by Valerie L. Egar
Sarah and her parents were going to the zoo. Sarah's mother always said, "Plan ahead," so, the night before, Sarah took her best pair of pants and her prettiest top from the closet. She washed her face, combed her hair and got dressed. "I'm ready for the zoo!" she thought. "Now, I can sleep late in the morning." She climbed into bed.
When she woke up, her clothes were wrinkled and her hair was tangled and messy.
Sarah's mom frowned when she saw her. "But Mom, I was planning ahead, just like you told me to do," said Sarah. Her mother sighed.
Sarah's cat, Mr. Whiskers, got one cup of Kitty Crunchies every day. Sarah decided she would save time by giving him enough Crunchies for the week. "Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday…" Sarah counted out seven cups and heaped them into Mr. Whiskers' dish. The Crunchies made a mountain so high, they spilled all over the kitchen floor.
Sarah's dad frowned. "But Dad, I was planing ahead," said Sarah. "Didn't you say planning ahead saves time?" Her father sighed.
Sarah always took a long time to tie her shoes in the morning, so she was usually late for breakfast. She decided to plan ahead and tie her shoelaces the night before. Then, she had an even better idea. The bows she made in her laces often came undone. Sarah decided knotting the laces would save time, because she wouldn't have to bend down to tie her shoes over and over.
When she woke up and got dressed, Sarah couldn't put the tied shoes on her feet. No matter what she tried, she couldn't undo the knots she made. Sarah went to breakfast in her socks.
Dad grumbled as he untied the knots. "I was thinking ahead," said Sarah, but her father didn't seem happy about it. Sarah thought planning ahead caused an awful lot of trouble.
Sarah decided she would prove she really knew how to plan ahead. She surprised her parents by picking all the little tomatoes off the tomato plants. Sarah put a basket of green tomatoes on the kitchen table.
"Oh no!" her mother and father said.
"What's the matter?" said Sarah. "I saved you time and picked them, so you don't need to do it when they turn red."
Her parents weren't happy, but Sarah didn't understand why. Planning ahead didn't seem to be a good idea on most days.
Sarah decided to give planning ahead one last try. When her mother finished frosting her birthday cake and went upstairs to get ready for Sarah's party, Sarah decided to cut the cake so it would be ready for her guests. Six people were coming to the party, so Sarah cut the cake into six big pieces. She felt very proud.
When her mother saw the cake, she was not happy."Sarah, where are we going to put the candles now?"
Oops! Sarah hadn't thought of that. Sarah decided that planning ahead meant trying to think of everything that might happen. It took a whole lot of thinking.
Sarah's mother saved the day by putting birthday candles on the pieces of cake and placing them in front of Sarah. Instead of one wish, Sarah made two when she blew out her candles. She thought that was fair, because there were six pieces of cake and two wishes didn't seem like too many.
Sarah's first wish was for riding lessons. She loved horses and hoped her parents would think she was old enough to begin lessons soon.
Sarah also wished her parents would stop telling her to plan ahead. Planning ahead was messy and caused a lot of trouble. It didn't save any time at all. Unless, of course, she wasn't doing it right. "What a silly idea!" thought Sarah. "How could that be?"
Published in The Sunday Journal Tribune, July 12, 2015. Copyright 2015 by Valerie L. Egar. May not be copied or reproduced without permission from the author.