Monday, February 1, 2016

Zilla's New Year Resolutions

        by Valerie L. Egar

Zilla did not like the idea of New Year’s resolutions. Resolutions were plans to improve yourself and usually, they didn’t sound like fun.
Mom’s resolutions, taped to the refrigerator, sounded awful.
              1.  Eat more kale.
                    2.     Eliminate chocolate!
                    3.     Friday night salad instead of pizza.
Dad hung his resolutions next to the mirror in the bathroom, so he could see them every morning when he shaved. Zilla read them and decided his were worse than Mom’s.
1.     Organize house alphabetically (books, spices, tools, etc.)
2.     Add opera to iPod playlist for car trips.
3.     Limit TV to 1 hour per day.
Zilla wondered what Dad was going to do when it was time for the Super Bowl, but as she recalled, Mom and Dad’s resolutions didn’t last much longer than a week. After that, they gave up and life was back to normal.
            “Zilla, you’re old enough to make a few resolutions this year,” said Mom.
            Zilla frowned.
         “And nothing about improving your pirating skills,” said Dad. “I hope you’re over that.”
            Zilla frowned even harder. She’d spent last summer captaining a pirate ship and still planned to sail the world with her parrot, Truffles.
           “Think of a few things you can do to improve and make a list,” said Mom. “Maybe it’s something you want to learn, or something you want to do better, like keeping your room clean.” 
          Zilla scowled. Keeping her room clean would mean removing the science experiments hidden under her bed. She wasn’t doing that!
Dad had an idea. “I’ll make it more fun.  Whoever keeps their resolutions the longest can choose a night out for all of us.”
            Zilla brightened.  “Whatever we want to do?”
Zilla knew she had to win, or she’d be eating kale burgers at a restaurant with waiters who sang opera.
            She went upstairs to her bedroom and took out a sheet of paper and a sharp pencil. “Truffles, what would you do?”
            Truffles ruffled his handsome green feathers.  “Yo ho ho,” he screeched.
            Zilla shook her head. “Dad said no pirate stuff.”
            Truffles stomped back and forth on his perch. Zilla copied him and walked back and forth, thinking. All she needed to do was think of three resolutions she could keep longer than Mom and Dad kept theirs. When she glimpsed her “Sailing Ships of the World” calendar, she had an idea.
            “Aha!” she shouted. “I’ve got it.”  She started to write.
            “RESOLUTIONS FOR 2016
            1. Grow a pumpkin.
            2. Learn the backstroke.
            3. Help Mom pick blueberries.”
She read them to Truffles. “Captain rules the ship!” yelled Truffles and Zilla knew she’d done well.
            Dad read the list twice and handed it to Mom.
            “You can’t plant pumpkin seeds until May,” said Mom.
            “I know,” said Zilla. “This year, I want to learn more about gardening.”
           “The lake isn’t warm enough for you to learn the backstroke until the end of June,” said Dad.
            “But learning the backstroke is important,” said Zilla. “I’ve always heard you say that.”
            “You can’t pick blueberries until July,” said Mom and Dad together.
            “I remember,” said Zilla sweetly. “I’m going to help this year.”
           Because Zilla’s resolutions involved things that were months and months away, Mom and Dad knew they’d been beaten. Mom was already longing for chocolate and wasn’t sure she could hold out another day. Dad had five hundred books piled on the floor and wondered why he thought alphabetizing anything was a good idea. They realized they couldn’t keep their resolutions until May, much less June or July!
            “You win,” they said and made one resolution they knew they would keep forever -- never, ever bargain with a pirate. 

Copyright 2016 by Valerie L. Egar. May not be reproduced or distributed without permission from the author.  

No comments:

Post a Comment