An Unintentional Gift of Love by Z. Barr

Today’s post is a special short story — special because it was written by my youngest son. We just began our homeschool year — his 7th grade year, and this was his first writing assignment. I love how it turned out (it’s one of the best he’s written and I thought it went so well with the illustration). The photo of the illustration isn’t very good, but in the upper left hand corner, there is a man dressed in a white shirt with a hand in the air, like he’s waving. He only had to make a few minor adjustments. I asked if he minded if I share it here, and he gave his permission.

The assignment was to write a story to go with the illustration and to include what happened just before and just after the picture. If you enjoy it, leave a comment that I can pass along to him.


“An Unintentional Gift of Love”

by Z. Barr

     Three-year-old, curly blond-haired Alice and five-year-old, brown-haired Susan were helping Ma with the dishes.

“Ma, when can we go out and pick flowers?” Alice asked.

“When the dishes are done,” Ma said.

When the dishes were done, Alice asked Ruff, their dog, if he wanted to go along to pick flowers and get some fresh air.

“Ruff!” The dog barked. Ruff got his name because of the way he barks.

“Have a good time girls!” Ma called. “And take this loaf of bread, butter, and preserves to Uncle Richard’s farm. Set this basket around fifty feet from the sidewalk that leads to the house. Then go flower picking.”

“Okay, Ma,” the girls said in unison.

The girls left the house and headed toward Uncle Richard’s farm.

“I’ll put the basket down and you and Ruff stay here, Alice,” said Susan. She left the basket fifty feet away from the sidewalk. Richard’s family was under a spell of fever.

When Susan came back, she, Alice, and Ruff went flower picking. Ruff bounded around the girls happily. The girls picked violets, daisies, morning glories, and buttercups.

They saw their Ma’s friends, Joanne and Amelia, deep in conversation. When they noticed the girls, Amelia said, “Hi. How are you and your Ma doing?”

“We’re fine, thank you.” Susan answered.

Once, Susan looked in the direction of Uncle Richard’s farm, and she saw Uncle Richard picking up the basket and waving ‘thank you’ to them.

After Susan and Alice picked armfuls of flowers, they headed home.

When they entered the house, they showed the flowers to Ma, who was embroidering. “Morning glories! I love morning glories! Thank you,” she cried. “Those were the kind of flowers your Pa gave me before our wedding, and he gave more to me before he died of cancer.”

Ma put all the flowers in a vase with water. In less than an hour, the whole house smelled of flowers.



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