by Kathy Watson
Grace arrived home from school with a slump and a sigh. She flopped into a chair as Grandma Therese looked up from her tea.
“What’s wrong?” Grandma asked.
Grace pointed toward the home of her best friend across the street. “Narissa is mad at me,” she said. “I wanted to play with Jocelyn at recess. Now Narissa won’t talk to me at all.” Out the window, they could see Narissa sitting alone on her front porch. It wasn’t her fault if Narissa’s feelings were hurt, or was it?
Grandma gently touched Grace’s hand. “I am sorry to hear that. I know you love your friend.” Then, she smiled. “I have an idea to brighten your day.” Four colorful packets sat on the table. “You can plant them wherever you want.”
The pictures of marigolds, zinnias, daisies and pansies made Grace think of spring. But Narissa would see her if she went to the flower bed in the front yard! Maybe the backyard would work. It was just a sidewalk, an old sandbox and a patch of thick weeds, but Grace stepped out the door to try.
Grace opened a packet of daisy seeds and remembered the day Narissa moved in. She gave Narissa a bouquet of daisies and their friendship bloomed instantly. Grace knew the flowers in her seed packet had a long way to go.
Glancing around, she saw sunflower seeds spilled from the birdfeeder. They were getting a lot of sun on the sidewalk. She sprinkled a few daisy seeds beside them. Swoop! Three sparrows spotted the tasty seeds. Grace tried to shoo them away, but her waving arms launched seeds everywhere. She did her best to gather them, then peeked around the corner of the house. Narissa was on her front porch hugging her mom.
Safely hidden in the backyard, Grace decided to find a better place for the marigold seeds. The old sandbox looked good. She sprinkled and swirled the feathery seeds with a plastic shovel. They did not stay where she wanted and sank in the loose, dry sand. Her seeds were lost again and she was running out of places to plant without Narissa seeing her!
Grace pulled out a packet of zinnias. The bright blooms looked like a warm sunset. Did Narissa remember all the fun they had running in the yard until it was too dark to see? Maybe the dandelion patch had strong soil where the zinnias could grow all summer. Kneeling on the ground with the packet, Grace could see her friend bouncing a ball alone. Narissa did not look in her direction. Grace realized how much she wanted her friend back as she squeezed seeds between tangled roots. She knew instantly her flowers would not grow there with weeds blocking the sunshine and stealing the water.
Determined, Grace pulled the last packet from her coat. They were violet pansies. She loved the color and how easy they were to grow. Grandma always said they were forgiving. They would get plenty of rain and sunshine in the rich soil of the flower bed. But her seeds were still missing one thing.
Grace smiled. She clutched the packet and ran across the street toward Narissa’s house.
With a little work, she hoped the love of a friend would help her flowers grow.
About the Writer
Kathy Watson lives in Arkansas, where her family loves to spend time outdoors. Her first picture book, MY CITY IS A FORT, was published in May 2018 by Gatehouse Media/Times Record Books. She also writes essays for adult Christian readers and has been featured on the Catholic website, Bellator Society.
Photo credit: “fairys” by Annafur, Flickr.com.