They Come In All Sizes

tuxedo cat on brown surface

( Intermediate Level )

Once a stray cat, Mr. Boots maneuvered his way into the hearts of the residents of Cumberton City’s nursing home. He would sit outside and greet the people coming and going into the facility.

Many of the residents loved seeing him. He would curl up in their laps while they were having their outside activities. Purring and soaking up all their pats and belly rubs while everyone basked in the sunshine. Once in a while, he even had scraps of food given to him.

One day, Mr. Boots ventured his way into the facility. Making his way from room to room. He greeted each and stayed for a short while before he became bored. He would get up, stretch and mosey his way to the next room.

Nurse Sally was taking care of Mr. Bill when Boots came in. “Well hello there,” Bill said as the cat jumped into his lap. “What have you named this little guy, Bill?” said Sally as she finished taking Bill’s vital signs.

“I’ve been calling him Mr. Boots. Look at his legs. Four white boots. Honestly, he visits me more than my own family. I rather love his company.”

“He doesn’t do much. He usually curls up somewhere and falls asleep. He does listen to you. As soon as you speak he lifts his head as if he is listening to you.”

“The Director says he can stay as long as he doesn’t become a nuisance here. She will make sure his vaccines are up to date and he gets  neutered also once he’s proven himself.”

Bill looked up at Nurse Sally,” He’s like the rest of us here. Old. Too old to cause any trouble. He knows he has it good here. I know he won’t mess this up.”

At that comment she bid Bill a goodbye until the late afternoon checks. Bill continued to love on Mr. Boots until it was his time to go to see the next. He smiled as he left. “See you later, Old Boy.”

The days ran into weeks and the weeks into months. Mr. Boots continued his same routine until this one particular night. The weather was turning colder and he seemed to enjoy being inside more than anything.

At least this is what everyone at the nursing home felt. Since he was growing older maybe the colder temperatures bothered him more. He spent more time in Bill’s room. Rarely leaving to see others.

Bill didn’t pay much mind to this. He figured he showed more attention to Boots than any other resident so this was why he stayed. Plus he had given boots a blanket to himself to snuggle in.

It wasn’t until Sunday had Bill realized why Boots spent so much extra time with him. On Friday evening, Bill made sure Boots was comfortable in his blanket before he got ready for bed.

Bill went to the bathroom to wash up and change into his pajamas as usual. The same routine he had done every night.

This night was different . As Bill readied himself for bed he felt a strange feeling in his chest. He shrugged it off as something minor.

As he pulled on his pajama top a sharp stabbing pain hit him in the chest. It hit with such intensity that he doubled up hitting his head on the bathroom sink.

The next thing he knows he woke up in the hospital, on Sunday, with his family all around him. Everyone hugged him when he opened his eyes.

“What happened? What day is it? , he asked as his mind was becoming clearer. “The last thing I remember is getting ready for bed and I had this sharp pain in my chest. I grabbed my chest and now I am here.”

His son, Edgar, told him the story, “The doctors said you had a heart attack and they think you hit your head on the way down. That silly cat started roaring these deep meows and running back and forth from the nurse’s station to your room until someone paid attention to him.”

“They found you on the bathroom floor so you are very lucky to have that cat. He made sure you got the help you needed.”

His name is Mr. Boots“, Bill told his son in a stern voice,” He is far from a silly cat. He saved my life according to your story and he gives me hours of comfort. Where is he now?”

He hasn’t left your room since you came to the hospital. They have tried to coax him with food and treats but he will not budge. Seems he is stubborn like you, Pop.” Edgar said. trying to lighten the spirits in the room.”

“When can I get out of here? I need to go and be with him. He needs to eat. He needs to know I am ok thanks to him.”

“The doctor said he will transfer you back to the nursing home this afternoon if you are stable.”

“Good. The sooner the better. You know I dislike hospitals.”

As expected, Bill was transferred back to Cumberton’s number one nursing facility to find Boots curled up in the blanket he had prepared for him the night of his heart attack.

As soon as Mr. Boots saw Bill and he jumped to his feet and leaped onto the bed waiting patiently for Bill to come to him.

“Hi boy,” he said with a caring voice. “ It seems I need to thank you for saving my life. I think you knew something was going to happen to old Bill.” Boots purr was louder than Bill had ever heard. He rubbed his body against Bill’s leg.

Heroes come in all sizes, don’t they boy.” The rest of the afternoon Boots stayed by Bill’s side.

Written By: Angel

Follow Me On:

Instagram: morningangel847

Twitter: AngelOfTheMorn5

Meta Business Suite: Angel’s Thoughts to Pen

Thoughts From Angel:

I truly believe animals are in tune with us. As a dog owner myself, I know my “Bella” knows my moods and when to cheer me up or just cuddle.

If You Appreciate What I Do and Would Like to Support Me:

Vocabulary:

maneuvered – verb: move skillfully or carefully

basked – verb: lie exposed to warmth and light, typically from the sun, for relaxation

ventured – verb: go somewhere

mosey – verb: move in a leisurely manner

nuisance – noun: causing inconvenience or annoyance

neutered – verb: castrate or spay ( an animal)

proven – adjective: demonstrated by evidence

bid _ noun: to give a greeting to someone

love on – phrasal verb: demonstrate care or affection

pay much mind – verb:  to pay close attention to (someone or something)

minor – adjective: lesser in importance

intensity – noun: strength or force

coax – verb: persuade

budge – verb:  make the slightest movement

leaped – verb: move quickly and suddenly

Question ( s ):

Do you own a pet?

Do you think animals can foresee or sense things?

Never Too Old

man in black frame eyeglasses

( Intermediate Level )

Grandpa Joe married at the tender age of seventeen his childhood sweetheart. He never finished high school because his father’s cattle business needed extra hands.

This business was eventually passed down to him when his parents died. It wasn’t large by any means. It earned him enough to feed his family and pay the bills.

Joe and his wife had six children which are now grown and have their own families. All of them moved away once they married and started their own families.

Jacob, his eldest son, visited often. He loved getting away from the rat race of the city. Jacob knew the ropes of the cattle business and the hours of dedication it took to be successful.

He admired his dad for this but knew his dad could be much more successful if he had the proper education. He mentioned this to him several times but his father always responded with, “I have no time for this now. The business will not run itself.”

Whenever Jacob visited his parents, he brought his entire family. Especially his eldest son, Johnny. He was getting into quite a bit of trouble including not attending school. He felt getting him away from that environment might do him some good.

He planned on sending him to his father’s ranch during the summer months hoping to redirect him. Grandpa would make him work.

Hard work makes a man out of you,” he remembers his dad telling him and his three brothers. He hated this saying when he was younger but now as a father, he understands how important these words are.

Jacob and his father sat in the barn drinking lemonade when he told his father of his oldest son. “Dad, I really do not know what to do with him. I don’t want to give up on him. He is heading down the wrong path. I don’t think he is into drugs yet and I don’t want this to get to that point.”

“Things are so different these days. We never gave you this much trouble and quite honestly never dared to either,” he said with a smile as he looked at his father.

Joe sat there listening to his son’s concerns and shook his head in affirmation, “Send him here the day school gets out. I will keep him so busy he won’t have time to get into any trouble.

The duration of Jacob’s visit went uneventful. They reminisce about life growing up there. Johnny seemed very disinterested in their stories. He was seen more than once trying to get a signal on his cell phone.

It’s as if we are in a different country. No cell phone signal. No internet. Who lives like this?, he was heard saying. “We do,” his grandfather would say. “All those things we don’t need way out here.”

Johnny’s eyes rolled and you could hear a heavy sigh escape from him. as he walked away. “Better get used to it. You’ll be spending the summer in this foreign country,” Joe said as he laughed and put his hand on his son’s shoulder.

Jacob and his family left that afternoon for home. The school was the next day and both Jacob and his wife had a meeting with the principal before Johnny could attend school again.

Johnny got himself into trouble just before the weekend and he was facing suspension from school. The meeting was to see if there could be a solution before it came to suspension.

After an hour or so of talking with the principal, Johnny was able to stay in school with the provision he did not get into trouble again. If he was suspended he would have to repeat the whole entire year again. This is something Johnny did not want to do.

There were only four weeks left of school. His parents surely felt he would not get into trouble again in such a short time.

Finally, the school year ended. Lo and behold, Johnny didn’t make a mistake. In his mind, if he lived up to his end of the deal then maybe he wouldn’t have to spend the summer with his grandparents.

It didn’t matter to his parents. The same afternoon school ended, Johnny’s father was driving him to the countryside. Much to his surprise, his suitcases were already packed by his mother.

Oh my God, It is as if you two are happy I am being shipped off to Neverland,” he said to his dad. “Couldn’t wait to get rid of me, could you?”

Grandpa Joe can use the extra hands now. Many of the cows are giving birth this time of the year. It is a busy time for him.”

The duration of the ride was in complete silence. Johnny is in his own world and Jacob is in deep thoughts about his son. Hoping his father could change his self-destructive path.

Jacob’s mission was accomplished. Johnny was delivered to his grandparent’s home just about dinnertime. Jacob had to head back home almost immediately since he had to work the next day.

Of course, Johnny was less than thrilled to be there. He could think of better places to be for the summer.

Alright, we have to be up and ready to go by five in the morning,” his grandfather said after dinner. “Make sure you set your alarm. Breakfast will be waiting.”

Johnny couldn’t believe what he just heard. He never had to get up this early when he was in school. “Was his grandfather insane,” he thought to himself.

Five in the morning came way too soon. Johnny drug himself downstairs to see both his grandparents wide awake and fully dressed. “Good morning, sunshine,” his grandfather said with a huge grin on his face. “Grab a bite to eat and we will be leaving in thirty minutes.”

“Sigh, the cows are not going anywhere. Why do we have to be up this early?” You could see the dissatisfied look on Johnny’s face.

We need to be there when the calves are born. There could be complications and we need to be there. Those calves won’t wait until Johnny is ready.” He said followed by a deep belly laugh.

The first day turned out to be the toughest. Johnny worked until he dropped. Although his grandfather’s spread wasn’t large there were many things to do. Moving the cows from one pasture to the next. Feeding not to mention watering.

Six calves were born and their births went well. Grandpa Joe tagged each of their ears and they were logged into a manifest to show those calves belonged to him.

That night Johnny lies in bed, too exhausted to shower or eat. He couldn’t imagine doing this type of work all his life as his grandfather has done.

As the summer trudged on, Johnny accepted the fact he wasn’t going to have fun. He did find himself admiring his grandfather. At his age doing what he did was amazing. He knew this was not what he considered a lifelong job. Not for him at least.

One afternoon, shortly after the last calf of the season was born, tagged and logged into the book, the two sat down under a shade tree. It was the dog days of summer and showed no forgiveness with the high temperatures.

“Grandpa, why didn’t you finish school? Pops told me you quit and helped your dad here. Doing what you are doing now.”

“In those days we really didn’t have a choice. If I didn’t quit then maybe we would have starved. You’ve experienced this work first hand. It isn’t easy.”

“And while we are on the subject of school, what is your issue with school? Ditching school or when you actually go causing so much trouble you are sent home. What gives?”

Johnny looked at his grandpa who sat across from him with a smirk on his face, “It is boring. I would rather do something else.”

“Like what? Like me? Work from sunrise to sunset to barely make ends meet? To wonder if some disease will take out my herd? You better get it together or you will end up old before your time. Your body will hurt constantly. You have an opportunity more than I did at your age. Smarten up!”

This was the first time he heard his grandfather use such a stern voice. He sat there for a moment and responded.

“Ok, I will make a grandfather to grandson deal with you. If I attend school without any more incidents, pass all my classes with good grades, and actually graduate with my class, will you go back to school and get your GED? Then you can finally tell people you have graduated “

Joe knew his grandson was trying to outsmart him but it backfired.I certainly will. This was our busiest time here with all the calves coming in, now that it is over, I will have plenty of time in the evenings to attend classes.”

Johnny’s look on his face was priceless. Grandpa Joe laughed, “ What, you didn’t expect that answer? Your parents care about you just as much as I and grandma do so if this is what it takes to straighten you out then I will live up to my end of this bargain. Deal?”

They shook on this, as men do, and the deal was set. Once Johnny returned to school’ his grandfather would be going back to school also.

That night Johnny couldn’t wait to call his parents as he usually did every Friday. He told his dad of the deal he made with Grandpa. Jacob was smiling, on the other end of the phone. “He did it.” he thought to himself. “Dad did it.”

“Grandpa says that you are never too old to learn something new,” he laughed. “He promised grandma he would stay away from the ladies. Just think, next year this time you will be attending two graduations!”

Written By: Angel

Follow Me On:

Instagram: morningangel847

Twitter: AngelOfTheMorn5

Meta Business Suite: Angel’s Thoughts To Pen

Thoughts From Angel:

Your educational career is but just a brief moment in your life. Enjoy it!

If You Appreciate What I do and Would Like to Support Me:

Vocabulary:

by no means – phrase: not at all

rat race – idiom: a way of life in which people are caught up in a fiercely competitive struggle for wealth or power

dedication – noun: committed to a task or purpose

admired – verb: with respect or warm approval

entire – adjective: no part left out; whole

environment – noun: the surroundings or conditions

affirmation – noun: yes, agreeing

reminisced – verb: enjoyable recollection of past events

disinterested – adjective: no interest in something

principal – noun: he person with the highest authority at a school

suspension – noun: the temporary prevention of something from continuing

provision – noun: the action of providing something

lo and behold – phrase: used to present a new scene, situation, or turn of events

much to his surprise – phrase: very surprised

duration – noun: the time during which something continues

self-destructive – adjective: destroying or causing serious harm to oneself

accomplished – transitive verb: : to bring about (a result) by effort

less than thrilled – idiom: not happy

dissatisfied

pasture – noun: and covered with grass 

manifest – noun: book or log to list items

exhausted – adjective: physically tired

trudged – verb: move slowly

dog days of summer– idiom:  the period between early July and early September when the hot weather of summer is at it’s highest

what gives -idiom: something you ask when you aren’t sure why someone is doing something or acting a certain way

smirk – noun: silly smile, smug

barely – adverb: in a simple way

smarten up – phrasal verb: to become more intelligent or aware

incidents – noun: an event or occurrence

GED -acronym : Tests of General Educational Development The GED is high school equivalency diploma, so you can use it to apply to college or for a job resume, just like you would with a high school diploma

backfired – verb: have the opposite effect to what was intended

bargain – noun: an agreement between two or more parties

Question ( s ):

What are your thoughts on Grandpa Joe deciding to go back and getting his GED diploma?

Do you feel it is important to keep your mind and body active especially when you get older?

Who I See in The Mirror

girl in black and white polka dot sleeveless shirt

( Advanced Level )

Naomi was a straight – A student at school, an only child of upper – middle – class parents but when she looked in the mirror she didn’t like what she saw. She saw a girl who was unhappy.

The other girls at her school did not like her. They would tell others she was born with a silver spoon in her mouth and never had to go without. They hated her for this.

She asked, several times, “Why hold this against me? I didn’t choose my parents.” The only response was a resounding scoff as they walked away.

Naomi mainly kept to herself only going to school which she dreaded. She never attended any school activities. It was senseless to go anywhere in public where she would be made a laughing stock.

She purposely dressed down to ward off insults but it never worked. Maybe it was her hair or the way she carried herself at school. She didn’t know.

Naomi took down all her social media accounts. She found people commented very ugly things about her. It didn’t stop them, though. They used their own accounts, without naming her, to say awful things about this girl.

She knew exactly who they were talking about. Instead of ignoring all social media, she found herself searching each of the girl’s accounts. Each night ended with her in tears burying her face in her pillow.

Naomi never told her parents about the drama at school. She knew they were very busy with their work and this would be a trivial matter to them.

She could hear her mom now, ” Naomi, just hold your head up high and be yourself. They have to be jealous of you.” This was not what she wanted to hear. It is not as easy as that.

In order to go to a different school, her parents would have to move and her parents definitely would not entertain the thought of her being homeschooled.Children need to have socialization.” She could hear her parents now.

The school year pressed on and Naomi didn’t want to go to school anymore. She dreaded getting up each morning. She knew what each day would bring.

Stares. Laughs. Whispers. Not to forget the “Naomi, are you paying attention?” that came from her teachers. The whole situation was embarrassing for her.

She felt she couldn’t speak to the school authorities either. Her school had over four thousand students with one counselor. He wouldn’t have time for her.

The torment of the school year finally ended. Three whole months off from school. She hoped the new school year would bring a pleasant change.

Until then, she went to her grandparent’s home, in the countryside, for the summer. She went fishing with her grandfather and helped her grandmother bake fresh bread every day.

It was a perfect summer. Her troubles from school vanished from her daily thoughts. It wasn’t until she took the bus ride home and she drew closer to home that those nagging thoughts began to surface once again.

She was going to give the benefit of the doubt that this year would be better. Her mother picked her up from the bus station and on the ride home’ Naomi told her mom how each day was filled with new adventures while she was with her grandparents.

The following week her mom and she had planned to go school shopping. Paper, pencils, binders, backpack along with new clothes. The new school begins in one week.

Mom, the school clothes from last year are just fine. They are all in perfect condition.” She hoped wearing old school clothes would help her blend in better.

“Nonsense Naomi, no daughter of mine will wear last year’s school clothes this year. We will make a day of shopping and grab a bite at the food pavilion inside the mall.”

On that note, Naomi let out a huge sigh. Her mom would never understand. ” Sounds great mom.” One thing she knew about her mom was that she adores shopping and didn’t want to disappoint her.

The girl’s day out on their shopping excursion was exhausting but fun. They went in and out of store after store. They ate a small lunch since it was late in the day by the time they finished.

Naomi’s mom knew her husband would be disappointed if they didn’t sit down at their usual dinner time together. Having family dinners together was what he held dear to his heart.

After dinner, Naomi showed her dad all that they had bought that day and she then hung up all her clothes. Many of which she loved but deep down in her heart she knew something negative would be said to her once school started.

Naomi’s alarm clock started at six in the morning. Buzz. Buzz. Buzz. Naomi rubbed her eyes and turned it off. The day finally came. The first day of the new school year.

She hadn’t had a restful night. She tossed and turned for hours. ” Was this year going to be better?” she heard herself whisper more than once.

The first day, she felt, was bearable, or so she thought. Naomi wouldn’t realize until later that these girls hadn’t changed. She decided to avoid them at all costs.

She went to lunch later hoping they would be done eating and left the cafeteria. Unfortunately, some shared the same classes with her. There was no way to get out of seeing them.

The looks and whispers started but she pretended to be listening to what the teacher’s plans for the school year were. Taking imaginary notes but she knew. She knew.

Her mom picked her up from school knowing she would have tons of books for her new classes and school lockers would not be assigned until next week. “How was your first day of school, Sweetie?”

“It was okay. I was too busy getting information from all my teachers and classes to pay much attention to anything else.” It was a white lie. She was actually very busy but she was fully aware of those girls.

Her family ate dinner at the usual time. Dad talked about work and he asked how her first day of school was. Naomi began to tell him but her mom interrupted with something important to tell him so she never finished her conversation.

“Sorry dear, what were you saying?” as her dad looked at Naomi again. “It was great. May I be excused? I have to organize all my class folders.” Her mom nodded a yes and Naomi quietly left the dinner table.

Naomi showered and then gathered up all her school folders and her new binder out of her backpack. It was now time to get things in order.

She finished about an hour and a half later. Everything is put away in their appropriate designated folders. Finally, she neatly packed everything into her backpack, for the next day. She wasn’t quite tired enough to fall asleep so she decided to go on the internet for a while before bed.

When she was away with her grandparents she hadn’t any internet, then once she returned home life was so busy for her that she hadn’t the chance to look at social media or check her emails.

She sat there on her bed scrolling through the local news then navigated her way to all the social media applications she loved to check. Her heart jumped when she read a post regarding her.

There was a picture of her science class and the back of her head. Her name wasn’t used but the post was definitely about her.

“The prima donna is back. She sits here in class looking down at the rest of us. Raising her hand to ask the teacher questions just to draw attention to herself. Like she needs to get over herself.” the posting read.

This was far from the truth. Naomi didn’t want the attention. She wasn’t believing what she had read. Then she continued to read the comments written after this initial post.

“Yeah, I saw her in the hallway strutting around hoping all the boys would pay any mind to her.”

“Me too. I was hoping she wouldn’t return this year. So much for hoping.”

She closed the lid of her laptop and wiped away the tears. She could only imagine what others would comment on in the days to come.

Naomi took a deep breath and headed out to the living room. She was hoping to finally talk to her mom or even dad about everything. Maybe they would listen to her with proof.

She made her way down the hallway to the living room to find the TV on but her dad was sound asleep with a book on his chest. Her mom had already gone to bed. She turned off the TV and headed to her parent’s bedroom.

Mom? Mom, are you awake?” No response. Again, “Mom?” Still nothing. She quietly closed their door and headed back to her own bedroom.

As Naomi sat on her bed, in the dark, she whispered to herself,” I cannot do this again this year. I cannot.”

After ten minutes or so Naomi turned on her bedroom lights and sat at her desk. She began an email to her parents and to the school….

“I have taken a screenshot of what was posted of me on social media. This is not the first thing they’ve posted about me but I know it will be the last. I will not be their target any longer. I will not be here.”

“I do worry about my parents. They do not deserve this. I don’t believe they would truly understand how much this has hurt me.”

“You can do what you want with this information. If I can shed light and possibly help another girl or boy, it will be worth it. I sit here knowing I do not want another year of harassment and whispers.”

“Who I see in the mirror is who I am. A girl who loves her family. A girl who would never hurt another. I was judged by my clothes and my ambitions in life.”

“For those who never knew me really, it is your loss. For those who did, I am sorry. ” She ended her email and hit send.

Tragically, Naomi took her own life that night.

Written by: Angel

Follow me on:

Instagram: morningangel847

Twitter: AngelOfTheMorn5

Meta Business Suite: Angel’s Thoughts To Pen

Thoughts From Angel:

Bullying, in any form is wrong. You may think it is harmless but it is not. Words hurt. Put yourself in their shoes. How would you feel? Things being said about you that were completely false. The whispers….people talking. The stories changing from one person to the next. Stop and think before you say those hateful things to another.

For those on the receiving end of bullying, there are people who will listen. There are laws to protect you. Don’t be afraid to speak up.

If you appreciate what I do and want to support me:

Vocabulary:

silver spoon in (her) mouth – idiom: born into a wealthy family

resounding – adjective: sound loud enough to reverberate

scoff – verb: scornfully or mocking way

dreaded – adjective: apprehension

laughing stock – noun: a person subjected ridicule

dressed down – phrasal verb: dress informally

carried herself– idiom: pertains to grace, etiquette, speech, grooming, body language

ignoring – verb: refuse to take notice of or acknowledge

burying – verb: completely cover

drama – noun: unexpected series of events or set of circumstances

trivial – adjective: of little value or importance

jealous – adjective: envy of someone or their achievements and advantages

homeschooled – verb: educate (one’s child) at home instead of sending them to a school

pressed on – phrasal verb: move forward

authorities – noun : a person who has the power or right to give orders, make decisions, and enforce obedience

torment– noun: mental suffering or unhappiness

pleasant – adjective: giving a sense of satisfaction or enjoyment

vanished – verb: disappear completely

nagging – adjective: worrying

began to surface – verb: become known or obvious after being hidden

benefit of the doubt – idiom: the state of accepting something/someone as honest or deserving of trust even though there are doubts

blend in – phrasal verb: to look like things nearby

pavilion – noun: structured eating area inside a larger building

on that note -metaphor: to transition from that topic; anyway

adored – verb: loves

excursion – noun: a short trip

exhausting – adjective: very tiring

held dear to (his) heart – phrase: cares a lot about it

deep down in (her) heart – idiom: used to mean that something is true or real even if it is not said or shown to other people 

tossed and turned – idiom :to move about and turn over in bed because one is unable to sleep

bearable – adjective: able to be endured or handle

at all costs – idiom: regardless of the price to be paid or the effort needed

cafeteria – noun: a restaurant or dining room in a school

pretended – adjective: not genuine; assumed

imaginary – adjective: unreal, not true , fake

white lie – noun: a harmless lie told to avoid hurting someone’s feelings

interrupted – verb: to stop something from continuing

organize – verb: arrange into an order

designated – verb: assigned

navigated – verb: plan and direct the route or course 

prima donna – noun: a very temperamental person with an inflated view of their own importance

initial – adjective: beginning

strutting – adjective: arrogant or conceited walk

pay any mind – idiom: not give attention to or to ignore

shed light – idiom:  help to explain

tragically – adverb: extreme distress or sorrow

Question ( s ):

Do you believe Naomi should of tried to tell her parents earlier?

Do you think words, just words, can be harmful to another person?

How do you define bullying?

Much More Than A Phoenix Chair

pensive ethnic kids in window of shabby train

( Intermediate Level )

Jannatul had a dream. A dream to make life better for his younger brother, Abanish, and his mom, Barsha. His father had died shortly after he turned eleven years old and he became the man of the house.

Unfortunately, Jannatul couldn’t attend a school like most his age. He had to work and earn money to help his mother.

He worked odd jobs around his village. Anything from cleaning out livestock pens to helping pick vegetables from the farmer’s fields.

It wasn’t easy for such a young boy to sacrifice his childhood for this. It was his responsibility being he was the eldest child.

What he remembers about his father wasn’t much. He did remember him going to work early in the morning and not returning until late at night.

His mother always told him he needed to slow down and take care of himself but he never listened. “ I want to give our children a better life than we had, Barsha. I want them to dream bigger than we could.”

Those are the last words he remembers his father spoke. Now he has this burden on his shoulders.

Jannatul had befriended an older man in his village, Sharmin, who taught him a lot about the world. “If you are to succeed in this world you need to keep moving forward no matter what obstacles are in your way.”

Sharmin hadn’t any children of his own nor had he married. His grandfather taught his father the art of furniture making which his father then had taught him.

Now, he designed beautiful crafted wood furniture, by hand, like the generations before. He lived a great life but never had the opportunity to have a family of his own.

Sharmin saw something in Jannatul that sparked his interest. He hired him to help in his shop. Cleaning the shop floor after a full day’s work.

Jannatul would show up early so he could watch Sharmin put the finishing touches on the masterpiece he worked on that particular day.

How beautiful,” he would say as he ran his hands over the intricate carvings on the wood. Each piece being one of a kind which made his products so popular with customers from all over the world.

“If you want I can teach you as my ancestors taught me. It is a craft that will soon be gone. Modern automation is detrimental to my craft. Pieces of furniture can be made by the dozens in one day as one of mine may take months.”

“I will be honored to learn such a craft. As you know I have my mom and younger brother to look after.” Sharmin smiled knowing this could change young Jannatul ‘s future.

“Well, next week I have another piece I have to start. It is hard work and it is not glamorous work but the end product is a masterpiece crafted by your own hands.”

I will be here! What time?” Jannatul couldn’t wait to run home and tell his mom of this opportunity. “Be here at eight in the morning sharp. We will decide which pieces of timber to use and then begin.”

Over the following months, Jannatul learned as much as he could. Asking many questions hoping he wasn’t too much of a bother. He soon learned Sharmin was more than happy to take the time to answer all his questions.

Every night, when Jannatul returned home for dinner, he explained to his mom what he had done during the day. Much of what she never understood. She was amazed at his enthusiasm.

It made her heart skip a beat to see a smile on his face, once again, since his father passed. She hoped she would have the opportunity to thank Sharmin for taking such an interest in her son.

Sharmin paid him handsomely for his work and Jannatul learned a craft in his spare time. He insisted Jannatul return to going to school and keep his grades up. He could work in his shop after school and on weekends.

Within the week their chair would be finished. They had worked on it for over four months. It was a beautiful high back chair with a phoenix bird carved at the headrest area. The ends of each arm and each leg were sculpted into the foot and claws of this regal bird.

“I would like my mom to see our finished piece before it gets shipped off. I want her to see what I had helped to create,” he asked Sharmin. “Sure, “we will put the finishing coat of varnish on Saturday and it will need a day to dry so have her come by on Sunday.

“Mom, Sharmin said you can come by the shop Sunday and see the chair that we have worked on the last few months. It is my first piece and I would love for you to see it. There will never be the first piece again,” he asked over dinner.

“Of course, I will. I have wanted to talk with Sharmin and thank him for everything he has done for you. He has made not only enriched your life but made ours better.”

The final coat of varnish was applied and the chair was left to dry overnight. Awaiting its grand reveal to Barsha the next day.

Jannatul was anticipating the moment when his mom could see it. It sounded silly to others but it meant a lot to him. He knew his father would be proud of it and him.

“Hurry Mom, I told Sharmin we would be at the shop around nine. Abanish, get your shoes on. Lets go.” he said with eagerness.

They had around a thirty-minute walk to the heart of the village. With Jannatul heading the pack they arrived in less than twenty. Barsha smiled as she heard the two brothers talking about the chair.

Sharmin was waiting outside the shop sipping on his morning cup of coffee. He smiled as the trio approached. “Good morning my apprentice.” as he looked at Jannatul. ” Ma’am. And who’s this young one?”

Jannatul quickly introduced his mother and his brother to Sharmin and ran into the shop.

Sir, I wanted to thank you personally for everything you have done for my Jannatul. He was at such a loss when he lost his father. He lost his smile. You have given this back to him.”

“The pleasure has been all mine. I needed another set of hands around the shop and he is such a quick learner. Always asking, always inquisitive,” he said with a smile on his face.

Jannatul came out of the shop wanting to see what was taking so long. “Come on you three. Hurry! I want you to see our chair!”

They entered the shop and Barsha stood in awe. She, like Jannatul, ran her hand over the beauty of the craftsmanship. “What a beautiful chair. What a beautiful Phoenix. Sharmin, you are magnificent.”

No ma’am, We are,” he said as he put his arm around Jannatul ‘s shoulders. “Your son helped create this chair.’

“What he doesn’t know is that we made it for you. There will never be another first for him, like this one, so once I have seen how excited he was in learning I had no doubt in my mind this chair belongs to you.”

Jannatul looked up and then threw his arms around Sharmin. “Thank you, sir.

Written By: Angel

Follow Me On:

Instagram: morningangel847

Twitter: AngelOfTheMorn5

Meta Business Suite: Angel’s Thoughts To Pen

Thoughts From Angel:

I personally love it when I receive gifts that are handmade. The love that goes into it has much more meaning for me.

If You Appreciate what I do and want to support me:

Vocabulary:

man of the house – noun: the male family member who has the most responsibility for taking care of and making decisions about the household

livestock – noun: farm animals regarded as an asset

sacrifice – verb: giving sometimes unwillingly

eldest – adjective: oldest member

burden on his shoulders idiom: being something to deal with 

befriended – verb: act as a friend to someone by offering help or support

obstacles – noun: something that blocks one’s way

one of a kind – phrase: unique

automation – noun: automatic system for manufacturing or other production process

detrimental – adjective: tending to cause harm

glamorous – adjective: having beauty or being attractive

more than happy – idiom: very pleased or happy / willing

enthusiasm – noun: intense enjoyment, interest, or approval

skip a beat – idiom/ informal: used to say that someone is suddenly very surprised, excited, or nervous about something 

handsomely – adverb: to a large or generous degree; substantially

sculpted – verb: create or represent (something) by carving

regal – adjective : majestic

varnish – noun: resin dissolved in a liquid for applying on wood, metal, or other materials to form a hard, clear, shiny surface when dry

enriched – adjective: to improve quality

eagerness – noun: enthusiasm

inquisitive – adjective: curious

stood in awe – idiom: you have a lot of respect for someone or something

Question ( s ):

Store bought or handmade, which do you prefer?

Do you know any craftsman? Which are their crafts?

Life In Chains

animal eye
brown elephant with chain

( Intermediate Level )

Phoebe always knew, since she was young, that she wanted to become a veterinarian. Once, she saved a small featherless bird which had fallen from its nest. She raised it to the point where it could be set free. Her father had told her it would not survive without its mother but she proved him wrong.

Graduating from the university was a milestone for her. She was the first in her family to do so. Many offers from veterinarian clinics came in but she was unsure which direction to take.

It wasn’t until she read an article regarding the elephants used for tourism that she made her choice. She was going overseas. She wanted to work with exotic animals.

Her mission was to spread the word on the plight of the elephants. People always read about the poaching of these magnificent animals but why aren’t we aware of the use of elephants in tourism? Or entertainment and the conditions they have to endure?

She wanted to set them free. Looking into the eyes of these creatures and seeing their sadness she knew this is what she needed to do.

One particular elephant caught her eye. Her name is Buppha which means a flower. This elephant, now at the age of thirteen was taken from her mother at a tender age. She never wandered free in the jungle, instead she earned her owner thousands of dollars.

Buppha was sold several times until she was in the hands of a local man who ran a tourist trap offering elephant rides. Most of these elephants would work from sun up to sun down giving fifty to sixty rides a day.

When not in use, the elephant’s foot was shackled by one leg with a few feet of chain only allowing them a few steps in either direction. When they misbehaved a hook was used. Startling them to comply with the mahout.

“How could they abuse such a majestic animal.? You can look into their eyes and see they are unhappy.” She said her father when she showed him this article.

“Unfortunately, Phoebe, the people found a way to earn money using animals and this has been this way for years. You won’t change their minds. For most it is their way to provide for their families.”

“Maybe I cannot change their minds but I can try to save a few elephants. ” Phoebe picked up the magazine and showed him Buppha. “This one never ran free,” as she pointed to her. “She needs to know what it feels like to be part of a herd. She needs to know what it feels like to take a mud bath.

She set the magazine down and headed to her room. Her idea to research as much as she could and hopefully find an answer. If she could help just one elephant then maybe it could lead to another then another.

After hours surfing the internet she came to the conclusion that the only thing to do to save Buppha was to purchase her from the owner. How can she raise such funds? Would he be willing to sell her? Or be convinced to just give her up?

She contacted the author, Matthew Greene, of the article via email. He too agreed with her father. His whole idea of writing this piece was to bring awareness and hopefully the elephant rides would become obsolete.

She asked about Buppha. She was told she was in a smaller village and when not used for rides she would haul logs or other heavy materials thus earning money for her owner.

Matthew did state one very important thing to her in their conversation, “Everything has a price. If you give her owner a number, he may just accept it. I do want to warn you, he may simply find a younger elephant to purchase. Until elephants aren’t used in this business, this circle will continue.”

“There are a few so-called sanctuaries or safe places for the old and disabled elephants that can no longer earn their owners money but be very careful. They are still being ridden by their mahouts and are on display earning money for the owners. They are truly not free.”

“If you are able to get Buppha just know where she will live out the rest of her life. I can recommend a few places I have visited. These places care about the elephants one hundred percent.”

She thanked Matthew for his information and immediately started a Go Fund Me page to raise money towards the purchase of Buppha. She wrote about her and the other elephants and linked Matthew’ s article to hers.

Amazingly, within three days the page had raised seventeen thousand dollars. She was pleased that she was not the only one who seemed to care about Buppha and the others.

Within a month, Phoebe was heading to her destination. She hoped she had enough money to persuade Buppha ‘s owner to sell her. She knew she had a difficult battle ahead of her but she was up for the challenge.

Phoebe settled into her hotel room and quickly befriended a local man named Somsak who knew Buppha’ s owner. He offered to take her to meet this gentleman on Friday which she accepted. This would give her ample time to check out the safe havens that Matthew had told her about.

The next morning Phebe set off to investigate the sanctuaries that Matthew spoke so highly about. She was impressed with the second one. She observed the animals playing in the mud, bathing in the river and foraging for food with little interference with their assigned mahout.

This was definitely the place where she could see Buppha living for the rest of her life providing she could convince her current owner to sell her.

She had a wonderful conversation with the owner of Second Chance Haven for Elephants over lunch. Phoebe offered her services to be the project’s veterinarian. Since the haven ran on donations only she wasn’t offered a great salary.

She was offered, though, free room and board along with three meals a day. This suited Phoebe. She accepted the offer. She couldn’t wait to secure Buppha and start her new adventure as the veterinarian to these wonderful creatures.

Somsak was punctual. He arrived just before eight in the morning knowing they had almost a half day journey in front of them. He greeted Phoebe by the jeep and told her they must get started if they were to get to the village where Buppha was and return home before it got too late.

Finally the day came for her to see this elephant that she grew so fond of. Most of the trip was in silence. Phoebe was lost in her thoughts. “What if her owner wasn’t willing to sell when she traveled so far? What if she did not have enough money?

“Ma’am we will be at the village in less than ten minutes. Please let me talk to her owner first. Let me find out what type of mood he was in.”

Phoebe thought for a moment and shook her head to agree. She hadn’t been in the country long enough to know the culture. Maybe they do not like an outspoken person to tell them what is right or wrong. She hadn’t intended to say these things but she knew she would do just about anything to get Buppha.

They pulled up to what looked like a small arena with a small shade attached. There Phoebe sees Buppha. She looked down and saw her left leg in chains. Her head was swaying back and forth.

It took all of Phoebe’s willpower not to get out of the jeep and go to her. Somsak pleaded for her to stay inside the vehicle until the time was right.

Somsak emerged from the house with a taller man about twenty minutes later. As they walked towards the jeep Phoebe’s heart beat faster. She opened the door and stood quietly waiting until it was ok to speak.

Somsak broke the silence and introduced Phoebe to Kittisak. He was considered a wealthy and cunning man in his village. “Miss Phoebe, my friend here tells me you want to purchase my elephant, is this true?”

“Yes Sir. I read an article regarding her and others here but there was something in her eyes that drew me to her specifically.

What will a woman from America want with an elephant?”

I am now the veterinarian for Second Chance Haven for Elephants in the north. I would like to see her live out the rest of her life there. Let her live free without chains and have a family that she never had the chance to experience.”

She wondered if what she said was too abrupt as she watched Kittisak look at his elephant then at Somsak. As he turned to look at Phoebe she could see he had a slight smile on his face.

Well Miss Phoebe, everything has a price. I have not become a rich man by giving things away. I will set a price for her. I will take no less for what I ask. Give me a few moments.”

She knew exactly what he was doing. He was calculating what money he has put into her and what loss he may occur by selling her. She remembered what Mathew told her. He would want to buy another to replace her.

He turned to look at Phoebe and Somsak. “My wife tells me everyday that I am getting too old for this. Taking care of these elephants. It is time for us to enjoy the sunset years of our lives. We will never be able to spend all the money I have earned over the years.”

“Maybe today I am being a bit sentimental or maybe I am finally listening to my wife so I will give you Buppha. I will sign over ownership to you. I can see you genuinely care about her.”

He saw the huge smile on her face. She let out a heavy sigh as she moved closer to shake his hand. She hadn’t expected this outcome. “Thank you sir. Thank you very much. I will take care of her. I promise this to you.”

Now go over to say hello to Buppha. She is yours now.”

As she ran to greet Buppha she thought to herself, “Had Somsak said something to him? Or was he finally listening to his wife’s pleas?” Either way Buppha was going to her forever home free of chains and the money raised for her purchase would be donated to the sanctuary.

Phoebe approached Buppha who stood watching her. Her swaying head had stopped. Her eyes widened as Phoebe reached out her hand to touch her trunk.

“You’re going home girl. You and I will start our new lives together up north.” Buppha touched Phoebe’s face with her trunk as if she knew things would soon be better.

Written By: Angel

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Instagram: morningangel847

Twitter: AngelOfTheMorn5

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Thoughts From Angel:

I had traveled to Thailand in the past and it was amazing to see elephants up close and personal. Unfortunately, those too were used for elephant rides.

I was sadden when I seen a mother elephant in chains with its small baby huddled close to her. The baby would follow her as her mother gave rides to tourist trying desperately to keep up.

Thankfully we have people like @lek_chailert and @elephantnaturepark ( Instagram ) for their amazing commitment to many elephants who were used in tourism or the likes. These elephants come to her with not only physical problems but emotional also.

Elephants have strong bonds with their families, are intelligent and have feelings. It is nice to see them run free within the park being just an elephant . Creating bonds that were stripped from them at some stage of their lives.

Can you imagine having your world change overnight then live a duration of your life in chains?

If you appreciate what I do :

Vocabulary:

veterinarian – noun: a person qualified to treat diseased or injured animals

milestone – noun: an action or event marking a significant change or stage in development

plight – noun: a dangerous, difficult, or otherwise unfortunate situation

poaching – verb: stealing animals also or to take game or fish illegally

magnificent – adjective: beautiful, elaborate, or extravagant

tender age – noun: a young age

tourist trap – noun: a place that attracts and exploits tourists

shackled – verb: restrained with chains

mahout – noun: a person who works with, and tends an elephant

majestic – adjective: showing impressive beauty or dignity

research – noun: investigation or study

conclusion – noun: the end or finish of an event or process

awareness – noun: knowledge of a situation or fact

obsolete – adjective: no longer

amazingly – adverb: impressive

destination – noun: the place to which someone is going

persuade – verb: (of a situation or event) provide a sound reason for (someone) to do something

safe havens – noun: a place of refuge

foraging – verb: search widely for food

interference – noun: intervention

secure – adjective : safe

punctual – adjective: doing something at the agreed time

outspoken – adjective: rank in stating one’s opinions

willpower – noun: control

cunning – adjective: showing skill in achieving one’s ends by deceit

specifically – adverb: exact and clear

abrupt – adjective: sudden and unexpected

sentimental

genuinely – adverb: truthful 

Question ( s ):

Where do we draw the line when it comes to the use of animals?

Is service animals included in this category?

Many argue the line is drawn when the animal is asked to perform things that are not natural to them. (like a dolphin playing basketball) Do you agree?

After All, No Means No

girl in yellow and blue paisley print top
woman in blue bikini sitting on brown sand

( Advanced Level )

For the past twenty seven years, Phoebe Miller has been the voice for many youths. Currently on her desk she has three cases all involving young females that have proven a bit more difficult.

Lewisville and its people seem to look at life a little differently. Whether it is due to naivety or not caring, she is unsure. Maybe it’s the idealism that kids will be kids.

She was told not to get too emotionally involved and leave her work at work but this wasn’t an easy task. She found herself thinking of their dilemmas and hearing their voices on her drive to and from work.

Thankfully, her husband Craig, was a patient man. He knew when to give her space. When she was ready he was always there to lend an ear. She adored him for this.

Memorial day weekend was coming. Only one more day at the office and then four wonderful days off. She knew it wouldn’t be completely off. She would take these files home with her to work on.

Thursday came and Phoebe gathered the three files on her way out of the office. She told her coworkers to have a relaxing four days and headed out the door to home.

Craig had prepared a quick dinner for the two of them and they sat drinking a glass of white wine together in front of the bay window in their living room. This was their favorite spot.

They chose this little house in the outskirts of the city to be in nature. To have a place to unwind from the daily hassles of city working.

On Friday morning Craig had taken their dog out with him for his morning run and Phoebe found herself sitting at her desk, in the den, thumbing through those files.

She sipped on her coffee and wondered why parents teach their daughters how to say no to unwanted advances but they do not teach their sons to respect this word.

An hour passed and Craig returned home. Phoebe was deep in thought and hadn’t noticed he stood watching her. “Honey?” She startled and looked his way then smiled.

“Sorry, I was deep in thought about these girls. I need to find a solution to help them.

I am always here to listen.” her husband said as he left to have his morning shower.

Breakfast was eaten in silence and dishes were cleared. Phoebe returned to the den. Craig gave her some time then he entered. “ Maybe you need another’s perspective on these. You want me to listen?”

She let out a sigh and agreed. If she was to enjoy the remaining days of her long weekend she needed to finish these cases.

Phoebe never used names when she discussed cases with her husband but he always knew the right things to advise.

I have three delicate cases all involving females and the people involved are from prestigious people in the community. This is what makes it a bit more difficult. It is a fine line to walk.”

“Case number one involves a sweet six year old girl. She along with three other girls are being bothered by a male classmate who will not take no for an answer to his unwanted kisses.”

“Sounds innocent enough but some parents are pulling their daughters out of this school since the staff will not do anything about it. This young boy’s father is a doctor.”

Case number two is a thirteen year old female in middle school. Not only is she being bullied by her peers, the boys are harassing her due to her early development. She is raised in a single parent household and it hasn’t been easy for her mother. She cannot afford a lot. The boys in question, again, are from well to do families.”

And the last case is that of a first year college student. She will be eighteen in four months. Until then she still falls under my jurisdiction.”

She is experiencing advances from boys on the basketball team. They have even gone so far as to follow her to her dorm. Making gestures and comments. One of the boy’s father is an alumni of the college and another is the son of the police chief.”

“Craig, I do not know exactly what to do. If I do one thing I cause a lot of trouble for the school and the parents of these boys. It may cause backlash to the girls. If I chose to ignore them then I let the girls down.”

Craig sat there absorbing every word his wife spoke. Phoebe looked at him waiting to hear his viewpoint. Hoping his wisdom would make things more clear for her.

He continued to sip on his coffee and deep in his thoughts. “One thing you are overlooking, my love. I want you to take out the fact that these boys are from prominent families and what do you have?”

“You have boys that are trouble. Maybe nothing will happen to the youngest girl but you never know what or if anything could happen to the other two.”

Boys can be unpredictable at that age. Especially if their friends are bidding them to keep going. I want you to take one factor out of the equation. Their family status. Then I think you can make a clear choice with the outcome.”

He added,” One more important thing is to educate the educators. Maybe suggest a class or seminar to let all young people know the consequences that may occur if they continue their actions.”

Phoebe looked at her husband and whispered, “Thank you.” She knew asking for his advice was going to be helpful. She did just this.

In each file she wrote her recommendations. Whether it was for a temporary suspension or an expulsion from the facility. After all, no means no. Her duty was to these girls regardless.

Written By: Angel

Follow me on:

Instagram: morningangel847

Twitter: AngelOfTheMorn5

Meta Business Suite: Angel’s Thoughts to Pen

Thoughts From Angel:

Why is it that parents focus on their daughters when it comes to unwanted advances? Boys need to be taught when a girls says no this means no. Consequences will be inevitable.

If you appreciate what I do:

Vocabulary:

naivety – noun: innocence or unsophisticated

idealism – noun: the practice of forming or pursuing ideals, especially unrealistically

kids will be kids -idiomatic: You cannot expect children to act like adults

task– noun: work or assignment

dilemmas – noun: a difficult situation or problem

lend an ear – phrase: listen sympathetically or attentively

adored – verb: love and respect

bay window – noun: a window built to project outward from an outside wall

unwind – verb: relax

hassles – noun: irritating inconveniences

unwanted – adjective: not desired

perspective – noun: a point of view

delicate – adjective: fragile

prestigious – adjective: having high status

innocent – adjective: naïve

peers – noun: someone equal to your level

harassing noun: the action of subjecting someone to aggressive pressure or intimidation

jurisdiction – noun: power to make legal decisions and judgments

gestures – noun: a movement of part of the body to express an idea or meaning

alumni – noun: a graduate or former student

backlash – noun: adverse reaction

absorbing – adjective: soaking up or listening carefully with what is said

prominent – adjective: important or famous

unpredictable – adjective: not able to be predicted

bidding – noun: the ordering or requesting of someone to do something

factor out of the equation– idiom: exclude something or keep it from being incorporated into something

status – noun: the social, professional, or standing of someone

consequences – noun: result or effect of an action

recommendations -noun: a suggestion

suspension – noun: temporary prevention from continuing school

expulsion – noun: permanent process of forcing someone to leave a school

regardless – adverb: despite the circumstances

Question ( s ):

Do you think someone should be treated differently regarding laws or rules just because of their families position in society?

Regrets? No, Not Really.

photo of an old woman

( Advanced Level )

Thank you for sitting down with me and having this interview. Shall we begin?”, the reporter smiled. Beatrice smiled back and nodded her head in affirmation.

Beatrice, as an award winning journalist who achieved many accolades in your lifetime, tell us about yourself and what gave you the drive to achieve as much as you did?” the reporter asked as she opened her book to take notes.

As Beatrice reflects back on her life during this candid interview on her, her work, her retirement from journalism and now her best selling autobiography.

She tells her story in a matter of fact way. No flowery words. Just the facts. Pausing between each thought. Remembering all the emotions she felt.

“I was born in the late fifties to a young single mother and an equally young father who left the scene as soon as he was told he was going to become a dad.”

“It was common, in this era, to send your young daughter off to an “aunt or grandparents” when their parents found out she was with child. In all actuality, she was sent to an unwed mothers home up to the time she was to give birth.”

“Once the young mothers gave birth, the baby was taken from them and the new mothers were sent back to their families No one was the wiser. All to save face with the people in the community and with the family.”

“Not one person thought about the child. How he or she turned out. Were they given to a good home? Were they happy? It was as if it never happened.

“I did happen. I was born on a cold rainy night in late September. They had seen too many young teenage mothers over the years. I was just another child born and needing to find a forever home.”

“As I patchwork the pieces of my life story together, it was later the next day, before my mother found out she gave birth to a seven pound two ounce baby girl.”

I was healthy and had lots of dark black hair with chocolate brown colored eyes. I was able to find an old faded photograph of myself from when I was ten days old.”

As the years passed, my mother’s memories faded of me. She was young and I cannot hold this against her. She continued on in her life as if that cold rainy night never happened.”

“My name, I have now, was given to me by my adoptive parents and I grew up in a suburban area in upstate New York. It wasn’t until I was nine years old that I found out I was adopted.”

Up to this point I was the youngest of four siblings. Two brothers and twin sisters. My father became ill and couldn’t work any longer when I found out this news.”

A choice had to be made and I was not part of this choice. As they looked at the situation I was not theirs. My parents were having a tough time making ends meet. It was a difficult time in our home.”

I couldn’t be sent back to the home in which I came. The only option was to find my biological parents. Why couldn’t they keep me? How can they just give me away? I didn’t know these people.”

“It was very difficult for me to understand. I became withdrawn and never spoke much anymore. My whole world was about to change.”

“My adoptive parents found my father. He was willing to take me in and raise me. I was told he never married but had several failed long-term relationships.”

“He had lost touch with my biological mother years ago and never tried to find her. Throughout the years he never wondered if she ever had the child she was pregnant with. His child.”

Before the new school year started, I was off to live with my dad. His mother, my biological grandmother, recently passed. My dad had lived with her so he never had to do anything.”

“My grandmother had done all the cooking and cleaning. Made sure his laundry was done. How was he now supposed to take care of a nine year old when he couldn’t take care of himself ?”

The answer was soon to be known. Not only was I to go to school but be the housekeeper and cook. My abilities were limited considering my age but I managed.”

“When I had time I wrote. It helped me escape reality. I never wanted to go to any school activities or hang out with friends. I didn’t want people to know of my personal life. Instead I wrote. Not in a diary, as most girls my age would do, but wrote stories.”

“Fantasies were never in my genre. The way I looked at life was different. I felt life had played a cruel joke. I grew up too fast. Had too many responsibilities.

My aspirations was to become a journalist. One who could travel the world and tell fascinating stories. I wanted to major in journalism once I went to college.”

“After ten years of living with my father I was able to do just this. I had worked at a fast food restaurant while I was in High School saving every bit of money I could.

“I chose a college far away from him and my life there. I was needing to have a fresh start in life. It wasn’t as difficult as I had expected. I already had the knowledge on how to take care of myself.”

“After I graduated, with honors, from college I landed a terrific job with a prestigious newspaper. Writing stories that mattered.”

“I now felt important. I made something of myself. Even after having a tough beginning in life and childhood.”

“I traveled to many countries writing stories of poverty, inequalities and instabilities in governments. A few of my articles won awards for outstanding writing.”

“It was difficult at times being on the road as much as I was. I was married to my work. This never allowed me time for relationships or children. I loved my work and the sense of validation it gave me.”

“When I retired I wanted to keep writing so I wrote my first book. My autobiography. I struggled with a title until another reporter asked me if I had any regrets. I looked at her and said, Regrets? No, Not Really’.”

One thing I learned over the years was to follow your dream. Follow what makes you happy. No matter if you are good at it or not.” she smiled and looked at her watch.

Thank you Beatrice for allowing us to know you a little more. All of us wish you the best in retirement and please do not give up writing.” The reporter closed her book, stood and shook Beatrice’s hand.

Written By: Angel

Follow Me On:

Instagram: morningangle847

Twitter: AngelOfTheMorn5

Meta Business Suite: Angel’s Thoughts to Pen

Thoughts From Angel:

As the saying goes: When life gives you lemons just make lemonade. You cannot change the past but you can always change your future.

If you appreciate what I do:

Vocabulary:

affirmation – noun: the action of agreeing

accolades – noun: special honor or as an acknowledgment 

candid – adjective: truthful and straightforward

retirement – noun: leaving one’s job and no longer working

autobiography – noun: an account of a person’s life written by that person

flowery – adjective: (of a style of speech or writing) full of elaborate or literary words and phrases

era – noun: period of the past

with child – phrase: pregnant

to save face – idiom: retain respect and avoid humiliation

patchwork – noun: pieced together

suburban – adjective: outside of city limits

siblings – noun: a brother or sister

making ( to make) ends meet– phrase: earn enough money to live without getting into debt

option – noun: to choose or having a choice

biological – adjective: genetically related

housekeeper – noun: a person that manages a household chores

genre – noun: a category

cruel – adjective: willfully causing suffering to others

responsibilities – noun: a duty over something or someone

aspirations – noun: a hope or ambition of achieving something

journalist – noun: a person who writes for newspapers, magazines, or news websites or prepares news to be broadcast

honors – noun: high respect

landed – adjective: obtain

prestigious – adjective: respect and admiration; having high status

poverty – noun: extremely poor

inequalities – noun: lack of equality

instabilities – noun: lack of stability

on the road – phrase: series of journeys, especially as part of one’s job 

validation – noun: recognition 

regrets – noun: a feeling of sadness, repentance, or disappointment over something that has happened or been done

Question ( s ):

What is your personality?

Do you give up when things get tough or keep on moving forward?

Do you make the best of any situation?

Innocence Destroyed

pexels-photo-11518765.jpeg

( Advanced Level )

For many young men around the world, it is mandatory to enlist in the military. It is a duty but also an honor. Yet, in some circumstances, you may not have a choice.

Being part of the military strengthens the core of your being. Teaches you discipline. Helps you come into adulthood.

If you are lucky, when you enlist, there isn’t a conflict or a war. If not, do you think these young men and women are prepared mentally?

And what about the innocent people? Civilians? In times of a crisis, everything about their lives has been wiped clean. Innocence destroyed with the first attack.

Instead of sending your child to school and heading to work, you run for safety. You run to survive. Taking what little they can carry. Watching people die around you and feel helpless.

We as adults, understand or try to understand what the purpose of such an ordeal is. It is the innocent children who do not. Everything and everyone around them is changing moment by moment.

They are experiencing things that most of us only see through our television or in the movies. They are living it. “I cannot even imagine this.

We comment, “It saddens me to see this happening. This needs to stop.” Then we start our day. Never gave it a second thought.

We live in our protective little bubbles. If the situation is not right in front of us we tend to forget until we pick up the newspaper or watch a video on the internet. Unfortunately, they cannot.

Many lives are lost. Many homes, communities, and cities are destroyed. People’s lives will never be the same. Over what?

We know our nation’s leaders will take the correct measures needed. Not only to help the country in need but also to keep their own citizens safe.

Until then, all of us around the world watch idle. Hoping….hoping this will end soon. Hoping not too many more innocent lives are lost.

Written By: Angel

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Twitter: AngelOfTheMorn5

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Thoughts From Angel:

Dedicated to the men, women, and children of Ukraine. Your bravery and sacrifices have not gone unnoticed. Stand strong.

Photo by Katie Godowski on Pexels.com

If you appreciate what I do:

Vocabulary:

mandatory – adjective: required by law or rules

enlist – verb: enroll or be enrolled in the armed services

circumstances – noun: relevant to an event or action

core – noun: central or important part of something

discipline – noun:  a code of behavior

conflict – noun: disagreement or argument

mentally – adverb: prepared; relating to the mind

crisis – noun: intense difficulty, trouble, or danger

ordeal – noun: painful experience

protective – adjective: protecting, sheltering someone or something

situation – noun: set of circumstances

communities – noun: a group of people living together in one place

measures – noun: a plan or course of action taken to achieve a particular purpose

idle – adjective: without purpose or pointless

Question ( s ):

What, to you, is a reason to go to war over?

A Dog’s Love

( Intermediate Level )

There is something special no one can explain about a dog’s love for its human. They pick their person and are theirs forever.

Joey, as many people called him, lived on the streets and survived on the handouts given by passersby.

He would sit for hours just watching people. Never barking. Never causing trouble. It was as if he was looking. Looking for that special someone.

The butcher on Elm Street always had special treats for Joey. Handing him scraps from the meats he cut. Joey seemed to show up like clockwork every day around the same time.

“What a handsome boy you are. Are you here for your treats?” Joey would sit patiently as the butcher came to him.

Wagging his tail and staring into his eyes as if to show how much he appreciated this snack. He would gobble up the scraps, bark then head off to wander the streets.

Joey wasn’t anything unique. He was burnt orange and white with a few battle scars from other bigger and meaner dogs on the streets.

If you hadn’t had the opportunity to encounter Joey and his kindness you surely would pass him by.

What people didn’t know was his intelligence. How he seemed to interpret if someone needed help. Once he knew Miss Margaret needed help in crossing the road .She stood at the crosswalk for what seemed ten minutes.

Joey was watching from the bottom of the steps at her apartment building. He sprang into action and ran into the street standing in the middle barking at all cars that approached.

Eventually the cars stopped and Margaret was able to walk across safely. She stopped briefly to pat him on his head. “Thank you Joey. You are a good boy.”

That night Miss Margaret had a treat for his good deed. She had stopped to buy him a rawhide chew which he seemed to enjoy.

Days turned into weeks then into months and Joey still looked for his forever human. You could see him by the busiest supermarket in town or the town park. He would sit for hours just looking at everyone.

It was a late Sunday afternoon and six year old Stan Miller came out of the store with his mom. Joey’s attention focused on this little boy. He was shy and stood close behind his mom.

He approached the two carefully. Stan smiled from behind his mom. He slipped down and patted Joey’s head. Stan was all smiles. “Mommy, look.”

His mom looked down quickly, “That’s Joey. He belongs to the city.” Stan looked up with a frown on his face. “He doesn’t have a mommy or a daddy?”

As far as I know he never had owners. People are kind and they make sure he has food and shelter on those rainy days,” Mom said as they entered their car.

Joey sat staring down the street as they drove away in their car. He wandered off to the butcher’s to see what tasty morsels were on the menu today.

Something odd happened the next day. Joey had found his way to the school’s gate waiting for Stan. A place where he never went before.

Out of the hundreds of children who attended , he was looking for just one. Stan. After a year and a half on the streets had Joey picked out his human? Something drew him there.

These encounters happened everyday for about a month. Joey showed up at the end of school. He waited until he saw Stan, got his pat on the head then left as his mother showed up.

Stan would tell his Mom, “Joey came to see me today.” His Mom would smile and say, “Seems he rather likes you.” “He comes everyday, Mom,” Stan said, beaming from ear to ear.

On the twenty sixth Stan’s mom headed to school a little later than she usually did to pick him up. She was caught behind a traffic accident and all traffic came to a standstill.

She was frantic knowing her son would be alone waiting for her . There was nothing she could do until the police officers pulled the cars involved off the streets.

More than forty five minutes had passed and she was able to travel on towards the school. She knew her son would be terribly upset because she was late.

To her surprise, as she pulled up in front of the school, she was relieved. There stood Stan and his new companion Joey. He was there with him the whole time.

As she got out of the car she apologized to Stan and bent over as she approached Joey. “Thank you boy for watching over Stan.” as she gave him a pat.

“I wasn’t scared Mommy. Joey was here with me. I knew nothing bad would happen.” Joey stood up as Stan opened the car door. He wagged his tail and started to head off.

Stan looked at his mom then at Joey again. She knew what he was wanting. “Joey. Joey. Come here boy.” Joey stopped and looked back.

He turned and headed back to them. As he approached the car she opened the back door. “Joey, you want to come home with us? Without hesitation, he jumped into the back seat. You didn’t have to ask him twice.

Stan was in the car by then and gave Joey the biggest hug .”You have a forever home now boy.”

Written By: Angel

Follow me on:

Instagram: morningangel847

Twitter: AngelOfTheMorn5

Metaverse Business Suite: Angel’s Thoughts to Pen

Thoughts From Angel:

What kind of person would I be if I didn’t share pictures of my “Joey?” Meet my Bella. I am her human. She has brought so much happiness into my life.

I can’t imagine life without her now. When I arrive home from a busy day she greets me then sits and waits . She watches and seems to know if I had a good day or bad then acts accordingly.

Animals are amazing creatures and bring so much joy to your life.

If you appreciate what I do:

Vocabulary:

passersby – noun: a person who happens to be going past something

butcher – noun: a person who cuts up and selling meat in a store or shop

patiently – adverb: tolerance of delays

staring – verb: look at someone or something with one’s eyes wide open

gobble up – phrasal verb: to eat something in a hurry

intelligence – noun: the ability to apply knowledge and skills

interpret – verb: to explain or have knowledge of the meaning

sprang – verb: move or jump quickly

deed – noun: an intentional act

focused – verb: pay attention to

frown – noun: a facial expression showing disapproval

morsels – noun: a small piece of food

drew – verb: to cause to move in a particular direction

beaming from ear to ear – idiom: to smile happily

standstill – noun: no movement or activity

frantic – adjective: distraught with fear

wagged – verb: (animal’s tail) movement side to side

hesitation – noun: pausing

Question ( s ):

Do you have a pet?

Do you have many homeless dogs or cats on the streets in your city?

Does your city or country have no kill shelters?

My Brother Samuel

( Intermediate Level )

My brother Samuel often received stares from others when we were out in public. People concluded there was something different about him and shied away.

Many made the assumption that mom must have used alcohol or drugs when she was pregnant with him. This is not the case at all. Sam was born with an intellectual disability.

In the past, this was dubbed mental retardation, bringing much hurtful slang towards the ones with these disabilities. These slangs upset my mom terribly.

My son is just like all others” she argued. “He laughs. plays and does everything your child does. It may take him a little longer to understand but he eventually does.”

I always protected my brother when we were at school. We were 3 grades apart from one another and thankfully, we are at the same school. He always knew where to look for me after school . We would meet up and walk home together.

Some days he would have to wait for me. I was the editor of the school’s newspaper and sometimes we had a short meeting after school. He never minded. He always found something to keep him busy as he waited.

As the school year pressed on, Samuel was more quiet than usual. He was never really quiet around me as he was with strangers. I chuckled somedays as he chattered on about his day . It was hard to keep up with what he was talking about.

“Hey Sam, why are you so quiet? Something bothering you? I asked. Samuel looked up at him “No.” I knew this was not true. Something was. In his own time he would tell me.

I guess a week or so had passed and Samuel wasn’t waiting for me in his usual spot after school. I waited for a few minutes and began to look for him.

I asked a few teachers, when I passed them in the hall, “Have you seen my brother?” and each resounded a “No, they hadn’t.

It was the last place I looked where I found him. He was huddled up next to the bleachers in the gym. He was covering his head and you could hear him sobbing.

I yelled out, “Sam, what’s wrong?” He looked up at me and you could see a mark on his face which obviously looked as if he was hit. Tears running down his cheeks.

A bunch of boys kept pushing me around and calling me a retard. I tried to leave but they kept following me. I came in here and one hit me.” I was so angry at this point. I helped him to his feet and wiped off his face. His brother looked at him, ” Am I a …retard?”

“Don’t be silly Sam. You are you. Things in life are a little more difficult for you and may take you longer to do but you are not a retard. Now let’s go home.”

The brothers arrived home and explained everything to their mother. Of course she immediately called the school to alert them on what happened to her son.

A couple of weeks had passed and Samuel was back to himself. The school authorities suspended the students for the rest of the school year for what they did to my brother. I was happy the school took this step towards this type of bullying but I wanted others to know what I felt.

I had asked the principal if I could publish an article, in our school newspaper, regarding this incident. He agreed to allow as long as he approved the contents before it went to publication.

I began writing right away and finished so it could go out in our monthly newspaper. I immediately took it to our principal for him to read the next day.

I knocked on his door and entered. “I have finished my article. Can you read it over so I can make sure it gets published?”

He handed his heartfelt article to the principal and he began to read.

Dear Readers,

Most of you know who my brother Samuel is but do you know him? Have you ever stopped to say hello or have a conversation with him?

Let me tell you about my brother Sam. He is the kindest person I know. He finds good in everything and has the purest heart. If he is capable he would do anything for you.

He has an innocence about him that many do not have. He never judges anyone nor says anything bad about anyone. This is more than I can say about most, including myself.

When my brother was born, I was three, I had no idea of his disability nor do I really see one now. He is my brother. We had our fights growing up but we also shared secrets.

We enjoy playing sports and watching scary movies on TV, even though Mom gets mad at us because we do not go to sleep afterwards.

Does any of this sound different from you?

No.

I do not want to go into details but when Samuel was tormented and hurt by fellow classmates it saddened me more than it made me mad. How could a person do this to another? How could they do this without really knowing Samuel?

Next time you happen to pass my brother in the hallway, why don’t you say hello to him. Get to know him. You will discover what I have about him. He is the best person I know and has taught me a lot. I am proud he is my brother.

Editor / Samuel’s brother

Caleb

The principal finished the article and handed it back to Caleb. “You did a wonderful job with this. Absolutely, send this to print.”

The newspaper came out and Caleb took two copies home with him. He shared one with his Mom and the other with Samuel. He knew Samuel wouldn’t be able to read it so he read the article to him.

As Caleb finished the article and looked up, Samuel leaned in with a bear hug. “I love you too!”

Written by: Angel

Follow me on:

Instagram: morningangel847

Twitter: AngelOfTheMorn5

Meta Business Suite: Angel’s Thoughts to Pen

Thoughts From Angel:

Is this behavior due to the lack of understanding? Who is to blame for such actions? Is it the parents? The education system?

If you appreciate what I do please support:

Vocabulary:

stares – noun: a long fixed look at someone or something

assumption – noun: accepted as true without proof

concluded – verb: arrive at a judgement

shied – verb: avoid

intellectual disability – noun: limits to a person’s ability to learn at an expected level and function in daily life

dubbed – verb: to give an unofficial name or nickname

slang – noun: very informal words or language used mostly by the younger generation

pressed on – phrasal verb: to continue moving forward in a forceful or steady way 

chuckled – verb: laugh quietly

chattered – verb: rapid talking

resounded – verb: echo

huddled up – adjective: to sit in a bent position with your arms and legs close to your body

bleachers – noun: bench seat at a sports arena or gym

sobbing – noun: noisy crying

suspended – verb: to stop someone from going to school whether temporarily or permanently

publication – noun: the act of making an article available for others to read

heartfelt – adjective: sincere

innocence – noun: being innocent

tormented – adjective: physical or mental suffering

bear hug – noun: tight embrace

Question ( s ):

Do you find yourself staring at someone who looks different? Maybe dressed differently or in a wheelchair?

Why do you think we do this?