Sunday, August 3, 2008

The Rose Bush Dilemma By Imaani Ali, Age 14

“Ding Dong” went the doorbell at exactly 9:00 A.M., as usual. I smiled as I opened the door to let my friend, Hannah, in. We exchanged brief hellos and headed out for our usual spot under the big oak tree in the backyard. As I stepped outside, I covered my eyes from the bright sun that greeted us and I quickly scrambled to the wonderfully cool shade of the tree. I dropped down onto the grass, while Hannah, being her usual graceful self, lowered herself down next to me with ease.

“So,” she said, “What should we do today?”

I sighed and shrugged my shoulders. It was summer vacation and on the last day of school, Hannah and I agreed to spend everyday of vacation together. Well, after four days of art projects, fashion shows, internet surfing, movies, and kite flying, we were bored out of our minds.

Just then, a blue bird landed on my mother’s favorite rose bush. Suddenly, my mother ran out of the house and towards the bush. Hannah and I giggled as we watched my mother shout at the birds and shoo them away with her flour covered hands. Apparently, she had been in the middle of one of her many baking projects. Finally, the bird flew away.

"Oh, I wish those birds would stay off my bush,” she gasped, out of breath, “They keep trying to build nests and it looks very unattractive.”

That gave me an idea, so I turned to Hannah and said, “I bet we could think of a way to keep the birds away. We could throw something and scare them.” Hannah agreed, but my mother was shaking her head.

“I don’t want you two to hurt the birds,” she said, “just keep them off my bush.” Then she walked back into the house in a huff.

“How about we throw something next to the bush instead of on it?” Hannah suggested.

I agreed and we immediately got to work. We looked all around the house for things to throw. We tried cotton balls, but they were too light. We were going to try spoons, but my mother stopped us because she didn’t want them getting dirty. Next to the rose bush, my mother was very protective of her silverware. When we tried water balloons, they were working for a while, but we had to keep pausing to fill up more and it was taking too long. Hannah and I tried many things, but nothing seemed to work. Finally, we got hungry and looked in the refrigerator for something to eat.

“Whoa!” Hannah exclaimed as she saw the contents of the refrigerator, “You guys have a lot of eggs!”

It was true. Two whole shelves were occupied with just cartons and cartons of eggs.
I smiled and said, “My mom recently learned how to make devilled eggs. She bought all of these eggs so that we can eat them everyday. Although, when she made them, they weren’t that good. Now we’re not so sure what to do with the eggs…” my voice trailed off as an idea formed in my mind. I looked at Hannah.

She smiled at me and I could tell we were both thinking the same thing. We each grabbed a carton of eggs and scurried outside.

When we reached the backyard, there was a whole flock of birds resting on the rose bush. Hannah and I each grabbed an egg, aimed, and fired. As the eggs cracked, the birds fluttered away in fear. Hannah and I high fived each other at our success, and continued chucking eggs. One by one, the eggs left the cartons and landed near the rose bush. Before long, there were 24 cracked eggs around the rose bush and Hannah and I each held an empty carton, laughing hysterically.

“That was so much fun!” Hannah said after she got her laughter under control, “I can’t believe we used up two whole egg cartons!”

“I know! Come on, let’s go get more!” and we both ran back into the house, giggling again. As we entered the kitchen, we met my mother holding a large plastic bag.

“What are you girls up to?” she asked.

“We’re getting more eggs to scare the birds away,” I said quickly as we opened the refrigerator.

“Are you talking about the birds on my rose bush?” my mother questioned, sounding suspicious.

“Yes,” Hannah replied, “We are throwing eggs by the bush to make the birds fly away. But don’t worry, we aren’t hurting them,” she added quickly.

“You’re throwing eggs on my precious rose bush?” my mother said in disbelief.

When we nodded, my mother looked as though she was about to explode. I could almost see the steam coming out of her ears.

“Girls!!” she hollered, “I appreciate the help, but I didn’t want you to throw EGGS!! They will go rotten and smell bad and it will look a lot more unattractive than a bird’s nest!” My mother was fuming.

“We were just trying to solve the bird problem,” I said, trying to act as innocent as I could.

“I didn’t want you to solve it by throwing eggs, and besides,” she said as she revealed the contents of the bag, “I bought this for the birds,” and she held out a birdhouse, “I figured the birds would build their nests in this instead of on my bush.”

“Oh,” Hannah and I said in unison.

“Well,” I said, “I guess we could spend the rest of the day painting the birdhou—“

“NO,” my mother said firmly, and pointed towards the backyard, “You two will spend the rest of the day cleaning up every single egg out there.”

Hannah and I stared at her, open-mouthed, in shock. When my mother’s expression remained the same, we each heaved a sigh and muttered, “Fine,” as I grabbed a bucket and we both trudged outside. This was going to be a long afternoon.

The End