Sunday, August 3, 2008

The Scarecrow’s Clothes By Sabreen Ali, Grade 6

On Monday morning I woke up at 5:00 am. I made myself a bagel with cream cheese and went out to the porch. It was hot, but there was a gentle breeze which made my hair rustle. I sat in my old rocking chair, and took big bites of my bagel and chewed slowly while I watched the sun rise. Then I went out to the farm and checked on the crops. I found crows eating the corn stalks.

“Get out of here!” I shouted, but only one flew away. I waved my hands in the air at them. Two more flew away. I crossed my arms and grunted in frustration. Those birds always ate my corn stalks! I quickly walked to the shed and got out my whip. Then, when I got to the crows on the corn stalk, I cracked my whip at the remaining birds. They fluttered in fear. “Caw-caw! Caw-caw!”

I need to find a way to get the crows away from my crops, I thought. When I went inside, I decided to look online for ideas. I sat in my pink fluffy chair in front of the computer. Then I typed in the address bar “google.com”. Tap, tap, tap went the keys on the keyboard as I searched “keeping crows away from plants.”

I was amazed by how many results I got! I clicked on the first link. It brought me to a website with many ways to prevent birds from eating crops. This was exactly what I needed! The first thing on the list was “make a scarecrow.” When I read this, I knew it was the perfect idea.

I clicked on “make a scarecrow”, and it showed me the materials needed to make it and instructions. I needed a pole, straw, and clothes. I decided to go to the store just for the pole and straw because I could just use my own clothes for the scarecrow. I went to the store Michaels because I knew they would have everything I needed. I lived in the country and it was a long drive into the city. The car bumped along over gravel until I got on to smooth city roads. On my way, I passed a garage sale. I should stop there on my way back, I thought.

After I bought all I needed from the store, I stopped at the garage sale I had seen earlier. Some things stood out including the different kitchen utensils, but what made my eyes pop was a set of clothes. “They are perfect for my scarecrow!” I thought out loud. The shirt was checkered with red and white squares. There were blue overalls to go over it. There was even a little straw hat to go with it. I have to buy this outfit, I thought. Why waste my own clothes when the perfect clothes to my scarecrow were right here! I brought the clothes over to the lady at the table in front of the driveway.

“Good luck,” she said as I paid her.

What did she mean by ‘good luck’? I thought. You don’t need luck for clothes.

When I got home, I called my friend Stacy, and I invited her to my house to help me make my scarecrow. She arrived ten minutes later. After I showed her the materials and instructions, we got started. We tried to follow the instructions, but we couldn’t understand them. They were too complicated. It told us to attach the straw in difficult ways that we couldn’t figure out how to do. The only thing we managed to do was to hold the pole up vertically, and that was just from common sense. We decided to come up with our own way to make it. Using rubber bands to hold it down, we attached the straw to the pole. We made arms, legs, and a head. We munched on tuna sandwiches while we worked. Then we put the clothes on it.

“It looks perfect!” Stacy exclaimed.

We took the scarecrow outside and staked the pole in the ground next to the corn stalks.

“That should scare the birds away,” I said as we walked inside.

It was nearly sunset by the time by the time Stacy left. I sat on my porch to watch the sunset. I nibbled on some crackers in my wooden rocking chair. I went to bed after eating a small dinner of chicken noodle soup. The next day I didn’t wake up on time to see the sunrise. Most of the time I do, but occasionally I am too tired to wake up so early. I ate a quick breakfast of cereal and milk, and then went to check on the corn stalks. I wonder if the scarecrow worked, I thought. I had my answer right when I saw the crows feasting on my corn stalk.

“Shoo, shoo!” I shouted. Most of them flew away. Isn’t the scarecrow supposed to scare the crows? I thought. That’s when I noticed the scarecrow was missing!

Did someone steal it? Or did the wind blow it away and out of the ground? I stood there thinking of the possibilities for a few minutes. The wind urged me forward as I looked around for the scarecrow. I found it at the cabbage patch. Only, it wasn’t just lying on the ground next to the cabbages, it was eating them! I stood in the gentle breeze, breathless. Scarecrows can’t move around! I thought. And they certainly can’t eat! I threw my arms up in confusion as I spoke to it.

“How can you be alive? You’re just a scarecrow!”

It surprised me when the scarecrow replied. I didn’t expect it to talk back.

“Oh, hello there, my name is Jane.” Apparently it was a girl because of her name and I could tell she was friendly by the way she greeted me.

“But you’re just a scarecrow,” I sputtered.

“It’s these clothes,” she explained. “They make me feel so…alive.” The clothes are what are keeping her alive? I tried to think of a logical explanation, but I couldn’t think right. I sat on the grass and calmed myself down. I took a deep breath and thought of everything I knew about the clothes. Then I figured it out. I got those clothes from that garage sale! That’s probably what the lady at the garage sale meant by ‘good luck’. But how did she know about my scarecrow? Maybe she heard me talk to myself about the clothes being perfect for my scarecrow.

“You’re supposed to be scaring crows away from my corn stalks. How come you’re over here, eating my cabbages?” I asked, still shocked that I was talking to a scarecrow.

“Sorry, but I got hungry,” she replied, now just standing in front of me.

“Maybe we can make a deal,” I suggested. “If you keep the birds away from my crops, I will feed you everyday.”

She nodded and said, “I would like that very much.”

The next day went just as expected. I woke up, ate breakfast, and fed the scarecrow. I was pleased to find that there were no crows on my plants. We got to know each other better while exchanging the many stories of our lives. One of them was about when I was five years old. I broke my mother’s favorite vase. I blamed it on my older sister, Martha. I was eventually caught and I got in trouble. I told Jane that my sister currently lived in another state.

Jane told me her stories too. She explained to me how she had come to life as a scarecrow once before. Her owner Lucy, the lady at the garage sale, was afraid of the scarecrow; when she figured out that the clothes made Jane come to life, she took them off. Then she sold them to me.

Jane also told me what she liked to eat. She had tried one of Lucy’s apples and she loved it. One time we played catch, and Jane liked it. We would only play when no one was there. When a car or person passed by, Jane would stand still as if she was lifeless. Jane and I became great friends. The whole experience made me realize that anything is possible!