Once upon a time, there lived a very kind and caring young girl named Polly who was so incredibly nice to everyone she met that she had earned the nickname, Lovely Polly. People would often say that Lovely Polly was born at the wrong time or in the wrong place. You see, Lovely Polly was growing up in a world where people weren’t so nice to each other all of the time, so she spent a great deal of time being confused about people’s behaviour. At home, her brothers would fight over their toys rather than share them, even thought there was more than enough to go around. When they went shopping, she could see people getting angry while waiting for things to buy. One of the places where Lovely Polly felt the most confused was at school, so this was where she decided to try and show people how she saw the world. However, as with all seemingly good ideas, things did not go according to plan.
It started with a flower. Lovely Polly had worn a flower in her hair to school one day simply because her grandmother had taught her that flowers were used to show peace. This idea had stuck with her so she thought wearing one in her hair might help people treat her a little nicer at school. And, it did. Polly received no fewer than 12 compliments on her flower that day, which was 12 more compliments she had ever received before. This helped to make up for the 20 or so people who called her names as she walked around the school yard that day for choosing to wear a flower in her hair.
The next day, Lovely Polly wore two flowers in her hair to see if she would get twice as many compliments. Which she did… and then some more… and some more. There were still people who told her she might want to wear some dirt tomorrow since she was turning into a garden, but, instead of feeling confused, Lovely Polly was able to smile, ignore them and feel good about the kind words she was receiving. For the next 3 days, Polly wore two flowers in her hair and noticed that both the kind words and the nasty words had all but stopped. She even tried turning her head so to make sure that people would notice but she soon realised that most people had become used to her wearing the flowers, so it was no longer worthy of their attention. Lovely Polly knew that wearing three flowers would be asking for trouble, so she went to the one person she knew might understand: Her grandmother.
Hearing about Lovely Polly’s problem during her visit, her grandmother went out into her back shed and came back with a packet of seeds for her to plant.
“Plant these, Lovely Polly,” she said. “The weather is right for them to grow quickly wherever you choose to plant them.”
Lovely Polly couldn’t thank her grandmother enough, so she made her a cup of tea and read her a story and then left to thin about her plan for the next day.
Lovely Polley did not sleep very much that night. She had decided to get up in the middle of the night to start planting some of the seeds in the garden bed at home. She watched for a few minutes before feeling too tired to stay awake and watch. However, once she woke up, she was very surprised by what she saw. Her backyard was covered in the most beautiful flowers, all of different shapes and vibrant colours. Her parents woke up and could not believe their eyes but Lovely Polly could tell that what they saw brought them joy. She quickly packed her school bag and, before her parents could ask her to tell them what was happening, she had kissed them goodbye and was already on her way to school.
Now at school before any of the children and most of the teachers, Lovely Polly walked around the school grounds, putting seeds wherever she could find dirt. There were a few moments where she had to hide from the teachers but she planted seeds around playgrounds and sports fields in the gardens and around the buildings. Excited, she returned to her where her class lined up in the morning and watched with anticipation. Within minutes, as if they were too excited to stay in the ground, many of the flowers had already started to grow. The children started to point and smile, many of them whispering to each other in disbelief. Soon, it looked as though the entire school ground was covered in flowers. Lovely Polly enjoyed a moment where the students were all laughing, no one was being mean to anyone else and almost everyone was smiling.
Suddenly, a voice called out from just behind where Lovely Polly was standing.
“NO! NO! NO! NO! NO!”, yelled the voice.
Lovely Polly turned around and could see a student stomping on the flowers. She had never met the student before, but knew that her name was Henrietta.
“This is not how it’s meant to be!” Henrietta yelled, as she leaned down and started ripping the flowers out of the ground.
TO BE CONTINUED TOMORROW…
You can read about a future time when Henrietta and Lovely Polly have become friends by reading the third tale I ever wrote, #3 – The Tale of Henrietta Grumpy Pants and the Pink Shoes