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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Flowers (10/03/05)

TITLE: God of the Thorns
By toronto49 Aird


What flower would you like to give your mother and why? It was the Friday before Mother's Day and Ms. Chaplin's third-grade class was to read their writing assignments on what flower they would like to give their mother and why. Standing up, student after student took their turn, during the last hour of the school day, to express their thoughts and love regarding their mother.

One 9-year-old read that she wanted to give her mother a beautiful rose and then went on to explain that like a rose her mom also smelled wonderful. The boys snickered and made funny faces. The comedian of the class started his brief composition by declaring that he wanted to give his mother a petunia and in emphasizing the letter p sprayed little Mary seated in front of him. The class burst out laughing. Proper little Jessica, wanting to impress her teacher, wished to give her mother a beautiful Bird-of-Paradise and went on to explain in flowery terms the comparison between her mother and this exotic flower.

Then it was Brianís turn. The shy, awkward, didnít quite fit in nine-year-old, who was the brunt of everyone's teasing, started his essay by saying, ďHe wanted to give his mother a thorn.Ē The class burst out laughing. Chris, the bully of the class, meanly said, ďThat is stupid, Brian. A thorn is not flower." A tear welled up in Brianís eye as Ms. Chaplin said, "Brian, donít you mean that you want to give your mom a rose?"

As if he hadnít heard he continued to read on from his paper. "Because when the police came to our house last year they made us cry. They told my mom that my dad and my sister were not coming home. They were in an accident. We were very sad. I could hear my mom crying at night. I miss my dad and my sister very much. One day my mom talked with me. She asked me if I remembered the pretty flowers with the pointy things. Yes, I said. And do you remember why God made those pointy things? It is to help them grow, I said. That is right my mom said. She told me that God made the pointy things part of the flower to make them grow pretty. My mom is very pretty in her heart and her face. I want to give her a thorn to help her to grow even prettier.Ē

In relating this story, Ms. Chaplin recalls that no earth shattering changes resulted from the sharing of Brianís essay. The class was a little quieter than usual and didnít jump up as quick when the bell rang announcing schoolís end. However, she quickly adds, Brian and Chris seemed to have become close friends and that God, of course, created a new flower that day. A flower called the thorn.

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Member Comments
Member Date
Garnet Miller 10/10/05
Interesting that a thorn could be a flower. Paul knew all too well how a thorn could be a catalyst for growth. Very good!
Gabrielle Morgan10/11/05
What a lovely story. Brian's thorn was indeed a rose. I very much liked the thorn being the creation of a friendship between the two boys. I enjoyed this very much.
Melanie Kerr 10/13/05
An interesting array of characters. I thought the line that began "As if he hadnít heard..." could have been better worded as Brian had heard them, he was on the verge of crying.