Pussy Willow (flash fiction with Sarah)

Sarah had a pussy willow bush in the backyard of her house in Stonehaven.  She loved to pet the furry buds!  They were like fingernail-sized rabbit’s feet.  

Once in a very great while she would cut off a branch or two as a gift for someone special.  It would usually be for Miss Lawson, her fourth grade teacher.  Sarah loved listening to her voice every day after recess, as she read The Oregon Trail.  It was a magical twenty minutes, filled with adventures, before the dreaded math book. 
 
Sometimes the branches were for Mr. Jenkins from across the street.  Mr. Jenkins had myna birds, and he let Sarah hold them on her arm. He taught her to always have her eyes higher than theirs, so they would know that she was top bird.  One of them knew swear words and could quack like a duck.  Billy taught him before he went off to college.  It was hilarious!
 
Now, she sat in her mom’s powder blue Falcon with a fat bunch of pussy willow branches in her hands.  Most of them were on the floor, in front of the back seat, because they were too tall to hold. That bush felt like family, and she intended to bring as much of it with her to the new place as she could.  Joan had brought over her dad’s pruning shears, and the two of them gave that bush a big haircut before her mom got mad and made her get in the car for the move to Westville. 
 
The folks who bought their house had liked that bush too. Sarah’s mom had even cut them a few branches when they came to measure the bedrooms.  Her mom knew they would not be happy, but Sarah didn’t care about that.  Today that bush was still hers, and as she got in the car, she said what her mom always said to her when she got her hair cut too short – It’ll grow back!
 
The moving men were still loading the last of their things.  Sarah watched through the car window as the bookshelf from her bedroom was walked up the ramp. Aunt Nora said she would stay behind to make sure everything made it onto the truck.  Dorothy was anxious to go ahead.  She said she wanted to put away the kitchen things they had dropped off earlier in the day, but Sarah knew that her mom just wasn’t big on long goodbyes.
 
Sarah hated leaving that pussy willow behind.  She loved the rose bushes too, and the forsythia and the purple weeds that came up in the spring grass.  There was nowhere to plant anything at the new place.  Sarah would miss the jungle of her backyard, but there were tall Maples and Oaks around their new apartment building, and Sarah promised herself that they would become great friends.  For now though, all she felt was the leaving.  She hoped she would meet someone on the other end worthy of a few of her furry-footed branches.

4 comments

  • Debbie Fox

    Debbie Fox Wynnewood

    When reading your flash fiction installment, I was glad to be reminded of the fact that when we leave, we don't just leave what is inside our houses behind, we also leave the plants and trees. And when we return years later, we often look to see if a favorite tree remains, and if so, how much it has changed. Also, the next time I feel cold, I am going to try and relax and see if I feel warmer. Take care!

    When reading your flash fiction installment, I was glad to be reminded of the fact that when we leave, we don't just leave what is inside our houses behind, we also leave the plants and trees. And when we return years later, we often look to see if a favorite tree remains, and if so, how much it has changed.

    Also, the next time I feel cold, I am going to try and relax and see if I feel warmer.

    Take care!

  • Denise

    Denise

    Thanks for commenting Debbie. I agree, I often will look to see how my old tree friends are doing. I feel a kinship with them. I had a pussy willow when I was a kid, and I still think about it sometimes. Oh, and do try the relaxing in the cold trick. It works!

    Thanks for commenting Debbie. I agree, I often will look to see how my old tree friends are doing. I feel a kinship with them. I had a pussy willow when I was a kid, and I still think about it sometimes. Oh, and do try the relaxing in the cold trick. It works!

  • harry

    harry just west of almost nowhere

    triggered in a good way, in a hard way, in a sad way, i read on bouncing from each image remembering the losses; not of trees per se, although the horsechestnut was awesome and rare, but rather the friends, the sites, the changes... i am grateful for your blog. i am continually taken to another place from another time. i enjoy its power to get me to stop thinking about all the trivial things i think are so important, and instead i am taken to your land of imagination, imagery, and contemplation. i am smiling

    triggered in a good way, in a hard way, in a sad way, i read on bouncing from each image remembering the losses; not of trees per se, although the horsechestnut was awesome and rare, but rather the friends, the sites, the changes... i am grateful for your blog. i am continually taken to another place from another time. i enjoy its power to get me to stop thinking about all the trivial things i think are so important, and instead i am taken to your land of imagination, imagery, and contemplation. i am smiling

  • Denise

    Denise

    Thanks Harry. You always make me smile. I love knowing that you are a consistent and a deep reader of my work. That means so much. All of my triggers end up in my writing. I always seem to be pulled back into middle childhood. It is such a powerful time in the creation of a life.

    Thanks Harry. You always make me smile. I love knowing that you are a consistent and a deep reader of my work. That means so much. All of my triggers end up in my writing. I always seem to be pulled back into middle childhood. It is such a powerful time in the creation of a life.

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