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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Spring (the season) (07/23/09)

TITLE: A Ride in the Country
By Verna Cole Mitchell


Scarlet was lonely. The winter had been long and cold, and she felt like she’d been cooped up forever. Due to her advanced age, she couldn’t move as fast or get out with others as often as she had when she’d been younger. Her joints were stiff, and it was hard just to get geared up every day.

But now spring was in the air, and, as she sat musing about her favorite ride in the country, she hoped she could go there soon. She remembered that this was the season for Creator God to make the world new again, and she reflected on the wonders that springtime offered. Pansies that had lain shivering beneath a blanket of snow now lifted their purple faces to the sun, while bold tulips stood guard over them. Bright yellow forsythia waved in the breeze to entice drowsy bees that were nosing around. Honeysuckle vines and lilac bushes vied to see which could make sweeter scents.

Birds twittered new songs as they darted back and forth with bits of straw to build nests for their families. Spring peepers vocalized their joy of winter’s being over. Hummingbirds and swallows flew in from their winter homes, while skeins of ducks stopped to rest in ice-melted ponds.

Bare hardwood trees became lovely bowers again, and blossoms burgeoned from flowering dogwood and cherry trees. Redbud trees also did their part to enliven the landscape.

Children came out of hibernation to frolic like little lambs on freshly awakened lawns. Lovers strolled arm-in-arm down the lane, occasionally stopping for a little cuddle and kiss. Farmers came out of their freshly painted barns to walk among the seedlings, springing up as reward for their labor, and to check for strawberries peeping out of their hiding places beneath green leaves. Taking advantage of the fresh air, housewives hung white sheets on drooping clotheslines.

Scarlet was startled out of her reverie by the sound of a door slamming and children’s voices. “Please, Dad,” she heard a little girl say, “Can we get in the old red car and go for a ride in the country?” Thrilled to throw off her winter doldrums, Scarlet began humming in anticipation as all climbed into her faded seats, and Dad started her rolling towards the panorama she’d just been dreaming about.

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This article has been read 852 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Lynda Schultz 07/30/09
Ours was black and her name was Betsey. She spent all winter in the garage, up on blocks. If cars really could talk, I'm sure she would have echoed Scarlet's words. Nicely done.
Joy Faire Stewart08/01/09
Very enjoyable story on topic, and I didn't see the end coming.
Dee Yoder 08/03/09
Oh, I'm SURE our cars can think--if only they could talk! I really enjoyed this story and the wonderful and affectionate memories that Scarlet loves.
Virgil Youngblood 08/03/09
Great descriptions and ending. You got me.
Eliza Evans 08/03/09
Clever you! :) Scarlet--the car!--has a poetic soul. Imagine that. Very nice and "homey" feeling. :)
Laury Hubrich 08/03/09
Poor Scarlet. So glad she got to go for that ride in the country. Sweet entry;)
Edy T Johnson 08/03/09
As beautifully written as your descriptions of Spring bursting out all over, I was hankering for more info about Scarlet as I was reading. That's the only thing I would change: weave a bit more about Scarlet (still keeping your surprise for the final paragraph) through the reverie in her memory bank :)
Beth LaBuff 08/03/09
I enjoyed this so much. You have wonderful descriptions "Bright yellow forsythia waved in the breeze to entice drowsy bees that were nosing around" and "housewives hung white sheets on drooping clotheslines" are a few of my favorites. Very nice!!
Mariane Holbrook 08/03/09
Your imagination knew no bounds with this one, my friend. You keep surprising me with the masterful way you approach each of your entries and all are so good that I'm green with envy. I've heard of people naming their cars but this went way beyond that into the delightful and imaginative. You're the best!
Ada Nett08/04/09
My mind immediately identified Scarlet....as a little old lady in a nursing home... that is until the last paragraph. Good writing!
Loren T. Lowery08/04/09
Absolutely delightful. I love it when an author can trick me - looks like the makings of a good mystery writer here.
Bryan Ridenour08/04/09
Very creative with awesome descriptive phrases. I could close my eyes and picture Spring, along with Scarlet. Well written.
Diana Dart 08/05/09
Beautiful descriptions and a clever wee twist. Nice!
Sara Harricharan 08/05/09
Heehee! you got me! I really didn't quite think that poor scarlet was a car. Very nicely done, the twist at the end is simply superb!
Pamela Kliewer08/05/09
Oh my! You got me, too! What a creative take on the topic.
Mona Purvis08/05/09
No one does it like Verna. Always unique...and special.
Do others take a ride in the country nowdays? I know I still do. As a child I used to take a Sunday ride with my grandmother. Always bought me an ice cream cone and would not let me eat the cone...said it was for holding the ice cream. I so wanted that cone. I'll never forget it.