Photo by Nathan Dumlao on Unsplash

Kendra handed her neighbor, Irene, a pair of gardening shears, handles first, over the garden fence, then screamed.

“What are you screaming about?”

“You … you’re naked! I can not unsee that.” Kendra covered her eyes.

“It’s World Naked Gardening Day, and I’m in my own private yard. It’s liberating. You should try it.”

There’s a day on the calendar for everything! “Uh … no, no thanks. I’m good over here. Carry on.”

Before long, Kendra hears a kerfuffle, then a scream.

“Why are you screaming?”

“Bees! Bees! The whole hive is after me!”

© Susan Joy Clark 2021


This silly little story was told for The Carrot Ranch Literary Society‘s Flash Fiction Challenge, with a World Naked Gardening Day theme, in only 99 words. It was a challenge to tell my little story in such few words. 😛

Just some additional thoughts …

I do know some people who are attracted to the naturist lifestyle, so I had previously given the subject a lot of thought. My primary concern is with decency and modesty, but even in situations where that is not a concern, where a single person is alone or just with a spouse, I still have concerns about sanitation and protection from the elements. It just seems the body will be much more vulnerable to a number of things such as sun, harmful insects or harmful plants. I can see things going wrong in so many ways. I could have had quite a story with a few more words I think. 😛

I looked up World Naked Gardening Day on Wikipedia and read this quote, “Beyond body positivity, Corky Stanton of Clothes Free International, an organization that promotes nude recreation, has asserted that the event offers the ‘fringe benefits of bare, unabashed recreation: the satisfaction of exercising in the great outdoors; the attractiveness of an all-over tan; more Vitamin D on your whole body; the unbeatable experience of skinny-dipping if the naturist event involves a beach or a lake.'”

As an extremely fair-skinned person, an ‘overall tan’ was not my first thought. Instead, I’m imagining sunburn in places I would never had thought of.

I’ve read a number of true life accounts of both prisoners of war and political prisoners, and it seems that depriving a prisoner of clothing was often a punishment/torture. Many of you will remember a scene from Schindler’s List where the prisoners were made to exercise nude in the courtyard. Perhaps, humiliation of the prisoner is part of the motivation behind that, but I think it is also the removal of that protective covering from the cold, sun or other harm. In one account, I read about a POW captured in a tropical climate who was made to sleep nude in the jungle with no mosquito net, and you can just imagine what happened to him. My story may be silly, but I had these other more serious thoughts as well.