Late in the afternoon, the artist’s trusty black ink fountain pen went dry.

She would have to inject a fresh cartridge into the pen.

Fortunately, she had recently purchased several new ones.

Her luck took a spin, however, when she looked where she had put them.

Bending over her desk’s center drawer, she could see no black ink cartridges.

There were several pens in the drawer, each with a different color of ink.

There were also many spare ink cartridges, but no black ones among them.

The new cartridges were missing!

After a moment of dismay and dawning suspicion as to where they had gone, she took a deep breath.

The artist had suffered many frustrations and unpleasant situations in the course of her life.

Over the passing years, she had developed a little trick to deal with disappointment and irritation.

Her trick was to pretend that she had caused the situation herself, on purpose.

“Aha,” she said aloud, “It is a good thing I have hidden the black ink from myself…

Now I can use the other colors.”

So she gathered many of the pens from the drawer.

And she created a very dark blue sky.

Then, she filled it with yellow stars and moon.

These, she mirrored in the surface of a small pond.

All around the pond, she added tall grasses speckled with orange flashing fireflies.

And she drew a brown dock with one large, flat-topped post in the foreground.

Atop the post, she placed three small mint green frogs all in a row, singing in the moonlight.

Sitting back in her chair, the artist removed her spectacles.

She felt pleased with her work.

It had beauty and gave a real sense of summer.

She could hear the frogs’ song dancing in the warm air there beside the still pond.

Only one thing was lacking, to her taste, and that was a clear message.

What did she want this drawing to say?

Lost in thought, she let her eyes stray to the window.

Outside, snow was falling gently.



Written to The Sunday Whirl and Sunday’s Whirligig