I chose to do this with a little bit of randomness, so I rolled a dice three times. The results were 2, 1, and 3. My character will be a kid on the playground.
Saturday afternoons were Sarah’s absolute favorite time. There was no school to worry about. The chores were usually done in the morning. What’s more, since Sarah’s mother didn’t want her and her brother watching TV all day, not that they would, considering the good shows were always on in the mornings, she would take them to the library to check out some books to read. When they’d each checked out two books, Mom would put the books into a canvas totebag and the three of them would go across the street to the park for about two hours to play while Mom read her own book.
Sarah loved the park. There were three playgrounds there. A simple one for the littler kids, like her brother, a more challenging one for the bigger kids and then one that was just a bunch of different kinds of swings and a sandbox with some mechanical shovels that kids could use. Sarah sometimes pretended she was a construction worker in that sandbox, digging the basement of a new building. Her brother usually only wanted to swing. Mom would put him into one of the baby swings and would push and push and push him and he’d laugh and squeal. He’d be in that swing all day long, if Mom would let him. Usually, though, she’d just let him have the run of the park and would follow him around with her nose in her book about 50% of the time.
Today, Sarah was at the big kid swings. She was trying to see how high up she could swing. Her brother was cycling back and forth between the first and second playgrounds. She was just getting high enough that she was starting to feel a little dizzy when she heard something say, “Hey, kid.” Startled, she put her feet down and skidded to a halt. She looked around. There was no one else in the park except for her mom and brother and they were all the way on the other side.
“Hello?” she tried, surprised at how timid she sounded.
“Down here,” the voice said. Sarah looked down. There, growing not five feet from where she was swinging, was a daisy. It didn’t look like a healthy daisy, either. Rather than having its face pointing at the sky, like most flowers, this one looked like her mother when she was depressed. It’s face was pointed at the ground.
“Did you… talk?” Sarah asked, her eyes wide as she stared at the plant.
“No,” said the flower rudely, raising its head a bit, “it’s just your imagination.”
Sarah gasped and fell backwards a little. The flower glared at her, then went back to contemplating the ground. Sarah crept forward again, seating herself about two or three feet away from the daisy, in case it could bite as well as talk. “What’s the matter?” she asked.
“You’re a smart kid,” said the flower sarcastically. “Figure it out.”
“Well, okay,” said Sarah, wishing that the flower would be more polite. “Are you sad?”
“Close,” the flower said in a flat voice.
“You sound sad,” Sarah said, confused now.
“Okay,” sighed the daisy in a kind of long-suffering way, “I’m probably sad.”
“Why?” Sarah asked, creeping a little closer.
“You’d never understand,” the daisy said, in such a sad voice that it made Sarah want to cry.
“Yes, I will,” she said back, firmly. “Tell me.”
“Well,” the flower sighed, “the gardener dropped my seed here by accident. I was supposed to be planted in the garden by the senior center.” The daisy pointed a leaf at a building about ten yards from the baby swings. “So, I’ve grown here all by myself. I’m lonely. There’s no other flowers around to talk to.”
“I’m not a flower,” Sarah said. “Why did you talk to me?”
“You might not be a flower,” said the daisy, “but you’re somebody. I just really wanted to talk to someone.”
“You should be more polite, then,” Sarah advised. The flower only looked at the ground. “Is there anything I can do to help?”
“You…,” gasped the daisy, its head coming up in surprise, “want to help… me?”
“Sure!” Sarah smiled. “What can I do?”
“You could transplant me to that flower bed over there with the other flowers,” replied the daisy earnestly, its face filling with hope.
“How do I do that?” Sarah asked, curious.
“How do you…?” the flower repeated in disbelief. “You’re not a gardener, are you? I thought you were a gardener. Then you could dig around my roots and move me to the garden.”
“That’s not what I meant, ” Sarah replied, smiling with confidence. “Anyway, I could still do that.”
“If you’re not a gardener,” said the daisy in an irritated tone, “you don’t have a shovel. How are you going dig without a shovel?”
“My mom always says that you can figure anything out if you use your imagination,” said Sarah. “I’ll be right back.”
“Sure you will,” said the flower, turning its face to contemplation of the grass again.
Sarah ignored this and went to check one of the garbage cans not too far from where she’d been sitting. People often had picnics in the park and there were plenty of picnic tables everywhere, with garbage cans not too far away from any of them. Sarah had never liked looking through garbage, but… Yes! Here was one of those little pudding cups that some moms liked to give their kids. It even had a plastic spoon still stuck in it. Gingerly, Sarah reached in and grabbed the sticky pudding container, spoon and all, and went into the girl’s bathroom to wash them out. She’d never heard that old pudding could make plants sick, but she didn’t want to take a chance. Once the pudding container and spoon were clean, Sarah took them back to the little daisy.
“I’m back!” she announced, throwing herself down next to the drooping flower.
“Good for you,” said the flower glumly.
Paying no attention to this, Sarah began to dig around the flower with her spoon. After a few unsuccessful tries, she set the spoon aside and began to dig with her fingers. It wasn’t long before she had the daisy’s roots exposed. Then she picked up her plastic spoon and began to dig carefully around them. The flower even perked up a little, watching her work with a kind of curiosity. Once she had the daisy free, she carefully put it into the pudding cup then ran with it to the drinking fountain.
“What are you doing?” the daisy asked.
“We’re learning about gardening at school,” Sarah informed it. “My teacher says that transplanted plants need to be watered right away. But I don’t want to give you too much water until you’re completely moved.”
“You’re not serious,” said the flower in disbelief.
“Sure, I’m serious,” Sarah smiled, spooning a little cold water into the dark soil at the daisy’s foot. “Now let’s get you to that garden.”
Carefully, Sarah carried the daisy over to the senior center’s garden. Sitting on a bench nearby was an old lady with a cane.
“What have you got there, dearie,” the lady asked.
“It’s a daisy,” Sarah said. “It wants to be with the other flowers.”
“Oh, does it?” said the old lady, smiling indulgently. “Well, there’s a nice spot.” She pointed to a bare spot near the back of the garden.
“Thanks,” Sarah smiled. The dirt was nice and soft here and she easily dug a hole with her spoon that was big enough to receive the daisy. “There you go,” she said. “Now all you need is a little more water.” Quickly, Sarah ran back to the drinking fountain and filled the now empty pudding cup with cold water. She then ran back to the garden and poured the water into the soil near the daisy’s roots.
“There you go,” said Sarah.
“You’re such a good little girl,” the old lady said from her bench. “I’ll bet that flower is nice and comfortable now.”
“Sarah!” came the voice of her mother from the abandoned swings. “It’s time to go home!”
“I have to go,” Sarah whispered to the daisy. “I hope you’re not sad anymore.”
In answer, the daisy simply lifted its face to the sky.