ibelle, 7th - Brussels, Belgium
Oh, how dreadful Bartholomew’s life was! He was a gregarious bumblebee forced to live in solitude. His whole life consisted of the same tedious days; wake up, eat breakfast, watch TV, eat lunch, take a nap, eat dinner, and finally, go to sleep. He tried to make friends so his life would not be so lonely, but nothing worked. “Why! Oh why! Why must I be allergic to pollen!” Bartholomew would cry out. “I have only one job!” The loneliness and monotony were getting to him. His longings to work at Lisa’s Flower Farm increased so much that it was always on his mind. And he yearned to see the farm filled with glorious flowers of all varieties, colors, and textures. Bartholomew already knew what his favorite flower would be, a daisy. He’d seen beautiful pictures of the daisies at Lisa’s Flower Farm, so he decided to try his best so that one day, he could meet a daisy.
Oh, what a marvelous idea Bartholomew had! Bartholomew had spent countless days gazing out his window. He remembered seeing a little girl playing with bubbles. Bartholomew loved the concept of bubbles. He loved even more that he might get to see one up close! Bartholomew rarely left his house and was worried about what might happen. After a slight bit of pre-game, he took a deep breath and flew out his door. Bartholomew held his breath for as long as possible, hoping it would help in some way. Instead, he ran out of breath, causing him to breathe heavily, increasing his chances of inhaling the fatal pollen. As if mother nature felt for the allergy-cursed Bartholomew, she provided a light breeze that gently lifted out-of-breath Bartholomew and brought him towards the little girl. Bartholomew had never interacted with a human before.
He’d always tried to be kind to everyone, so he went in to land on her to signal that he wanted to be friends. The little girl screamed, which frightened Bartholomew, causing him to swerve and plummet down towards the ground where a flower lay. The daffodil lunged toward him. Bartholomew took a sharp right. He was flying straight into another bunch of flowers. They all lunged toward him. The petals enclosed, creating countless cages for poor Bartholomew where he would be doomed to the tragic death of pollen suffocation! He swerved once more and rose higher into the air. Ploop! Bartholomew flew straight into a bubble! His plan worked! He tried to steer the bubble towards a flower. Achoo! Achoo! What happened to the bubble? Bartholomew wondered. After a few more attempts, he concluded that the bubbles were too delicate for his clumsy flying ability. He solemnly flew back to his house, feeling defeated. His enticing daydreams of Lisa’s Flower Farm felt even farther away than it did before.
It would be weeks before Bartholomew would try again. It was a quiet Sunday afternoon (like always) when suddenly, a thought popped into Bartholomew’s mind! “Why don’t I just use a stem to try and pick the pollen out of the flower!” Bartholomew exclaimed. “That way, I wouldn’t get too close to the flower!” Bartholomew got to work. Bartholomew was even more confident this time. He flew out of his door, more aware of the dangers lurking ahead. He carefully picked up a nearby leaf stem that had broken off of its other half. Bartholomew picked it up and quickly noticed that it was weighing his small body down. He tried with all his might to fly a little bit higher, but exhaustion seized him, and he dropped the stem to the ground. He tried three more times, but the weight of the stem continued to pull, which activated his allergies. Feeling weary and unable to rest on a flower, Bartholomew didn’t know what to do. Hope diminishing, he flew back to his house.
Bartholomew sorrowfully returned to his monotonous life. His days dragged along, each one feeling worse than the next. “Oh! I can’t live like this anymore!” Bartholomew would cry out. He was in a constant downward spiral. He didn’t know how much longer he could go on. “I’m so lonely! I’m so bored!” Bartholomew was not doing well. Another two months dragged on. Bartholomew was still living in tormenting solitude. It was not one of his best days, and Bartholomew was looking out the window when he realized something. “What if I had something that covered only my nose and mouth? So that way it wouldn’t weigh me down, it could stay on easily, and protect me from the pollen!” Bartholomew was overcome, with joy! He buzzed around cheerfully. Though, every remnant of hope was riding on this last attempt.
He opened his closet, revealing the piles of junk he had thrown in there over the years. After ruffling through his untidy closet, he found what he was looking for, his sewing machine. Bartholomew pushed and pulled persistently until the sewing machine finally freed from its spot. Bartholomew got to work. He drew a template and found some fabric in the closet. After a few hours, Bartholomew had only succeeded in failure. Numerous fabric scraps and gnarly balls of thread were scattered all around his home. He sighed but kept at it. An hour later, Bartholomew had completed his first mask! He tried it on and looked in the mirror. “I look great!” Bartholomew said, smiling. He was incredibly excited and couldn’t wait to make new friends.
It was the next day, and it was the first time in a while that Bartholomew woke up with a smile on his face. Bartholomew usually took his time when eating breakfast, but not today. He devoured his food quickly and put on his mask. His heart was racing. Bartholomew looked in the mirror to see if anyone would be able to notice his smile. He cheerfully flew out his house this time, straight to Lisa’s Flower Farm. Oh what a delightful day Bartholomew had! He was over the moon, he’d returned home with five new friends. And already made plans to visit other flower fields. Bartholomew also met tons of lovely flowers; Lilacs, Honeysuckles, and his favorite, Daisies. Bartholomew went to bed that night, his mind racing of all the delightful days ahead of him.
Students 6th-12th Grades