Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Buttercup by Lisa Rusczyk

Buttercup hasn’t started meowing yet. That means I’m still close to home. She hates to go to far.

Leaves crunch beneath my feet and her paws. I look up. The sky is starting to show through the orange and yellow leaves. I had to put on a long-sleeved shirt today.

The quarry can’t be too far. Buttercup hates the quarry. I’m going there anyway. She may or may not follow.

Second grade started this year. I have a hard time with my spelling words. Written words don’t spell anything like they sound. I wish I could stay home every day and play in the woods.

The trails are hard to find. It’s getting darker out and I should probably go home, but instead I go a little farther. Buttercup is at my heels.

There’s a clearing up ahead. The grass has turned dry and whitish. We head that way. The quarry must be around here somewhere. How could I forget how to get there? I blame it on the change in colors here in the woods. Everything looks different and I haven’t been here in the fall yet.

We sit on some rocks in the clearing. Buttercup crawls into my lap and rams her head into my chest and chin. She’s happy we’re taking a break.

I look up into the trees. One tree is the same orange as Buttercup. I try to show it to her but she just wants to be petted.

The sky is orange too. I need to get home, but I don’t know the way. I’m worried. I don’t want to be out here in the dark.

I stand up and look all around. I don’t remember which way we came in. Buttercup looks up at me and meows.

"Do you know the way home?"

"Meow." She looks off.

Tears fill my eyes. I shouldn’t have come out here without permissions. I only wanted to see the quarry and think about spelling words.


I look down at her through my blurry eyes. Her orange tail it straight up, and she’s heading to the trees. She looks back at me. I take a step forward.

She keeps walking and goes into the dying brush. I step into it and wipe leaves off my pants. She keeps going, looking back every few minutes. I follow. I am totally lost until I see a shape through the dying trees. Is that my house?

Buttercup sits down, looks up at me. "Meow!" I go ahead of her and sure enough, there’s my house. Mom is in the backyard sweeping leaves off the patio.

"Hi, Sweetie." She smiles after calling out to me. "Did you go out there by yourself?"

I walk to her. She isn’t mad. Why isn’t she mad? I’m not supposed to go wandering in the woods. I start to cry again.

"What’s wrong?" she says, putting down her broom and wrapping her arms around me. A cool breeze picks up and swirls some of her leaf pile around.

"I was lost."

"You made it home fine."

"Buttercup showed me the way home."

"You’re safe now."

"You’re not mad?"

"What would I be mad about?" She wipes my tears.

"I’m not allowed to go into the woods alone this late."

She squats in front of me and looks me in the eyes. "I think it’s about time you learned the trails. This is the perfect time of year. Tomorrow when you come home from school we’ll go to the quarry and I’ll teach you how to follow trails."

"Can Buttercup come?"

"Of course."

"Can we do my spelling words out there?"

She smiles at me and nods.


Cherie Reich said...

Aww! What a sweet, cute story!

Aubrie said...

What a wonderful story! Parents need to be more like that.

Amanda Borenstadt said...

Wonderful sweet and vivid! I wanted to be there too. :)