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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Green (10/22/09)

TITLE: A Real Standout
By Loren T. Lowery
10/27/09


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A grinch, having nothing better to do one summer day, sat on the bough of an elm tree in Covington Park and admired his green image looking back at him from a mirror. Below him, on a park bench, were two people carrying on a conversation.

“The park is especially lovely this time of year,” one of them said. “So much green, in the trees, the grass even the pond has a green reflection from the surrounding hills.”

“Yes,” the other agreed, looking upward into the branches of the elm and past the listening, preening grinch without so much as a flinch. “Green is such a good color, sets off the flush of other things around it quite nicely.”

Hello, I’m right here,” the grinch thought. Can’t you see me? I’m green, too, you know. He put away his mirror and fluttered his orange, beady eyes in hopes they might see how their sherbet color was set off quite nicely by his ferny pallor.

But, to his dismay, they got up and left without noticing him at all. “Well, that just chaps my cheeks,” he said aloud. “Here I am, green as anything around and they don’t even notice me.” He paused in thought and spoke to a startled blue jay perched next to him. “We’ll just see about that!”

And so the grinch, upset that he blended too well with other green things, trailed off to his cave high in the mountains to ponder what to do. The idea, as they often do, came in the middle of the night.

Too proud to think of any plan but one, he grinned in the gloom of his moonlight grotto and thought, I’ll take the green out of everything but me. And, so he jumped from his bed and ran to his well-stock cupboard of mysterious mixtures and books of magical potions.

But, to his dismay, there was nothing there to help with his most brilliant plan. “Bummer,” he muttered. Disheartened, he went back to lie on his bed of last year’s dried autumn leaves and twigs. His bed crackled and snapped under his weight and upon hearing the sound, he couldn’t help but grin again.

And, quick as the flick of a fluttering candle flame, he was out his cave and into the valley five mountains over where his nippy friend, Old Man Winter lived.

Nip, as his close friends called him, was glad to see the grinch and anxious to help. “Being green in summer is like being white in winter,” he smiled knowingly. “Like being a vanilla smoothie with white chocolate blended in with Angostura to give it a kick.”

“Angostura?”

“A bitter you know. To balance things out. – but it’s still hard for some to tell where one ends and the other starts – you just get lost in the mix.”

The grinch simply shrugged as if he understood – because he really didn’t; besides he was more fixated on the greenish tint of Nip’s jagged teeth than what he was saying.

And, although the grinch could easily be called such things as vain, proud, jealous or even bigheaded, he was certainly not rude; and considered right away to send his wintry buddy an anonymous tube of whitening toothpaste the very next day.

Nip went on to share a few secrets of his trade for taking the emerald shine from deciduous trees and turning green grass brown. He admitted however, quite a puzzlement over the evergreens. “Aside from pond scum, they remain one of my biggest challenges. They’re not called evergreen for no reason, you know.”

Nip then glanced his own weary face in the shimmer of a frozen waterfall and added a cautionary counsel. “Be wary of being seen too much, not all admire you once they see your true colors…”

“Yes, of course,” the grinch answered not listening again as he was in a hurry to get back to Covington Park to begin his artful assault to blight the trees, shrubbery and grass to a dull and dusty background to his glorious green. I’ll be a real standout, he thought merrily.

But after beginning his caper back at the park, his merriment soon ended in the hiss from a red can of cloying spray; and the last words he heard weren’t exactly what he was expecting as a fitting tribute to his solitaire notable green.

“Got him,” the voice said. “Never would’ve seen that pesky critter if it hadn’t been for the way his color stood out from everything else.”


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Member Comments
Member Date
Marie Fink11/04/09
This reads almost like a Dr. Seuss book, only a little higher level. I can hear a narrator in my head too.

Very clever, oh, and the character Nip could be really funny, definitely smart. Is there a market for sequels to famous kid's books such as "How the Grinch....?" This could fit in that category.
Verna Cole Mitchell 11/06/09
I was captivated when "he grinned in the gloom of his midnight grotto. What a way with words! I loved the story, too!