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Seeing the world in a different way

by Holly, year 5

On some of the weekends we go up to Uncle Bill’s farm. I’m not sure where it is, cause the for some reason the scenery always seems different when we drive up. I’ve gathered from the signs that we’re somewhere south-west of something, but of what exactly we’re south-west of I don’t know. He lives there in a big house with Aunty Joan, grandma and grandad. Every time we go there Grandma and Aunty Joan have a present for me and it is always a plant. Sometimes it’s grown from a clipping from Aunty’s garden and sometimes it’s entirely new, like something from the nursery.

This visit’s present was a Lucky Bamboo. I adored it. It sat in an elegant white pot with three stalks coming up from it. Two of the stalks grew straight up with a few shoots sprouting off the sides. But the last stalk was the most amazing stalk of all, for it curled around all the other stalks and shoots growing upwards in a spiral. I looked at it for a while and came to the decision that if it were a person it would be a tall, elegant and graceful lady in a green silk dress. Her hair would be the same sandy brown as some parts of the Lucky Bamboo and her shoes as white as the pot it sat in.
I like turning people into plants, almost as much as I like plants themselves. I’d like to think of myself as a small pot plant maybe with a small flower or two at the top. My best friend Arina would be something totally different, something tall and beautiful, like a cherry blossom.

We stayed at Uncle Bill’s for a few days, but did nothing very interesting except for an entertaining visit to the nursery where I turned people I knew into all the plants I found (Including Britany, the school popular girl who looked a lot like a very nasty cactus).

We left three days after going to the nursery, and by that time my Lucky Bamboo had three new sprouts. We took a long road home, and as we drove into the night, the cars headlights began to look like glowing eyes in the darkness, and the taillights like fireflies just turning off their lights. I told my parents this and they laughed and said I saw the world in a different way than other people.

“In what way do other people see those headlights and taillights?” I asked, interested.

“Well...just like headlights and taillights...I guess,” they answered almost in unison.

That didn’t make any sense at all. What was the point of anything existing if it didn’t look like something else? Anyway, I shut my eyes for the rest of the trip, and let dreams of taillights and fireflies fill my head.

When I woke up we were home and it was a misty grey morning. In an hour and a half, I was at the school gates. Arina was there too.

“Hi Ari,” I said. “Had a good holiday?”

“Not bad,” she answered after a pause like she always did, although she always knew what to say without thinking about it. Perhaps she just liked pausing. “You?”

“Never been better.” I said.

I told her about the plant thing, and she smiled when I said she would be like a cherry blossom. However, when I said I would be a pot plant she shook her head.

“No,” she said. “You’d be a sort of creeper. Strong and able to grow in places where others couldn’t.”

“What does that mean?” I asked curiously.

“Strong and able to grow in places where others couldn’t?” she said. “Unique, different and able to see the beauty in others, especially when others can’t see it.”

“Is that a good thing?” I asked curiously again.

“Yes,” she said after a while, and when I looked up I saw she was smiling at me.

I had no answer to that. Sometimes a simple yes can be more confusing than maths equations, but it made me feel happy.

I thought about it for a while. Arina was the most intelligent person I knew. She had little, well thought-out things to say to me all of the time, and most of the time there wasn’t a voice I’d love to hear more. She got good marks in class but never spoke up, so many people thought she was shy, but most of the time she didn’t speak unless she had something intelligent to say. We would sit together to eat lunch, but she rarely talked, she just listened to me. Arina often came over after school to help me with my maths.

“I’m sure lots of the world’s great minds didn’t understand maths either,” she would say when I wished out loud that I could understand.

“I’m sure they did,” I would say.

“Well then, maybe you can be entirely different,” she would say “but still the greatest mind I know.”

There it was again. That word. Different. Everyone said it about me. It didn’t bother me that I was different, but I wanted to know how other people saw the world. And what way Arina saw the world. I think she saw it in everybody’s way. She was good at relating to your problems, seeing what you see and putting herself in your shoes.

Whenever I said she was more intelligent than me, she would say that no one was anymore intelligent then anyone else, but we all used our intelligence for different things. She also liked saying that everybody has a good side and a bad side. I wondered what Britany used her intelligence for. Probably being popular and disliking unpopular people. But Arina was the total opposite of Britany. She liked you for who you are, and didn’t want you to change for her. That’s what made her such a great friend. I wondered if other people were like Arina. I hoped so. I didn’t want to be journeying through a cold, heartless world where nobody understood you.

I got home that afternoon thinking about that. I stared at my lucky bamboo for a while, and then went to get a tennis ball. I pretended it was life, going up and down and twisting around, ever changing. I began twisting it and twirling it and throwing it up and down like all the things that happen in life. I dropped it and it rolled away. I gathered from that if I was in charge of the ball that was life, it would spend a lot of time stuck down a gutter. I couldn’t help being distracted by some plant that had an elegant posture or a devilish grin, or the lights that hung from the huge chandeliers looking like noble lords in their crystal chariots. But I didn’t mind, I wouldn’t change, I thought as a watched my cat poised on the couch like a smug sphinx. There wasn’t any other way I’d prefer to see the world.

Holly, year 5


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This page last updated 16/9//2007.