“Where are the rakes?” Alex’s mother asked him. Alex, who was playing with Opaque, their dog, replied. “With dad, he’s stacking them in the yard. “What about the fall decorations??” Mother reiterated. “Probably with him ”Alex cogitated.
It was the fall season in Queenston , and there was an aura of excitement for everyone, but Alex, for his usual trip to Nonna had been cancelled due to the Mayor. The Mayor had announced, that this year, mainly for re-election, he would visit all the houses in his constituency, which included Alex’s house.“ But why!” he choked. His parents stared at him in reply. They considered it as a great honour to have the Mayor come to their house.
Alex heard his mother call his father, “James! Are the decorations with you?”. A few long moments later, he saw her walk briskly towards him, looking alarmed. “Dad doesn’t have it! , but, hadn’t we gone to the park to gather them?”. She looked anxious. “ Yes, maybe it’s in the storeroom” Alex tried to calm her down “No , I searched for it there” she replied. They began to search for it, but in vain. Alex exclaimed as he searched “It is not to be found anywhere!”.
“Alex, my sweet little son”, his mother began, “would you be a good boy and bring some leaves from the park?? ” “Sure!” He replied, with a hint of sarcasm, which his mother didn’t notice. He took Opaque and started the journey to the park.
On the way, he met Harry, his best friend. Harry asked “Hello, where are you off to with Opaque?” Alex replied “To the park, I need some leaves.” “Don’t bother, all the leaves have been taken by the pirate gang this morning. ” Harry said. “What! Every single one?” “Yeah, I had seen you take some leaves yesterday and thus I didn’t ask them to leave few, Why, is anything wrong?” “Yes, I lost the leaves.” Alex said, looking glum. Harry thought for sometime and suggested “You can have some extra leaves from your neighbours. They have few trees in their backyard”. “Yeah, I will try” Alex said. They bid farewell and went.
Alex returned home with Opaque. His parents were eagerly waiting for him near the door. They immediately asked him“Alex, where are the leaves? Is anything wrong?”. “All the leaves have been plucked” Alex said, gloomily. “Oh no! What shall we do now?” His parents exclaimed. He suddenly lit up, “We could ask the neighbours for some leaves”. They were very nice and could be asked for some leaves, but his father said it wouldn’t be right, asking neighbours for their leaves. His mom agreed, and this possibility was cut off. After a lot of deliberation and ‘you are a child, move aside’ shoos, they were left with only one thing left to do; not decorate the house, which was going against the custom in their town. This was not what they expected, as the first thing the Mayor would see would probably be the house’s decorations.
Alex was sad, and began to talk to Opaque “We have committed a big mistake” Suddenly , Alex felt a brainwave run through him, he could decorate the house all by himself! But with what? Perhaps he could use the old pieces of metal which no one used, and lay in the gardening tools shed. No, he thought, it could be treacherous, after all, they were rusted. He pondered over it for a while. Yes, he got it, the construction paper! It was found in abundance in his house, they were easy to make shapes with and couldn’t hurt him in any way(except paper cuts, which aren’t counted).
Alex went to the basement and began to search for it. He found them in a big brown box. He was delighted to find papers of different shapes and sizes. Big, small, circular and colourful. He mainly needed orange coloured paper. Opaque thought that this was a great time to begin behaving like a hungry dog. “No Opaque! It’s not food!” He would make a wreath and some pumpkins with it. He could also make a few more leaves and baskets. He took them up to his room.
Alex decided to keep it a surprise for his parents. There was one day left until the arrival of the Mayor. That would be sufficient time, but he would have to start as soon as possible. He started with the pumpkins, they were the hardest, in his opinion. After some realisations(i.e.: paper too can be a pain), he finished it. Later, he nailed (literally) the basket.
He heard his mother calling him to dress up for the holiday orientation while he was still shaping out the leaves. He went out, leaving them behind. His parents were already dressed when he reached down. He ran upstairs and slapped together a decent outfit. The headmaster, teachers and his friends were gathered at the assembly hall when they reached. It was a briefing on holiday homework and why students should utilise the time to do something different. (Yes, they do!) This enlightening speech was given by the headmaster, Mr Brown. Harry was also present, Alex took a seat next to him. He told him about his plans and asked him to keep it a secret. Alex was not listening to the speech, as he was in his room thinking of the decorations and tensed about finishing it on time. Harry suddenly pulled him, “Aren’t you listening, he is asking to make a model of the ocean currents on Earth . What is your plan?” “ My mind is going haywire. I am tensed about the decorations” Alex whispered. Harry smiled in reply.
The dull program had been shortened due to the bad weather. Thanks to the incessant rains. He enthusiastically got into his room, only to find that his decorations were missing! Where could they be? Did Opaque take it? No, his room was locked up and Opaque wasn’t smart enough to use it. He once got stuck inside the bathroom and could not come outside, and ever since, he barks at every single room with a bathroom nearby. Then, what could have happened ? Alex wondered.
He suddenly saw that the window was open. He ran down to the backyard and saw that the decorations were all lying in the rain. They were wet, soggy, in fact. He gathered and rushed to his room and left them to dry. It didn’t work. They were too damaged to be fixed. There were only a few hours left for tomorrow. He immediately started to make a fresh new set. This time, though, things went by much easier than the last time, it was done in two hours (Yes, he timed it).
He woke up early next morning. He searched for a time frame to put them up. His parents were dressing up. Alex decided to put them up on the exterior of the house just before the Mayor came. He quickly set them up and stayed normal. At least, what normal meant in this context.
His parents stood at the driveway, waiting for the Mayor. They hadn’t noticed a thing. When the Mayor arrived, he exclaimed “lovely decorations! I have never seen one like this”. “Been days since I’ve seen such beautiful decorations! Excellent! Who has done this?” Alex’s parents were confused. However they smiled. Alex suddenly said “we just thought of doing something different.” Immediately after the Mayor left the house, Alex’s parents looked backwards. They saw an astonishing sight. Fall decorations! They ran and hugged him. His mom planted a kiss on his cheek. They were really proud of him. He was very happy, and so were his parents. As a gift, they went to Nonna’s house as planned.