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November 13th, 2009

Story : A Bug’s Life

A  Bugs Life

Cricket was always fretting. “Everyone is listening,” she chirped. “Every note must be perfect.”

Cricket had a gift for reaching others with her music. She could change her tune to suit her listener. She could perk you up with a bouncy melody, liven your step with a reel or jig or calm you with a hymn or ballad. That responsibility had begun to weigh cricket’s heart. Her tone became shrill.

“Can’t you see I am busy?,” she would screech. “Don’t you know that everyone is depending on me?”

Everyone around could hear her atonal whinges.

“What horrid noise!” groaned the caterpillar. The other insects agreed. Something was wrong with their reliable and once harmonious friend. They decided to ask the one who had the most wisdom, the praying mantis. “Mmmm,” he said. “I shall see about this.”

Praying mantis sent cricket an invitation to tea. Cricket was so worried. “It must be perfect,” she shrilled. “He must be in need. I can’t let him down!”

Upon arriving, cricket tried to sense mantis’s mood. He appeared at peace. Finally, she asked what it was he needed of her. The mantis said, “You have been given a very great gift…” Cricket interrupted, “Thank you. You are too kind. I am only here to serve.”

“Yes you are,” mantis said solemnly. “Unfortunately you have been rather a poor tool of late.”

Cricket was so horrified and overwhelmed that she began to cry.

“But I tried so hard,” she said miserably. “I have worked until exhaustion trying to do well.”

“That is just the problem,” mantis said. “You are trying too hard. You are an instrument, but you have taken yourself out of the master’s hands and tried to wield yourself. Like a violin leaping from the hands of the virtuoso in the midst of a concert and playing a jingle.”

Mantis told cricket to think back to when she first began to play her tunes for others. “What were you thinking of then?” he said.

Cricket realized that she hadn’t been thinking of anything. She had simply seen someone and felt happy or sad or compassionate and her music had come from her soul to fill the air and heal the others around her.

“Think back to what happened to make you leap off on your own,” he added.

Cricket pondered. “I lost faith and stopped trusting what guided me and began to fear,” she said.

Fear turned to panic and panic to anger and anger turned to fear again.

“Take your faith back with you to your family and friends and you will soon change your tune,” said mantis.


Author : Lisa Suhay is a freelance writer who lives in Medford, New Jersey. Her work appears regularly in the Philadelphia Inquirer and Newark Star-Ledger.

November 10th, 2009

Story : Her name was Rose


Red roses were her favorites,
Her name was also Rose,
And every year her husband sent them,
tied with pretty bows.

The year he died,
the roses were delivered to her door.
The card said, “Be my Valentine,”
like all the years before.

Each year he sent her roses,
and the note would always say,
“I love you even more this year,
than last year on this day.

My love for you will always grow,
with every passing year.”
She knew this was the last time
that the roses would appear.

She thought, he ordered roses
in advance before this day.
Her loving husband did not know,
that he would pass away.

He always liked things early,
way before the time.
Then if he got too busy,
everything would work out fine.

She trimmed the stems,
and placed them in a very special vase.
Then, sat the vase
beside the portrait of his smiling face.

She would sit for hours,
in her husband’s favorite chair.
While staring at his picture,
and the roses sitting there.

A year went by,
and it was hard to live without her mate.
With loneliness and solitude,
that had become her fate.

Then that very hour,
as on Valentine’s before,
The doorbell rang, and there were roses,
sitting by her door.

She brought the roses in,
and just looked at them in shock.
Then, she went to get the telephone,
to call the florist shop.

The owner answered, and she asked him,
if he would explain,
Why would someone do this to her,
causing her such pain?

“I know your husband passed away,
more than a year ago,”
The owner said, “I knew you’d call,
and you would want to know.

The flowers you received today,
were paid for in advance,
your husband always planned ahead,
he left nothing to chance.

There is a standing order,
that I have on file down here,
as he has paid, well in advance,
you’ll get them every year.

There is also another thing,
that I think you should know,
He wrote a special little card…he did this years ago,
Then should I find out that he’s no longer here,

That’s the card…that should be sent to you the following year.”
She thanked him and hung up the phone,
her tears now flowing hard.
Her fingers shaking, as she slowly
reached to get the card.

Inside the card, she saw that he
had written her a note.
Then, as she stared in total silence,
this is what he wrote…

“Hello my love, I know
it’s been a year since I’ve been gone,
I hope it hasn’t been too hard
for you to overcome.

I know it must be lonely,
and the pain is very real.
Or if it was the other way,
I know how I would feel.

The love we shared made everything
so beautiful in life,
I loved you more than words can say,
you were the perfect wife.

You were my friend and lover,
you fulfilled my every need.
I know it’s only been a year,
but please try not to grieve.

I want you to be happy,
even when you shed your tears.
That is why the roses
will be sent to you for years.

When you get these roses,
think of all the happiness,
that we had together,
and how both of us were blessed.

I have always loved you,
and you know I always will.
But my love, you must go on,
you have some living still.

Please… try to find happiness,
while living out your days.
I know it is not easy,
but I hope you find some ways.

The roses will come every year,
and they will only stop,
When your door’s not answered,
when the florist stops to knock.

He will come five times that day,
in case you have gone out.
But after his last visit,
he will know without a doubt.

To take the roses to the place,
where I’ve instructed him.
And place them where we are,
together once again.

Sometimes in life, you find a special friend;
Someone who changes your life just by being part of it.
Someone who makes you laugh until you can’t stop;
Someone who makes you believe that there really is good in the world.

Someone who convinces you that there really is
an unlocked door just waiting for you to open it.

October 24th, 2009

Story : Flame of Love

Flame of Love

“I can master it,” said the Axe. His blows fell heavy on the hard, strong steel. But each blow only made his edge more blunt until he ceased to strike.

“Leave it to me,” said the Saw. With his relentless teeth, he worked back and forth. But to his dismay, all of his teeth were worn out or broken off.

“Ha!” said the Hammer. “I knew you could not do this. Let me show you how.” But with the very first blow, his head flew off, and the steel was unchanged.

“Shall I try?” asked the Flame. And it curled itself gently around the strong, hard steel, embraced it, and would not let it go. And the tough steel melted.


There are hearts that are hard enough to resist the forces of wrath and the fury of pride.

But hard is the heart that can resist the warm flame of Love.

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