Have You Ever Seen Anything Like It?

by Abigail Rudibaugh

In 5th grade Art class
our new project was
to make clay food.
The teacher asked
it to be life-like.

But at home I saw
a pile of clay berries
shiny and perfect
sitting on the sill
above the sink.

So I decided to make
a giant strawberry—
different than all the rest—
as a surprise gift
to the collection.

I didn’t know the teacher
would use me as an example
of what not to do
for years after, asking,
“Have you ever seen
a strawberry this size?”
I didn’t know 5th grade
would give me the lowest
grade I’d ever get in Art.

I didn’t know how embarrassed
I’d feel for taking a risk
and smiling proud as I turned
my project into the kiln
thinking how creative I had been.

And I didn’t know how long
my mom would keep
that giant strawberry on the sill
proud and asking, “Have you
ever seen anything like it?”

Join the Conversation


  1. Love this one! It’s true how some of those moments stick with us forever…and become part of our definition.

  2. Love the repetition: “I didn’t know” and how much a mother’s love can turn everything right-side-up again.

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