Dog Days

If only she were a little bit taller all her problems would be solved. Lisa made one last attempt to touch the ground, straightening her leg and pointing her toes as much as she could without falling off. It was no use. She was too little to get the swing going by herself.

She was suffering through another long, boring, summer day with nothing to do. She sat under the big oak tree on the rope swing that wasn’t swinging and sulked.

She couldn’t play with the neighbors because they were on vacation. Mom wouldn’t let her ride her bike because of the road work. Her big brother was away at summer camp. Her mom was busy. Even her dog Rascal wouldn’t play with her. All he wanted to do was lay in the shade. Nobody cared about Lisa. Her life couldn’t get any worse.

Suddenly she let out a yelp as she reflexively bent to slap at her calf. Gravity took over and the next thing Lisa knew, she was on the ground with an itchy mosquito bite. Her face grew hot as she struggled against tears. Summer is stupid!

Just then the screen door creaked and Lisa looked up to see her mom holding a plate of snickerdoodle cookies in one hand and in the other a pitcher of lemonade.

“Lisa!” She called. “Come in and wash up. I’ve made us a snack.”

Tears forgotten, they sat on the shady porch enjoying the treats and sharing stories about American Girl dolls.

“Let’s clean up these dishes and then I’ll push you on the swing.”

“You’re the best, mom!” Lisa was done feeling sorry for herself. How could she have thought nobody cared?

She guessed summer wasn’t so awful after all.

Author’s Note:

This little story was created for a flash fiction contest using the words tree, road, and bite. I immediately pictured a wooden swing under a big oak tree. The story developed from there. This is a new perspective for me, writing about a frustrated small child. I did default to a happily ever after ending, though. It’s hard not to when writing about kids.