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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Spring (as in the season) (11/28/05)

TITLE: The Bluebird and the Afghan
By Shannon Redmon


She pulled the blanket off her daughter’s bed and gave it a lingering glance. It seemed so long ago when her mother had wrapped her up and together they watched the bluebirds nest outside the window. Goldie had passed on the tradition to each of her children but after a good cleaning today, the afghan would retire.

“Whatcha’ doing, mommy?”

Goldie turned to see her eight year old daughter, Violet, standing in the doorway.

“I’m spring cleaning your room and thought I’d wash this blanket to store in the closet.”

“But mom, I need that blanket…for my tent!”

“Your tent?”

“Yes. I’m building a tent in my room and I need this blanket for the roof.” Violet grabbed the corner.

“But honey, this blanket has holes in it not to mention the one growing in the middle. Your roof will leak!” Goldie tugged back.

Her daughter’s determination surfaced. “That’s my observation area. I can gaze at the stars through the opening.”

“Okay you can have it…but only for a few days.”

Several weeks passed and Violet grew bored with her inside tent. The spring weather beckoned her outside. Goldie dashed up to her room looking for the “starry” observatory and found the blanket wadded up in the corner.

“Well, at least, I can take care of you now.”

She descended the stairs and heard the back door slam.

“Mom, I’m home!” Her son’s arrival stopped Goldie’s journey to the laundry room. She bundled the afghan in her arms.

“Hi son! Did you have fun at Grandma’s house.”

“Yeah…hey is that my old blanket.”

“Yes it is. I took it from your sister’s room and was going to wash it. I hope to find a nice safe place for it to live out the remainder of its days…and from the looks of this hole that might not be many more.”

“Aw, mom…I need that blanket.”

“Whatever for?”

“It’s for my…uh…my fort! I’m going to make a fort with it!”

Timmy grabbed the blanket from her and ran upstairs. Gloria yelled after him.

“Okay, you can have it…but only for a few days!”

Several weeks passed and Tim grew tired of the indoor fort. He turned his interest to fighting enemy soldiers outside in the spring sun. Gloria was watching from the kitchen window when a bluebird building his nest caught her eye.

“I bet you don’t give into your kids like I do.”

The bird flew back and forth bringing a variety of worms, bugs and straw to his family. Small beaks grabbed his treasures while he perched at the door.

“Well, maybe you do.”

The sound of the basketball on the pavement diverted Gloria’s attention to her son and daughter playing a game of H-O-R-S-E. A grin crept onto her face.

“Now’s my chance!”

She raced upstairs to her son’s room and glanced around till her eyes saw the old blanket secured in the corner over two chairs. Even the toy army men guarding their prisoner could not prevent its rescue.

A few suds and swirls cleaned the blanket right up and Gloria basked in her accomplishment.

“Some warm weather and fresh breezes should give you the aroma of spring.”

She headed out to the clothesline underneath the deck to hang her treasure.

Behind her quiet footsteps emerged.


Gloria jumped and almost lost hold of the blanket.

“George! You scared me to death!”

Her husband stuck out his lip in a boyish pout. His hands appeared from behind his back and held a bouquet of jonquils.

“Forgive me?”

“Oh…how sweet…but you need more than flowers for that scare!” She kissed his cheek.

“Then how about a picnic? We could take this old blanket and spread it on the…”

“Oh no! I finally got this afghan cleaned and there is no way it will hit the ground. However, I would like a picnic…just up on the deck.”

George agreed and after some fried chicken legs and corn cobs, Gloria descended the deck steps to remove her blanket to its final resting place. Her feet halted at the sight below.

“George! Come here!”

The whole family rushed down to see what happened. George’s wife stood laughing as she pointed past the clothes line to the bird house. The hole in the blanket had grown bigger and the unraveled thread lead straight to the culprit.

“Okay, Mr. Bluebird, you can have it…but only for a few days!”

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This article has been read 779 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Amy Michelle Wiley 12/05/05
I laughed out loud. Great story!
Donnah Cole12/05/05
A really nice story line. It comes full circle with the bluebird's participation! I did get a little confused however with the names of Goldie and Gloria -- same person? Overall, a great story which I thoroughly enjoyed!
Shannon Redmon12/06/05
Yes it is supposes to be Goldie instead of Gloria throughout the story! (Beating head right now...)
Anita Neuman12/06/05
Ah yes, you did bring it around full-circle, "tying" it up nicely at the end. Great job!
Helga Doermer12/06/05
sounds like the blanket found a final resting place somewhere much more functional than taking up space. The ultimate in reusing.
Jan Ackerson 12/07/05
Very cute story.

When you start a story with "She...", your reader doesn't know who you're talking about. Start with the name, Goldie, and use "She..." for a later sentence.

Lots of fun dialog here, and realistic characters. Good job!
Marilyn Schnepp 12/10/05
Perfection personified! With the exception of two different ladies (Gloria and Goldie), I think the story was flawless. You held my interest throughout, (which is difficult, as I have a short attention span) and it had such a cute ending. All characters seemed realistic, and I loved it immensely. Kudos! Thanks for sharing your talent with us.
Beth Muehlhausen12/12/05
Cute and fun! Liked all the dialogue. It was great to let the characters tell their own story. :-)