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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Garden (09/07/06)

TITLE: If Corn Had Ears
By Joanne Sher


Two eight-year-old girls, full of dimples and pigtails, glanced out the kitchen window. The sun was shining, the sky was blue, and the flowers and plants were blooming gloriously. What a perfect time for a picnic dinner!

Mary raced outdoors, dragging a red and white checkered blanket behind her. She spread it out hastily a few feet from the flower and vegetable garden she and her mother had planted earlier in the year. She headed back in, only to nearly run into her friend Sarah, who was carrying a large picnic basket.

"I'll get the lemonade and you set up the rest of the stuff - OK?"

Sarah nodded and started putting out the flowered paper plates, napkins and cups, and the pink plastic forks, knives and spoons. Mary returned and poured out the lemonade. The girls then began unpacking the food - fried chicken, potato chips, string cheese and chocolate chip cookies, just out of the oven.

"You wanna pick some strawberries? We can wash them off with the hose. I planted them all by myself!"


"Ow! Be gentle, kid!!"

"Listen to you! You're always complaining, straw! Yanno they can't hear you, so why bother?"

"I've heard about enough of you," an ear of corn added. "You think being picked hurts - try getting shucked!"

"That's nothing - bet none of you has ever had your head cut off!" the lettuce grumbled.

The potatoes rolled their eyes. "Such complainers!"

"When I was young," an iris added, "we had to get our own water - none of this sprinkler and watering can convenience. We sent our roots deep into the ground - uphill, both ways, in scorching heat! You youngsters have it easy!"

"You may be a bearded iris," the bluebells chimed in, "but you're no older than the rest of us, so get off your high horse!"

A serene, calm voice spoke, quieting all the grumbling.

"Now, dear friends, we must appreciate all that the good Lord has given us," the Jack-in-the-pulpit exhorted. "Look at this fine soil, with all the nutrients we could need to grow. And those lovely people who come and water us and give us fertilizer. God has also given us such wonderful diversity and beauty. And, for those of you complaining, remember that our purpose in life, at least in part, is to give pleasure to God's chosen - his humans! Remember that when you are cut or picked or eaten or shucked, God's purpose is being fulfilled!"

Hearty "Amens" came from all corners of the garden.

"And also remember, we could be indoor plants, and we would miss the wonderful show our Lord provides for us each day," Jack continued. "So be grateful and praise Him for exactly where we are!"

"Hey," a violet shouted toward the herbs, "Speaking of the show - does anyone have the thyme?"

The corn sighed and put its hands over its ears. "That joke wasn't funny the first time you said it. Cut it out, bud!"

"Don't you even joke about cutting with a flower!"

"Watch it, mister! How do you think Susan got that black eye?"

"Hush, children," Jack whispered. "The show is about to begin."


Mary's mother stuck her head out the back door.

"Girls - keep your eyes open - looks like the sun is about to set!"

Mary and Sarah, finished with their meals, lay down on the blanket facing west.

As the brilliant reds, oranges, purples and yellows of God's daily performance came into view, two little girls - and several other parts of God's creation - thanked Him for the beauty of His artistry, and His many good gifts.

You mountains and all hills,
Fruit trees and all cedars,
Wild animals and all cattle.
Small creatures and flying birds,
Kings of the earth and all nations,
You princes and all rulers on earth,
Young men and maidens,
Old men and children.
Let everything that has breath praise the Lord.
Psalm 148:9-12, 150:6 NIV

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This article has been read 1802 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Donna Haug09/14/06
LOL - I'm sitting here chuckling all by myself! I loved the names of your flowers and links to their personalities and wise cracks. Hilerious! Thanks for the laugh!
Marilyn Schnepp 09/14/06
What a delightful and enjoyable read! When the picnic began, I yawned, thinking to myself "ho hum"...but then the fun began - in the garden!! Great job, fun read and creatively entertaining!
Sharlyn Guthrie09/14/06
Very clever and sweet story. Nice work!
Venice Kichura09/15/06
Very creative! I loved this!
Brenda Craig09/15/06
Well, what can I say, I've read this twice now and I am still chuckling. Not overdone, not silly, just right. A refreshing and wonderful read. Excellent!
Jan Ross09/15/06
How absolutely delightful! Such creativity! Such wit! Wow! Wow! Wow! Good work! :)
Lynda Lee Schab 09/16/06
I absolutely adored this story! It was creative, fun, entertaining, humorous, and delivered a message. WOW! Who could ask for more? Simply delightful. Loved it!
Dolores Stohler09/16/06
Just want to echo all the other remarks - loved it, so clever, so much fun!
Donna Powers 09/19/06
Oh, I loved the talking of the flowers. So amusing, and very well done! I really enjoyed this!
Ann Grover09/19/06
Delightful! Just enough puns and humour!
Jan Ackerson 09/19/06
Very clever!
Val Clark09/19/06
A fun filled story that continued to hold my attention. Loved the repartee between the plants and the characters you gave them according to their names. Very creative. yeggy
Amy Michelle Wiley 09/19/06
Hehehe, cute story! I almost did a talking plants one... Great job!
Catrina Bradley 09/20/06
Brilliant Joanne! I keep picturing the potatoes rolling their eyes. Great read - I can see how you moved up so fast!
Betty Castleberry09/20/06
Very, very cute! I especially love the advice the iris gave. You had me chuckling out loud.
Debbie Sickler09/20/06
I really enjoyed how you switched between the girls, the garden and then back to the girls. You had some funny lines with the garden characters, but I have one thing to be nit picky about. You said the corn covered its ears with its hands, but corn doesn't have hands. Maybe just 'covered his ears' would be more in character? Either way, great story and good writing. :) Oh, and I loved the iris too. :)
Jen Davis09/20/06
This story is absolutely charming! I see the word "delight" has been used to described this piece because it so perfectly does. So many cute lines throughout. "...try getting shucked!" "...uphill, both ways, in scorching heat!" Although I loved the picture of dimples and pigtails perhaps saying something like "dimpled with pigtails" instead of "full of". You really did a great job. I look forward to more of your humorous writing.
Phyllis Inniss09/21/06
I enjoyed your writing and my review encompasses all of the above.
Joanne Malley09/21/06
Bravo! Adorable story alive with fantasy veggie characters. Loved this line, "How do you think Susan got her black eye?" Funny. I've had black-eyed Susans in my garden before and I didn't even kill them. Wonderful!
Joanne Malley09/21/06
Oh...and congrats on a well-deserved win! Blessings, Jo
Suzanne R09/21/06
Just beautiful - I loved it! CONGRATULATIONS on making the editors' choice with it - it is well and truly worthy of being 'in the book'!
william price09/21/06
Way to go Joane!!!
Great stuff. 2nd place and an EC. I am very happy for you. God bless.
I just had to read this story when I saw the title. Awesome story! Awesome title. You are a very talented writer.


Valerie Routhieaux09/22/06
This was absolutely wonderful. I can see why you had so many critiques and why you won level. Congratulations.
Karen Treharne09/23/06
A beautiful story Joanne. I enjoyed the biblical reference and your vegetative POV!! Great job and well deserving of a win. Congratulations.
Pat Guy 03/29/07
:) What a delightful story with delightful messages - and what fun to read! I loved the humor!
Julie Arduini03/29/07
What a fun, delightful read. Your creativity is amazing!
Jacquelyn Horne07/04/07
This was certainly a different approach. It went well with the scripture given. No wonder it was a winner.