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Children's Stories
by Margo Fallis
When Life Hands You Lemons

A ladybug spread her red and black spotted wings and flew through the air. She landed on Malcolm’s nose. He was lying on the grass sleeping and felt something tickling him. When he opened his eyes he saw the ladybug perched on his wet black nose. He started giggling. It really tickled. When it flew away, Malcolm was disappointed.

A loud yawn escaped his mouth along with his long red tongue. Malcolm stood up and stretched and licked his nose. What a lovely day! Sitting on a branch in the rowan tree sat a robin. It had brown wings and tail and a colorful red breast. It started to sing. Malcolm sang back, or at least tried to, but all that came out was an awful howl. That was enough to frighten the robin away. The bright yellow buttercups and pretty purple violets were blooming around the edge of the garden. The sky was brilliant blue and there wasn’t a breeze blowing, which was unusual for the highlands.

Malcolm trotted off to get a drink out of his dog dish. Angus MacScot was busy working in the rose garden and had put the dish outside incase Malcolm had been thirsty. He went over to the rose garden. It was filled with roses of many different colors. There were red, yellow, pink, and white ones, and even a bush of coral roses. Angus was proud of his rose garden and worked very hard taking care of it.

As he was deciding what to do with the rest of his day, Fiona, a Shetland collie, came running through the wooden fence into the back garden. She’d come to play with Malcolm. He followed her and soon they were running down the dirt road towards the woods. A few days before, Fiona and Malcolm had buried their bones under the roots of a large beech tree. They dug them up and ran back to Malcolm’s house to chew on them.

Angus finished weeding the roses and went in the house. After the Scotty dog and collie had finished their bones, Malcolm showed Fiona the rose garden. Just then, Cinnamon, a ginger-colored tabby cat, came running past and went into the garden. Fiona started barking and ran after the cat. Malcolm didn’t dare go into the rose garden. Angus had told him never to go near the roses. Fiona ran around, bumping into the bushes. The cat run up and down the rows, trying to hide from her. Malcolm stood helplessly and watched a rainbow of rose petals fall to the ground. He let out a loud howl.

He watched in horror as Cinnamon came running towards him, followed by Fiona. Malcolm jumped out of the way as the two animals ran out of the fenced in garden and down the dirt road.

Angus MacScot came back outside after getting a cup of tea and saw his rose garden. "Malcolm! Bad dog!" he said. He went into the rose garden and picked up the precious petals. He walked up and down the rows looking at the mess of his beautiful flowers. Most of the petals had been knocked off. Angus walked over to Malcolm and was about to scold the poor little dog again when Cinnamon and Fiona came running back into their garden and once more into the roses. What few petals were left, now fell to the ground.

By the time the barking and meowing stopped, Angus’s garden was destroyed. Fiona chased Cinnamon around the house a few times then back down the road towards the woods. Angus walked over to Malcolm. "I’m sorry boy. I shouldn’t have yelled at you and blamed you. I see it wasn’t your fault." Malcolm wagged his tail and licked Angus’s hand. "Let’s go and pick up the rest of those petals," Angus said, petting Malcolm’s black fur. He watched as Angus gathered the petals and put them in a brown paper bag.

They went into the house and Angus said, "Well, Malcolm, when life hands you lemons, you make lemonade, or in our case, when life hands you rose petals, you make potpourri." He started laughing and put the petals out to dry.

The two of them went into the living room and sat in front of the fire. Angus gave Malcolm a special treat – some hot roast beef. As they sat there they could hear Fiona and Cinnamon, still running around. Angus started to laugh. "That silly cat and dog," he said as Malcolm finished his roast beef.

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