“Big Z has to be more responsible” mom was saying while preparing breakfast “we have to give him more responsibilities.”
Lil M’ caught the end of the conversation as she walked in the kitchen, book bag in tow,
“Can I have respentility?” she asked
“Responsibility,” said dad, “big word for you”
“Yeah, that, can I have some?
“Yes,” said mom “we say yes, not yeah, and yes, you may have some responsibilities.” Mom looked at Lil M’ and smiled.
“Cool” said Lil M’ “what’s my respentility?”
“Responsibility” said mom “ did you put your homework in your bookbag?”
“Yes mom” replied Lil M’
Mom sat down and looked at Lil M’, “good, I’m glad you remembered because that is going to be your responsibility today and every day. To remember to turn in your homework to your teacher, you have been forgetting lately and Mrs. Robbins says that you are missing homework assignments. When we forget our responsibilities we can hurt ourselves,
for instance, if you forget to turn in your homework you will get a zero, if you get many zeros then you do not get a good grade and that might prevent you from promoting to the next grade. And so you see, your hurting yourself. It is your responsibility to turn in your homework every day, understand?”
“Yes mom, I will remember” Lil M’ replied as she walked outside to catch the school bus.
Once on the school bus Lil M’ sat next to Jessica, her best friend,
“Hi, Lil M’”
“Hi Jessica” “I have to remember to turn in my homework, that’s my respentility, I forget sometimes and mom says it’s important”
“I forget sometimes too” said Nick, who was sitting behind the girls listening to their conversation as the bus pulled up to the school.
who were holding up the ant farm they had created for their science project.
Lil M’ was immediately distracted.
“We’re turning it in early” said Eric
“yeah, we finished it and couldn’t wait for next week to turn it in and show the class, pretty cool, huh?” added Mickey
“Oh, we’re still working on ours, it’s about butterflies” said Jessica
“Little baby butterflies for little baby girls!” mocked Eric
“Stop it Eric, our project is just as important as yours” cried Lil M’
As they went to class, Lil M’s mind was not on her responsibility, instead it was on how to make her and Jessica’s project more interesting than Eric and Mickey’s. She would think this through.
By lunchtime she had decided to catch some real butterflies in the yard by the pretty flower beds surrounding the huge oak trees.
“Come on Jessica, I have a plan that will make our project much more interesting than Eric and Mickey’s”
Lil M’ borrowed the butterfly net from behind Mrs. Robbins desk and ran outside to inform Jessica of the plan.
As the girls looked around for butterflies, Lil M’ noticed that the butterflies were flying higher than they could reach. She looked around for something. She wasn’t sure what she was looking for. Then she saw a step ladder by the
entrance of the school. The maintenance man must of left it there.
She ran and got the ladder then put it against the tree.
“What do you think you’re doing” asked Jessica,
“How else do you think we’re going to catch any butterflies, they are all up there, if I can reach that branch right there I’ll be able to climb the tree and get some butterflies” she had seen her big brother Big Z and his best friend
Tim climb trees a dozen times. It was easy.
“You just be ready with the jar to put them in” she said as she climbed up the step ladder. She grabbed the smaller branch and lifted herself up to the larger branch. She repeated this a couple more times and climbed high into the tree.
“Ok, now I’ll be able to get some butterflies, we’ll see who’s science project gets more attention” she said as she looked down to Jessica. Wow, Jessica seemed much smaller.
The ground seemed much farther.
How was she going to get down? She turned a little and her foot got stuck between two branches.
“Well?” asked Jessica, “get some butterflies”
“Umm, Jessica, I think I’m stuck”
“You think? Don’t you know?”
“Oh, I know. I’m stuck alright. What are we going to do now?” Lil M’ asked
“I know” answered Jessica,” I’m going to go get Mrs. Robbins, she’ll know what to do” and took off running towards the teacher.
“MRS. ROBBINS, MRS. ROBBINS!” cried Jessica
“Lil M’ is stuck up on that tree” she said pointing towards the big oak tree,
“Oh, my!!” Mrs. Robbins exclaimed “what to do?”
“Jessica, run and get Mr. Harris, the principal, I’ll go see what I can do”
Jessica did as she was told.
Lil M’ saw Mrs. Robbins running towards the tree followed by a bunch of students who had overheard.
“Great” Lil M’ thought, now the whole school will find out about this.
She had no idea at the time how true that statement would be.
Mr. Harris reached the tree which by now was surrounded by students.
“Alright everyone, move back, give me some room” he said and added
“Lil M’ are you ok?”
“Yes I’m ok but my foot is stuck between these branches and I can’t pull it out” she cried
“Alright, hold on tight, I’m going to call the Fire Rescue” Mr. Harris said
‘Great’ Lil M’ thought, ‘now everyone will laugh at me’
A few minutes later, sirens could be heard in the distance getting closer and
Lil M’ was relieved, her foot hurt and she was scared to be so high up.
Her and her bright ideas.
Two huge fire trucks arrived at the scene. There was plenty of commotion then.
The firemen came to examine the tree and the child and told Mr. Harris,
“We will extend the ladder through there” said the fireman pointing towards an opening in the tree, “That will give us good access to the child and then we can carry her down”
The fireman put the ladder high up in the tree and climbed up,
“Hello there, my name is Frank, what’s yours?” he asked
“Lil M’” she replied
“How did you get yourself in this mess?”
“I was trying to catch some butterflies for my science project and my foot got stuck”
“I’m going to help you come down ok?”
“Ok, I’m not going to fall, am I? We’re really high up” she said
“No, you’re not going to fall, I’m going to carry you down, is that ok?”
“Sure” she replied
“First, I’m going to remove this branch from your foot, like this, and now I’m going to push this one back and when I do, I want you to pull your foot out, ok?” he asked
She did as she was told and pulled her foot out when asked, and suddenly, she was FREE!!
Frank held Lil M’ from the waist and carried her down the ladder to safety.
Lil M’ gave him a big smile.
“Thank you, Mr. Frank!” she said
“Just promise me you won’t go climbing any trees anytime soon” he said
“I promise” she replied
All the kids were clapping and jumping up and down
“Let me through” said Mr. Harris as he tried to get to Lil M’
“Thank God you are alright!” he said “Ok, everyone back to class, show’s over”
“And you,” he said to Lil M’ “what did you think you were doing?”
Lil M’ explained the events that lead to her rescue.
“And it all started with…. MY HOMEWORK, I WAS SUPPOSED TO REMEMBER TO TURN IN MY HOMEWORK, I had forgotten with all the commotion!” she cried
“You can go back to class while I call your mother to inform her of what has happened, and I want you to write me an essay about how dangerous your actions were today, and I want it by the end of the week, understood?
Any more of your shenanigans will result in a two days suspension, you not only disrupted the entire school today, but you could of gotten seriously hurt”
“I’m sorry, Mr. Harris” she said as she left to go to her class.
Mr. Harris sat hard on his chair, he was relieved. ‘These kids were giving him plenty of gray hairs’ he thought.
Lil M’ walked in her class and went straight to her desk, she pulled out her homework from her book bag and turned it in to the teacher.
“I had a respentility today,” she told Mrs. Robbins, “I had to remember to turn in my homework, but I got distracted with Eric and Mickey’s science project and almost forgot.”
“I’m glad you’re ok honey, and look, you did not forget to turn in your homework, so you get a star today.” Said Mrs. Robbins.
Just then the bell rang and school was over. Lil M’ and Jessica grabbed their things and went to catch the bus, ignoring laughs and giggles from her classmates as she went.
“Never mind them” said Jessica, “Oh look, there’s your mom talking to Mr. Harris and that nice fireman that helped you down”
“His name is Frank, and he was very nice” she replied “I wonder if I’m going to get in trouble with my mom”
“Hi mom” said Lil M’ “I can splain”
She did, Lil M’ told her mom what had happened and why…
“…and Big Z and Tim do it all the time in the park across the street, I see them climbing that big tree and it looked so easy I thought I could do it too, and it was for a good cause, I was trying to get an A on my science project and everything, just like you told me mommy. So you see it’s not all my fault, I was just trying to be a good student.”
“We’ll discuss it at home, come on” said mom and turned to Mr. Harris and the fireman, “Thank you both very much, my adventurous daughter will not be pulling any more stunts like that, isn’t that right Lil M’”
“Yes, ma’am” she replied
As she was leaving with her mom, Frank called out to her,
“I almost forgot something,” he said as he turned and grabbed a glass jar from the ground,
“This is for you” he said to Lil M’ handing her the jar with a beautiful butterfly inside,
“I wouldn’t want you to get a bad grade on your science project, so I caught you this butterfly, take good care of it ok?”
“Oh thank you Mr. Frank, thank you so much!!” she said excitedly as she grabbed the jar and admired her beautiful butterfly.
Later on at home during dinner….
“That’s quite a story” dad was saying, “you’re very lucky you didn’t fall off that tree,”
“Big Z makes it look so easy, I just thought I could do it too” she replied
“Are you kidding?” said Big Z “it’s not easy climbing that tree, I just make it look easy cause I’m COOOOL that way!”
“I hope you learned something from all this” said dad
“Yes daddy, I remembered my respentility and turned in my homework, just like mommy asked this morning!”
“And not to climb trees that are bigger then me” she replied.
Later, after her bath, Lil M’ went to her room to admire her butterfly,
She sure was beautiful, she thought. She was sure her and Jessica’s project would be more interesting than Eric and Mickey’s.
She stared at the butterfly. A thought struck her.
“You look awfully sad in there by yourself” she said
Her mom came in her room to say prayers and tuck her in.
“Mommy, does my butterfly look lonely to you?” she asked
Mom looked at the butterfly and answered,
“yes honey, she looks very lonely in there by herself, what do you think you should do?”
“Oh I don’t know, I really want my project to be special”
“I know honey, you do what you feel is the right thing to do. You think about it for a little while before you make a decision. I’m sure it will be the right one.” mom replied then said prayers with her daughter, kissed her on her forehead and turned to leave,
Lil M’ was thoughtful as she looked at the sad butterfly.
She climbed out of her bed, opened the window, took the jar and opened the lid, and said
“Butterflies are free!!”