It was spring, sunshine streaming down, making everything warm, drawing me outside. The smell of freshly cut grass made me stop, pause and breath deeply, enjoying the clean scent. Someone had their windows open, I could hear a baseball game blasting on a TV.
My left arm wrapped around my textbook, American Government. The page of questions to answer, sheets of loose-leaf paper and a pencil lay on top of the book. At least I could enjoy the beautiful weather while I did my homework.
I saunter through the grass, enjoying the feel of it on my bare feet. I pick a spot under the weeping cherry tree, its branches full of pink blossoms flow back and forth in the breeze.
I let go of the book and supplies in my arm and they drop to the ground, disturbing the green grass around them. Not having been mowed yet, the blades of grass bend and curve around the folder and paper.
I cross my ankles and plop down beside my homework, landing in the grass in a cross-legged “Indian style” position.
I flip open the book and begin answering the questions…Name and define the branches of government. What are the fundamental goals of political parties? What is the Due Process Clause? On and on through twenty questions.
I throw my pencil on top of my answers, lay back on the grass and stare at the sky. The warm sun envelopes me and I slowly relax, closing my eyes. I feel the breeze grow stronger, I hear the papers in the grass beside me rustle. I open my eyes and sit up just as a gust of wind whips by, grabbing the sheet with my homework and whipping it up into the breeze.
I spring to my feet but I’m not quick enough. A dog goes running by and before I can move he catches my homework paper in his teeth as if it were a toy and continues running!
That little homework thief runs like mad, zig zagging down the road, through lawns, around bushes, dodging my attempts to catch him. Panting, I stop to catch my breath and so does he, just far enough down the road that he can make another get-away when needed. He watches me as if to say “ha-ha, beat you!”
I take a step toward the dog and he immediately takes off again. Entering the park he continues at a full run until he gets to the edge of the river. Dropping my homework at his feet, the dog stands guard over it, tongue hanging out as he pants.
The wind swirls around us, the paper flutters then lifts and before the homework thief could snatch it back I watch it fly out over the river, floating on the breeze. The speed of the wind slows, the paper drops toward the water, then by luck it lands on a log floating down the river.
As long as the homework stays on the log and I can figure out a way to catch it and retrieve the paper it will be saved. I walk along the water’s edge, keeping my eye on the log, watching it carry my homework farther and farther down river.
I hear a humm, and it is getting closer, louder. Oh no! This is not going to be good. No, not that! Hmmmmmmm, and sure enough, two jet skis come flying up river full throttle, zipping back and forth, creating a huge wake. The water sloshes back and forth, rocking everything in its path.
The log that is transporting my homework rocks back and forth under the pressure of the rolling river water. The log spins, twists, and my homework flies off the log and floats down into the cresting waves. Soaked with water, it spins and twists in the beating waves, slowly sinking into the water until it is no longer visible. Gone forever, wrecked and sunken at the bottom of the river.
So, that is why I don’t have my homework. It was caught in the wind, stolen by a dog, carried to the river’s edge, blown out over the water and onto a log that got caught in the tossing and turning wake of jet skis and then sunk to its death in the bottom of the river.
The teacher looked at me in disbelief. Eyebrows raised, lips pursed, and a grin slowly kept across her face.
“That story is so farfetched it has to be true.”
Now what do you think, did this really happen or do I have a very vivid imagination?
Author’s Note: I received a writer’s prompt in my email, which is something designed to get your creative juices flowing. Usually they don’t inspire me because I am normally a non-fiction writer, but this one intrigued me and I thought “why not?” After all, it is a well-known excuse and the challenge was to come up with an elaborate story as to what happened to your homework because the teacher didn’t believe the typical “my dog ate my homework” excuse. A fun break from my normal type of post.