It all just happened at once. I was with my family in my vegetable patch at home. We were all talking about how vegetables are different from fruits. My sister and I got into an argument. About something stupid like how veggies don’t have seeds. We have a love, hate relationship. So we never really know when we are being nice or not. In the end I got upset about how my sister yelled and told me that I made her life miserable the very day I was born. I knew it wasn’t true, but I was in a mood that day. I ran to my favourite place. I call it the place where the dragons live. I call it this because dozens of dragonflies launch into the sky. My grandmother loved this place. We used to sit under the tree and imagine all the different books and stories in the world. We would discuss the meaning of life and our purpose in this world. I sat under the tree and thought about what my sister had said. I looked up into the tree and saw a strong green vine. I began to weep and cry, thinking about grandma would always hurt. Then suddenly my hair turned a magnificent, bright green. It began to grow and tangle adding leaves along the way. I didn’t know what to do. I kept asking about the meaning and purpose of life that grandma and I would talk about. Only one voice responded. The voice of grandma. She told me the exact thing I was looking for, and that was that the purpose of life is to understand how amazing the earth is and she reminded me that no matter how old I get that I should always return to the tree when I need guidance and advice. She told me that the people you love will always be there, no matter what. And then the green leaves stopped. My normal hair was back, and I knew more than ever that I will never forget the wise spoken words of grandma.
Lucy (11 years) Sydney
‘Good grief’ she said staring at herself in the mirror. The alopecia had been bad enough but this was, well ridiculous. The ‘recessive gene’ as her family liked to call it had not been seen for generations and it was thought to have been a historical anomaly in the family tree. But here it was, thin, ropy vines, framing her face and sprouting leaves before her eyes. Oh god! Is that… a flower!
Where on earth could she live? There was no staying in the city. A dryad would stand out like a sore thumb, even in Newtown.
‘I am Groot, she muttered drily.
Anonymous - NSW
This picture brought a smile to my face from the first time I saw it. I own a print and it has pride of place in my room. Every time I pass it, I smile.
For me the girl is ‘stuck in her head’ and as she massages her anxiety (the vine) it grows and grows until it has her whole body wrapped up, with every part of her life affected by ‘the vine’
I work as an Adolescent and Family Counsellor and I often use this piece to start a discussion about mental health issues.
V.Thompson - Adolescent & Family Counsellor, Sydney