The original version of this story was copyrighted in 2005.
Rusty was enjoying drawing vivid pictures of her
stunning iris flowers.
Suddenly, she heard her mother calling for her to come
inside while it was still light outside.
Later, during their family’s dinner conversation, the
topic-of-discussion was an upcoming event which would
help to raise money for an Irish American organization.
Each time Rusty would propose a concept, her comments
would only be slightly acknowledged.
She felt her suggestions were not being taken seriously.
Rusty wanted so much to be a part of this upcoming experience,
and began conjuring up thoughts on how she could improve
the situation by using her own imagination.
She was eager to prove that she could do something meaningful.
A few days later, the committee decided on a carnival which
would also include a bake sale, and a variety of crafts stands.
The event would hopefully raise the needed funds.
Unexpectedly, an idea quickly arose in Rusty’s thoughts.
The little girl decided not to tell anyone, as she wanted
it to be a surprise!
She began earning additional revenue by doing other
chores around their family’s suburban dwelling.
This also included saving her weekly stipends.
With the extra cash, Rusty was able to buy some of the
supplies needed for her big endeavor.
Luckily, she had enough time to plan and prepare,
for this latest venture.
“Rusty, I am curious to know what you are saving up for?”
her mother inquired.
“Sorry Mom, I cannot tell you” Rusty cheerfully replied, as
an immense grin crept across her freckled face.
Her mother then countered with a smile,
“Okay, if you need any help let me know.”
As her plan progressed, Rusty created colorful
illustrations of her beautiful irises in the form of
homemade greeting cards.
She then stopped by the only florist in town, to ask
him if he would teach her how to make corsages.
“Oh Rusty, I think it would be too daunting a task for
you to carry out alone,” he cautioned.
“But I have already started saving for it. This is going
to help raise money!” she exclaimed.
“I’ll tell you what Rusty, why don't you assist me
around the shop after school, and on Saturdays,
until the event takes place. This way, you can earn
even more money for the organization.”
He paused for a moment before continuing.
“I can donate my time. I will also be able to help you
create them. But first, I must obtain permission from
your folks,” he warned.
“Okay, but please do not tell anyone about my idea,”
Rusty politely requested.
“I won't,” the owner pledged.
Rusty ran home and asked her parents that evening.
“We will speak with Mr. Lindsey,” her father stated prudently.
After discussing the matter with the proprietor, they granted
Her mom and dad were only aware that their daughter wanted
to work at the store part-time. She still wanted her plan to
remain a surprise.
As the upcoming occasion was approaching, Rusty was
instructed to accumulate as many of her posies that she could
manage on the day of the gala.
Her mentor also requested that she collect them during the
earlier morning hours, and immediately bring them to his
Although he also volunteered to help Rusty in this regard,
she gently declined his offer.
She did not want her secret to be revealed.
Rusty assumed that her family would have become suspicious
if they noticed a grown-up helping her collect a large volume
of flowers from their property.
“Once you bring them here, we can get started right away.
I will have everything else we need prepared in advance.
This will help us to complete the corsages in less time."
He then added, “Later that day, I will then place everything in my
refrigerated truck and bring them over to the carnival. I can also
assist in setting up the booth,” he offered.
“Gee thanks!” Rusty shouted with a childlike enthusiasm.
On the morning of the festival, during the earlier hours,
Rusty amassed as many as of her favorite buds that she was
physically able to gather.
She felt a bit saddened to be removing them, but assumed
more would grow back in time.
Her twin sister Janie, had begun to suspect there was some
type of an important project in-the-works, and offered her
She tactfully refused her sibling's thoughtful gesture,
as she was determined to do it on her own.
Rusty was mindful to adhere to all the instructions she had
been given by the florist about preserving the flowers,
while preparing to take them over to his shop in her wagon.
Once she arrived, they immediately got started on their project.
Mr. Lindsey also made certain that he took all the needed measures
to care for them properly, in order to sustain their freshness.
He had decided beforehand to add some baby’s breath,
and gorgeous ribbons, to further enhance his floral masterpieces.
Each one was encased in its own translucent box tied with a
lovely bow, and offered in the form of a wristlet, or something which
could be pinned to an outfit.
He decided to donate all the other needed materials.
“The more attractively they are packaged, the more you will
be able to sell,” the merchant explained.
Rusty also assisted in making posters which she hoped would
“Thanks again for everything,” she expressed with gratitude.
“It was my pleasure to help such a dedicated girl, and a great cause,”
the kindhearted businessman replied with modesty.
As the big event neared, Rusty decided to wear her favorite
pink party frock.
“I will see you all later,” she stated to her family, as she darted
towards the door.
“Okay, we are all looking forward to seeing what you have planned,”
her father lightheartedly expressed.
Rusty had agreed to meet Mr. Lindsey at the intended destination
shortly before the festivities were scheduled to begin.
The flower expert continued to take all the necessary precautions
to keep his floral creations fresh.
He then positioned each brilliantly packaged see-through container
near the front of the table.
Their counter became a spectacular sight.
They finished setting up their stand which was closest to
the front doorway.
Although the florist had helped Rusty assemble the booth, he was
aware that she wanted to manage it alone.
He then turned to his young protégé and stated, “Rusty, if you
need anything I will be nearby, please don't hesitate to ask.”
“Thank you, but this is something I want to do all by myself,
she courteously proclaimed with a bold determination.
As the gaiety was underway, the patrons were drawn to
the unusual display.
The beauty from what they had created shimmered through
the luxurious-looking transparent boxes.
The vision ignited interest throughout the crowd.
As the exhilaration of the celebration increased, Rusty
immediately began selling her products.
Later, her family approached this bash with inquisitive
As Rusty’s immediate relatives neared the entry area, they
stood in amazement.
There was a large cluster of attendees gathered near
the front entrance.
Her family also discovered that many of the women present
were sporting spectacular corsages.
They especially noticed that the mini bouquets of lavenders, and
other shades of dazzling purples the ladies were wearing, strongly
resembled the irises from their property.
Suddenly, they saw a huge amateurishly decorated sign which stated,
“Iris corsages for sale, all proceeds will be donated to the charity.”
Although the content of the sign appeared to have been worded
by an adult, the child-like writing looked suspiciously familiar.
Another poster read, “Greeting cards are extra.”
Behind the wooden table of the stand, there was a mass of curly
orange hair flying into the air.
They then spotted a glimpse of small chubby hands taking
payments from the members of the crowd in exchange for
the items on display.
As they approached the booth, Rusty yelled out to her family.
“Hi Dad, do you want to buy a corsage for Mom?
It will look pretty with her dress.”
“Of course, I do,” her daddy declared proudly.
He then selected the most magnificent one he could find and
handed the money to Rusty.
Her father then turned towards his wife with the purchase
he had made.
“You’re still the prettiest girl here,” he complimented,
as he carefully placed the corsage onto her wrist.
Her mother was touched by her husband’s comments.
She then focused her attention to her young offspring.
“So, this is the mystery,” her mom expressed with pride,
as she admired the newly acquired gift exhibited on her arm.
“Yes, Mr. Lindsey helped me,” Rusty explained.
The youngster’s family continued to marvel at her efforts.
Then, as the swarm of consumers drew larger, they all
decided to pitch in.
Suddenly, Rusty' family was behind the counter working with her.
As the time passed, people were still gathering
around her exhibit.
At the end of the gala, everyone was astonished.
Much of the stock at Rusty's booth had been sold.
This helped to raise a considerable sum for the charity.
Rusty made a special effort to acknowledge Mr. Lindsey's
help and guidance, along with his other contributions.
Everyone seemed to be amazed at what was accomplished
from one simple concept.
Her parents gained some new wisdom that day, which
was not to underestimate a person’s abilities based on age, or
Rusty also learned an important lesson.
She had come to realize that it was okay to accept
help from others.