-in-law Jeff, traveling the South, with his rock band, “The Zombies”. When was he going to grow up and get a real job? He was 30 years old for heaven’s sake. Meanwhile my daughter, Kara, supported the family as a secretary. I resented Jeff not taking his family responsibilities seriously.
I got that bag stuffed full of leaves, and Elizabeth was still investigating the same plot of garden. Maybe I’d better see what she was up to. I stooped down. Lo and behold, she had discovered what appeared to be a tiny piece of dirt, walking. “What is that, Elizabeth?” I asked. “It’s a very weird bug, Grandma,” she informed me. We watched it lumber along. It appeared to have collected odds and ends of debris and stuck them onto its back. “What is it, Grandma?” Inquiring minds needed to know. “Lets go in and get a glass of sweet tea and I’ll see if I can find out.” I said.
I dug out “Florida Insects, Their Habits and Control” by Lewis S. Maxwell. Well Elizabeth, it says that what you’ve found is called a Trashbug. “It feeds on Aphids, Scales and Mites,” I read, “The larva fastens the dried shells of his victims on his back and crawls around looking like an animated trash heap.” We both laughed. The entry went on: “When the young reach larval maturity, they spin a silken cocoon from which emerges the lovely Lacewing. The Lacewing is about one half to three fourths of an inch in length. It is a lovely, green, fragile insect that has golden eyes.”
Suddenly I realized that I had been carrying around trash in the form of ugly thoughts toward my “victim”, my son-in-law, just like the Trashbug. God was using Elizabeth’s funny little bug to speak to me.
It was time to take her home. During the short drive there, I prayed, “Lord, please help me to not bear grudges and resentment toward Jeff. Help me to see things from Your perspective. In Christ’s Holy Name, Amen.”
Elizabeth rolled down her car window to take in the fresh spring sunshine. The phuff-tudda, phuff-tudda noise it made as I accelerated to 30 miles per hour annoyed me. I started to yell “Roll up the window,” but thought better of it. It was Spring, after all! The fresh breeze blew in the car. I felt a little tickle on my finger. Yuck! It felt like a bug. It was. But it wasn’t the mosquito, or fly or bee I was dreading. It was a pale, bright, neon green slender nymph with gossamer wings! A Lacewing! God had heard my prayer! I felt like He understood and would help me with the relationship between me and Jeff. A Spring thaw had started to melt Winter’s killing frost in my heart.

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This article has been read 449 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Laura Manley07/30/09
This was a cute story and gave this reader pause to think about any bitterness or resentment in my own heart. There are a few things you should remember, if I may: When characters speak, you need to give them each their own space to talk; in other words, if Grandma is talking, let her speak, but do not have Elizabeth answer her in the same paragraph. Speaking of paragraphs, be sure to double space the paragraphs; it makes reading the story much easier. And lastly, whenever you are using quotes, be sure to put the second quote marks after the punctuation. Good story.
Sean Harding07/31/09
That was very good, really gave me a depth of understanding of the characters in such a short space.
I also confess to loving the word ruminate, and anything with Zombies in it can't be bad!!!
Karen Pourbabaee 07/31/09
Something to that saying about taking time to smell the roses...or gaze at strange bugs:)...all of creation speaks of His truth and His glory...I loved how you used this story to demonstrate that and I believe draw the reader into self examination. Thanks!
Jackie Wilson08/01/09
I enjoyed your story. Good message.
Noel Mitaxa 08/30/09
Great story Deanna, for bringing out how God can 'bug' us with unexpected answers to prayer.
Though you let an apostrophe trespass on a plural, and you needed more paragraphs, your story was full of life and light. Thanks also for mentioning 60s rock band "The Zombies," for I've just enjoyed a YouTube clip of "She's Not There," the only song I remember them for.