Amazing Kids! Magazine

My Nosy Neighbor

By Adele Ciociola, age 10, California


We all have that one person in our life, don’t we, the stereotypical “nosy neighbor”? For some of us, that person might be a friend or relative. But for me, 10-year-old Emma Leafman, it is literally a “nosy neighbor” who lives in the house directly across the street from mine.

Her name is Miss Flutternutter. Not only will she study you from afar; she will follow up with a comment about it.

That night when I finally finished the last page of my book at 10:15 and went to close my blinds, I could see Miss Flutternutter sitting at her bay window surrounded by her 37 cats, with curlers in her hair, her glasses on the bridge of her nose, peering over her book into my room. I thought to myself, “She will have a comment for me tomorrow; I’m sure of it!”

Sure enough, that morning on my way to school, she called out to me, “Honey, I don’t think a girl your age should go to bed so late.”

“Oh, thanks for the advice,” I replied but thinking to myself, Why can’t she just mind her own business?

On my way home from school that day, she waved me over and asked, “What are you going to be for Halloween?”

“Thing One, and my best friend Bella will be Thing Two,” I replied.

“Don’t you think that’s a little too young?”

I am so sick of hearing her comments, “Too late. Too young.”

I couldn’t take it any longer and lost my temper, “I’ll have you know, Thing One and Thing Two are perfectly suitable costumes for friends of any age!”

Instead of leaving it at that, I kept going. “You know, sometimes, I’d really appreciate it if you minded your own business and kept your opinions to yourself!” And I stalked off into my house, chin held high.

The next morning, I didn’t see her or her 37 cats. And the next morning, I didn’t see her or her 37 cats. And the next, and the next…I started to panic.

Why haven’t I seen her? Why hasn’t she been commenting on the things I do in my life? I thought.

All these questions were whirling around in my head, unanswered. I grabbed my fluffy, white winter coat and pink hat, laced up my winter boots, and dashed down the stairs telling my parents I’d be back shortly. I ran across the street and knocked on the door, running in place to keep the flow of blood in my veins from freezing in the cold. I heard a “click”; then the door opened. I was overcome with panic when I saw someone other than my nosy neighbor come to the door.

It was a woman with a cheery smile, sparkling eyes, jet black hair in a bob, and full-rimmed black glasses. She actually looked a little like Miss Flutternutter but half her age.

I introduced myself and asked her if I could see Miss Flutternutter.

“I am Miss Flutternutter, but I am assuming you were talking about my mother!”

“Um, yes. I would like to speak to her.”

“Oh, please call me Mia!” she said, pushing her full-rimmed black glasses farther up on her nose. “I’m sorry, but she just left this morning.”

“Well, um, Miss, I mean Mia, do you know where she went and how I might be able to contact her?”

“She should be landing in Paris in about…” She looked at her watch. “Oh! She is going to land in ten minutes! If you would like to write her a letter, I’ll make sure she gets it!”

“Great, thank you!”

I ran home, took a seat at my desk, grabbed a piece of stationery, and started scrawling out a letter.

Dear Miss Flutternutter,

I just met your daughter; she really is quite wonderful! She told me that you are currently in Paris. I’ve always wanted to go there! I’m really sorry about what I said. I didn’t mean it (well, maybe a little), but now I know that you were just trying to help! I hope you can forgive me. Also, can I ask you one question? Where are your 37 cats? I didn’t see them in your house, so the only other possibility would be that you brought them with you, but that doesn’t seem possible! Please write back, and send pictures, you know if you want to. Bye!

Yours truly,

Emma Leafman

I raced back over to Miss Flutternutter’s house, gave the letter to Mia, and asked her if she could mail it as soon as possible. Then I returned home.

Two Weeks Later

Dear Emma,

I was so pleased to get your letter! Also, I have forgiven you, not that I know what you were apologizing for in the first place, but oh, well. My cats are with me but not all 37 of them. Unfortunately, my oldest cat moved on to the beyond at the age of 24. She lived a long and happy life, and her name was Ashes. When Ashes died, I realized that it was time to get out and explore the world!

Have a good day,

Susan Flutternutter

Underneath the letter was a picture of her and all of her cats at the top of the Eiffel Tower. I chuckled to myself thinking, She sure is a crazy one!

I continued to receive postcards from her throughout my life from various exotic places around the world—Machu Picchu, the Taj Majal, Buckingham Palace, the pyramids in Egypt, the Vatican, the Greek Isles. No matter where she was, she was smiling into the camera with her 36 cats always in tow.


I, Emma Leafman, am now a “nosy neighbor” myself. After traveling the world, heavily inspired by Miss Flutternutter (who recently passed or “moved to the beyond,” as she would say), at the age of 97, I settled down in a beautiful brownstone in Brooklyn, New York. It has a huge window perfect for being “nosy.”

I was lounging in front of my window looking into a little girl’s bedroom, which had a lot of fairies flying around on the walls and had glow-in-the-dark stars hanging from the ceiling when someone knocked on my door. The knocks were quick and hard. There were six knocks making a musical pattern. I opened the door and a boy about 10 or 11 burst into my apartment, taking a seat on one of my many Peruvian poufs.

I went to go get some hot chocolate and gingerbread cookies when he said, quite a bit annoyed, “Why are you always looking into our rooms from that big window of yours, and then making comments about our lives?”

“Why not?” I calmly replied.

“Why not?” he sputtered. “Because it’s other people’s lives, NOT yours, so just stop spying on us!”

“Okay, I’ll stop observing for a week. After that, come and tell me if I can continue with my daily activities.”

I gently nudged him out the door.

I’m sure we all know how that ended… Now don’t we?



    Great Job

  2. Monica /

    Well done, Adele. I enjoyed your colorful characters and wonderful imagination. Keep writing and imagining!