The Button: A Bedtime Story

Drawing By Emily Tupper, age 8

Flash Fiction

This is a bedtime story I told my daughters one evening. My eldest daughter asked for a story set in Hawaii about a ten-year-old girl. It was rewarding to watch her eyes grow wide upon hearing the a story about the simplest of possibilities – that something lost might be found.

*****

Once upon a time there was a girl who lived in Hawaii. She was ten years old. She liked living on an island because it always seemed like there was something new and beautiful around the corner.

One day, there was no school. The little girl decided to go for a walk. Before long, she walked down the street and out of the neighborhood to the wild garden. Every day when she rode the school bus, she would look at it through the dirty windows and wish the bus would stop right there.

Now this garden was no ordinary garden. It was wild. There was no house nearby where someone might come out and tend to all the trees, plants, and flowers. So they grew tall, crooked, and as colorful as they might. The garden became a jungle.

The little girl walked through the garden, stopping here and there to smell the flowers. Then she came to a large pink flower that swayed at eye-level. When she bent down, something shiny under it caught her eye. It was an old-fashioned metal button. She was excited to find such a pretty treasure and put it in her pocket.  The little girl continued exploring the garden until the sun began to set and she went home.

A few days later, her mother came to her. “Where did you find this?”

The little girl recognized the silver treasure in the middle of her mother’s outstretched hand. “I found the button in the overgrown garden.”

Her mother’s eyes grew large. “Come with me.”

The little girl dutifully took her mother’s other hand and they walked to the closet. Inside, her mother removed a very old sweater.

“Do you see? You found the button to my baby sweater!”

While it showed more wear than the others, the button matched. They marveled at it for a moment.

“Momma, I will make sure you never lose it again.” And the girl ran to get her sewing kit.

*****

Drawing By Allison Tupper, age 6

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