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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Illustrate the meaning of “A Stitch in Time Saves Nine” (without using the actual phrase or literal example). (01/03/08)

TITLE: Belle's Way
By Beth Muehlhausen


Belle’s Way

On New Year’s Eve, I stay up late –
The goal, of course, to celebrate.

The balls drops down, the crowds all cheer,
I yawn and hug my pillow near.

At one o’clock I snooze, then dream,
Of New Year’s Day and my whole scheme.

I plan to give myself the best
On my day off – free time and rest.

During my sleep, white covers all -
The drive and walk, the garden wall.

Snow falls so soft, just as it should,
On grass and trees - the car’s red hood.

When morning comes, I have no clue.
My only thought? “I’ve naught to do!”

I peek outside; next door works Belle,
Retrieving snowflakes that just fell.

She scoops and throws, her shovel scrapes,
As skiffs of white fly off – escape!

“Now why,” I think, “shovel just yet?
It seems too soon; not time to fret.”

The clock says eight, four hours till noon -
I yawn and lick my breakfast spoon.

I dilly here and dally there,
Deciding what I want to wear.

Meanwhile the snow keeps tumbling down –
All over hillside, vale and town.

At ten I peek outside once more,
Belle’s back – deep-cleaning the great outdoors.

She shovels hard, she shovels fast -
A real a work-horse! I stand aghast.

The second round – it has begun –
And Belle, she seems to think it’s FUN.

I look at my own walk and say,
“What should I do? Choose work, or play?”

“I’ll wait a while.” I’m off the hook!
I settle in, open my book.

The snow – it falls straight down and faster.
Oblivious, I sense no disaster.

When lunchtime comes I glance outside;
Lo and behold, there goes my pride.

For Belle is out there, once again.
But I’ve no “oomph” to even begin!

Procrastinator, that’s my name.
And yes, it’s true, waiting’s my game.

Meanwhile excuses make no sense.
“It’s all okay – no need to be tense.”

“Snow won’t leave – it’ll wait right there.”
Back in my book, I have not a care.


Four o’clock comes; things take a turn.
I have a very big lesson to learn.

The phone rings its bell: “Hello there … Dover?
Sure…uh…you bet…come on over!”

What have I done? Now what a tizzy!
Guests on the way? I must get busy!

Clomping with boots, I march to confront
The job I’ve ignored. (It’s time to be blunt.)

The snow stands tall; twelve inches high –
I chide myself: “Why … why-why-why-why?”

Cold, snowy needles sting both ears,
Tempting my eyes to trickle their tears.

Over at Belle’s, her walk seems so clean.
Multiple work shifts meant ground could be seen!

I huff and puff to dig out the snow –
My toil’s intense; I hurt with each throw.

“I’d best go fast – I’ll never get done!”
Thoughts race insanely; this sure isn’t fun.

Faster – go faster! – dig harder, dig deep.
Can’t even move without taking a leap.

Panting, I snort, “Now this is just fine;
Too much to do, and too little time!”

It dawns on me, then, my error so grave.
I waited too long; now I am snow’s slave!

Whispering, out comes what I can’t deny:
“I really messed up.” Then I stare at the sky.

“Belle’s nearing eighty with body so small;
Yet SHE knows just how to manage snowfall.”

I turn back around - resume my attack -
Knowing next time I won’t be so slack.

So that is my story, you’ve heard it today –
I’m resolved in the New Year to do it Belle’s way!!

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This article has been read 990 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Sheri Gordon01/10/08
This is very cute -- and Belle being 80 was quite a surprise.

I did stumble over the meter in a few places.

Very good illustration of the lesson. Nice job with the topic.
Lynda Schultz 01/10/08
I love it! Yes, a couple of bumps in the road, but it's a really good piece nonetheless.
Temple Miller01/10/08
Clever and humorous with a message that fits the prompt. Good job!
Joanne Sher 01/11/08
Delightful - I love the rhythm of this. It is so sing-songy. A wonderful message too - and I LOVE that Belle was 80 years old! What a lesson learned.
LaNaye Perkins01/11/08
You captured the mindset of a procrastinator perfectly. I loved the message and the rhyme. Well done.
Laury Hubrich 01/12/08
This was great! Very funny yet convicting. ouch:)
Ann Snipes01/12/08
I loved this. I am sending a copy to several "snow covered" friends. Thanks!
Tim Manzer 01/15/08
I really enjoyed the writing method. It moved me into your world and helped me understand your thoughts. I loved it.