FF: Some Instruction Required

PHOTO PROMPT © Dale Rogerson


Sophia had never gardened before, but how hard could it be? So, she bought a toy rosebush with gorgeous pink florets and planted it.

For a few years, the tiny bush grew, until one year it stopped flowering for no reason.

Furious at being cheated, Sophia sliced the poor bush apart with scissors. She stripped its flowers, cut back half the stalks. She was merciless! After some thought, she decided to leave the stubby bush-pieces behind as a reminder to never, ever get roses again. Little did she know what was about to happen a week later….

Yet another inspiring prompt from Rochelle and Dale, one of whom asked us for prompt pictures! Here are a few random pictures I happened to have on my phone. I could offer up more. None are professional pics, just things I found interesting. One from Chelsea Market in NYC where there’s this pretend well for some reason. One from our local farm show (butter sculptures NOT statues, not sure if that counts.) Also, one of this tower that looks like it is about to fall. (People say it’s safe, but is it really???)

I have not traveled in so long I am starting to wonder if the rest of the world exists. It doesn’t help that the world has always been so implausible.

Really true story: I’ve been wanting to write a story like this ever since I bought a house with a rosebush in a trellis. At least, the neighbors assured me they were roses. I was pretty sure it was someone’s idea of a joke: a scraggly bush in a cage. I looked up rose care online first. Then, I spent a lot of time worrying about which places to cut (what is a bud eye????) I have often thought it would make a funnier story if I hadn’t done all that, and it still worked, because I was barely following directions I barely understood.

❤ I like to think everyone is a good person, deep down. Just waiting on the right moment to show it by being an even kinder, gentler person.

I could be wrong.

16 thoughts on “FF: Some Instruction Required

      1. Absolutely agree!! I bought some black stemmed bamboo for a steal years ago, the label had smudged in the rain and instead of £45 I got it for £15! But within a year it was all over the place coming up through the grass metres away, under the fence etc. We had to move house!!Not as a direct result I add, it just fitted in with my narrative.

  1. Ah, lovely, Anne! We had roses, and I remember thinking my mother merciless when she’d prune them so severly. And then … wowza! 🙂 As for people — I would agree about the kindness. We can all be kinder, gentler, more patient with each other. AND, most people, I believe, are kind in heart. Not all, however. Some, alas, are not. It deserves caution. And sadness for them. But one does best to meet them head on and clear eyed.

  2. Dear Anne,

    I suppose you ran out of words and that’s why you left me hanging. Gack! I could feel her frustration. I’ve been known to kill many a hardy plant. Sigh. Good writing. And yes the butter statue counts. You see…invariably…if I post a statue or an animal I end up with 80% (not kidding) of the stories being about some poor soul trapped inside. I suppose somoeone trapped in butter could lick his way out. 😉 Thank you. I’ll help myself to the other two. If you find any more feel free to send them to runtshell@gmail.com. Sorry I didn’t think to post that.



  3. Love this, Anne! And yes, a good pruning is all that they need to burst forth the following season.
    People are mostly kind. You are definnitely not wrong.
    Love the new look. Orange is my favourite colour 🙂

  4. I was appalled, early in our marriage, when my husband deadheaded my cherished petunias.
    “Just wait,” he said.

    And it really was well worth waiting for 🙂

  5. Roses won’t grow from the dead (brown) parts. Those need to be lopped off. They love lots of sun and lots of fertilizer. The eyes are little nobs on the green parts of the stems. Sounds like what you did worked. Cool pics. I crave getting out and seeing new things again.

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