by Estes Hills Fifth Grade in collaboration with Susie Wilde, Fall 2007
It was a peaceful day in Eagle Park, unless you were a sliver of grass named Hope. Hope hated being planted, watching birds and bees whiz around constantly, seeing the caterpillars and centipedes weave in and out of plants and flowers. But she’d gotten her name because she never stopped wishing for things to change and finding ways to make them different. She sighed to her best friend, Blade, “I wish I could move around!”
“Do that disco dance you saw those kids do,” Blade suggested, “Wiggling always makes you feel better.”
Hope twisted her lime-green body like she’d seen the children do and she did feel better. She felt the breeze move with her and enjoyed the shade of the nearby oak tree and the lemony sun. Suddenly the ground rumbled as the feet of twenty-two soccer players stampeded towards the patch of grass Hope shared with her family and friends.
“Over here! I’m open!” panted a black-haired boy whose face was sweaty and red as the roses nearby. Hope stopped her cheerful dance, sick with the feeling something was going to happen.
“Hope, duck behind me. Get out of the way,” roared Blade as shoes sharp as thorns trampled him. Blade moaned as the spiky points smashed against his spine. The boy’s feet skidded and uprooted Hope like a claw, burying Blade under a pile of leaves.
“Are you okay?” Hope asked, but Blade was as still as a calm pond.
“Mom! Dad!” Hope sobbed. Silence spread through Eagle Park.
“Hope, what’s going on? Why are your roots loose?” her mother called.
Hope looked down and saw her exposed roots. “Blade, you always helped me to have freedom and now I can move but without you, I don’t feel happy.” Anger and grief bubbled up inside her broken heart.
The next morning, dew sparkled on Hope, showering her body with freshness. But when she saw a girl in the distance with jagged shoes, she screamed, “Big Bro, Little Sis, watch out!”
“Don’t worry little sister,” her brother said. “Children won’t hurt you.”
“What about Blade? He —“her memory stopped her words for a minute. “Do you want to get squashed like Blade?” she asked them.
“Mom, Hope’s scaring me!” her baby sister cried.
“Stop scaring her, Hope.”
“I’m not trying to scare her, I want to protect her,” Hope said. Hope knew what a shoe with thorns could do to a piece of grass; she had to rescue her brother and sister. Without thinking, Hope sprang out of the ground, dirt clinging to her roots.
“This is what you get for hurting grass! I’ll get you right in the eyes!” She kicked her roots and flung dirt in the air towards the girl.
Dirt flew, but it was nowhere near the girl’s eyes. It landed on her right ankle and she didn’t even twitch. She walked away, stepping on everyone Hope knew.
“See nothing happened. Grass springs right back up when someone walks on it,” Hope’s brother told her. Hope’s family didn’t understand and she had no way to defend them. She went to sleep feeling hopeless.
The sun tried to break through the early morning Fog. In the quiet, Hope smelled a burning fuel that made her sick. Peeking out from around the oak tree was a red monster machine that towered over the grass. Its bright yellow light shined through the mist, glowing so that Hope had to squint. “Vroom, Vroom!” It rumbled, louder than a pack of picnickers. Hope usually enjoyed getting trimmed, but this machine was gigantic with huge wheels that could easily crush every bit of grass she loved.
The machine’s vibration made her tremble and she shivered until she was again loose in the ground. “Maybe I can turn it off,” she thought. She hurled herself at the machine’s key, throwing all her weight against the metal, trying to stop a tragedy, but she failed again and fell to the ground feeling helpless.
A bee buzzed by and Hope called, “Can you get other bees and help me stop that giant machine?” In less than five minutes, Bee gathered a swarm.
“Your stings can stop that human! You can do it!” Hope said.
The hive zoomed forward, but as soon as the man cranked up the machine, smoke surrounded the bees and though they beat their wings hard, the smoke made the bees sleepy and they drifted slowly off into the mist.
Hope stood tall, ready to face her doom. The machine thundered closer and closer towards the green patch where she lived. Its sound deafened Hope and the rising sun glinted off its metal body.
As it whirred over her head, trimming her top, Hope felt as refreshed as she did after a strong rain. Her top shimmered as the sun rose and she lifted her head into the breeze to feel it brush the crown of her head. The wind blew around and beside her and leave scattered.
“Hope,” called a weak voice.
“Blade, you’re still here! I thought you were dead!” Hope said.
“I’m fine! I’ve been healing under these leaves for days. Sure I was hurt, but grass has the power to endure just about anything?”
In the brightness of the sunrise, Hope realized the truth. Grass could be walked on and it bent. Grass could be cut and it grew back. Grass knew how to withstand hurricanes and even ten-year-olds.
“There’s always hope!” she sang out as she danced joyfully next to her friend Blade.