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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Snap (09/04/08)

TITLE: To Draw A Flower
By Clyde Blakely


There’s a little girl named Mary.
She’s about to move, again.
To another foster home.

A car stops, Mary’s let out.
The house isn’t as big as the last.
A bright picket fence surrounding.

Two bags hold all her belongings.
Squeaky front gate, a walkway so long.
What if no one’s home?

A quivering finger finds the door bell.
As the door opens, Mary jumps.
“Oh, Mama, she’s just my size!”

Hugs wrap a stiff little girl.
Two grown ups and a little girl named Wanda pull her inside.
“We’re so glad you’re here, but you’re all alone.”

I’ve always been alone.
So many families have been glad to see her.
I might as well get to work.

“Where’s the garage?”
I hope they give me a mattress.
Blank stares point to a door.

Picking up her bags, she heads towards the garage.
“Wait, where are you going?”
“To find where I sleep and make my bed.”

“Oh, that sounds like fun. Mama, can I sleep there too?”
“Wanda, tonight you should both sleep in your room like we planned.”
Sleeping on a floor is better than concrete.

“Mama, it would be an adventure in the garage!”
Rats and cockroaches, why is she so excited?
“Perhaps another day.”

I’ve always dreamed of another day.
“Let’s have Mary sleep in her own bed tonight.”
My own bed…a bed…of my own?!

“Why don’t you show Mary your room?”
“Follow me, I hope you like pink.”
“Pink’s my favorite color in the whole world.”

The room’s smaller than the garage and smells different.
“This is your bed and you can have these drawers for your clothes.”
Mary freezes, unsure whether to cry, run, or hug Wanda.

“Mary, would you like to draw something with me?”
“I don’t have anything to draw with.”
“I’ll share mine with you.”

“What do you want to draw, Wanda?”
“How about drawing flowers?”
Flowers, I love drawing flowers. It’s a snap.

Mary picks out blue, purple, green, yellow, and pink crayons.
She closes her eyes imagining beautiful flowers.
Mary starts drawing them on her paper.

“No, Mary. Let me show you how to draw a flower.”
Wanda draws four red petals and a green stem.
“There, that’s how you draw a flower – red and green.”

It’s pretty but there’s something missing.
“That’s real nice, Wanda.”
I must draw like her to stay in this family.

Mary watches Wanda draw another flower:
Four red petals and a green stem.
Mary draws a flower with four red petals and a green stem.

“Girls, dinner time. Wash up.”
With clean hands they bring their pictures to the table.
“Those are wonderful flowers.”

“I taught Mary how to draw flowers.”
I guess flowers are only supposed to be red.
The girls enjoy weeks of drawing together.

Kindergarten starts, Mary and Wanda sit next to each other.
“Class, please take out your paper and crayons
I want you to all draw a flower for me.”

Wanda and Mary draw a flower – four red petals and a green stem each.
The teacher watches each student draw as she walks around.
She stops by Wanda and Mary’s desks.

“Why did you two copy each other?”
“We didn’t copy, Teacher. This is how we learned to draw flowers.”
“Girls, flowers can be different colors.”

“I can draw lots of different colors and flowers.”
Words are out before Mary can stop them.
What have I done? I might be in another foster home now!

“Mary, let’s see you draw a different colored flower?”
Closing her eyes, Please, God, help me draw the flower I imagine.
They watch as a beautiful bloom takes shape

“Mary, you’ve never drawn a flower like that before,” Wanda wonders.
The flower looks as if it’s growing on the paper.
“Mary, teach me to draw like that.”

“How do you draw so well?”
“I draw by snap, Teacher.”
“‘By snap’, what do you mean?”

“Before my mother left she said drawing was a snap for me.”
The teacher smiles and moves on
“Teach me to draw ‘by snap’, Mary.”

“Close your eyes and picture the prettiest flower ever.”
“Okay, I see it. Can I draw it now?”
“No, now fill it with all your love, then draw it.”

Wanda is amazed at her drawing.
Hand in hand, flower pictures come home.
Mother and Father are stunned.

“How did you draw so well?”
Wanda and Mary, sisters, look at each other,
“Everything’s a snap when filled with love.”

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This article has been read 638 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Irvine Saint-Vilus09/12/08
This story is smartly simplistic, yet evokes a deeper meaning. For instance, just as a flower blossoms as it's filled with love, so can the family with its new addition. And it's interesting that they draw rather than pick the flower which, to me, symbolizes that they must do the work of becoming a family, rather than take a shortcut. Also drawing different flowers is symbolic because it shows that though we may be different from one another, we should still be accepted and loved. Good job.
Sunny Loomis 09/13/08
Good story. Mary is afraid to do anything "wrong." Aren't most foster children delivered to a home by an adult? i'm glad Mary sees it's okay to be herself. Well written. Good job.
Mary Alice Bowles09/16/08
A beautiful little story written with lots of love filled in, exaclty where it should be. So very sweet!!