Pictured is Principal Chris Frazier holding the moss balls, Peat and Sage, in front of a statue of Benjamin Franklin. Roughly five months after their big transition to living at Franklin, Peat and Sage are thriving. Photo by Lucy Eckel.

Peat: Hi, my name is Peat! I’m a marimo moss ball, which is basically just a small ball of moss. As moss balls, we grow roughly one millimeter per year and can live for over a century. On February 9, 2021, Ella and Lucy adopted me and my best friend Sage. Ella took Sage to her house and I went with Lucy to my new home. At the time, I lived on her bookshelf in a roomy tank with some white rocks. Let’s just say my home has improved greatly since then. When I lived with Lucy, Sage and I hung out a few times together with Ella and Lucy. We went on big adventures to Mt. Tabor, played in the snow, and indulged in the finer things in life such as face masks, movie nights, and tea. Over time we got lonely and were ready for a change.

Sage: September was a big month for Peat and I. School season had arrived and it was time to pack up our belongings and journey over to our new home: Franklin High School. It was early Thursday morning when Ella woke me up and placed me in my car seat, AKA a mason jar. The next thing I knew, we had arrived in an unfamiliar environment, which I later found out was school. Before Ella had to go to class, she dropped me off at my new cozy home, located in the M-219 neighborhood. To my surprise, Peat was there waiting for me! Lucy and Ella had arranged for us to start living together.  

After a few weeks of living together, we needed a deep clean day. We had made a huge mess of our new home. We had some help getting organized and back into a happy and healthy environment from our good friends Lucy and Ella. It was a long and tiring process, but by the end, it was worth it. We swept, mopped, and dusted. Once our home was nice and clean we couldn’t help but notice how empty and boring it was. We quickly came up with a solution: decorations! First we got new flooring, replacing our old shaggy carpet with a new elegant stone pattern. Next we installed a playground so we could have fun while Lucy and Ella were off learning about the mitochondria being the powerhouse of the cell. The design of the playground is a castle. Lastly, back in December we were feeling awfully jolly and wanted to decorate for the holidays. Since we celebrate different winter holidays, we had to come up with a wintery decoration that wasn’t specific to one holiday. After much discussion we decided on a snowman. 

Just a few weeks ago, what we thought was supposed to be a normal school week filled with students and teachers roaming the halls, turned into complete silence and pitch black classrooms. It was official: Peat’s and my first week alone. At first we were scared. It felt like we were being forgotten about, but as the week went on we came up with some fun activities to do. With no supervision, we were able to do whatever we wanted. This included being able to roam the halls whenever we wanted and raiding the cafeteria for any food we might have been craving. Although Peat and I ended up having fun, it’s safe to say we were very happy to see familiar faces back in the building in the following week. 

Peat: We all know February is the month of love, with Valentine’s Day being the center of it all. This was a month full of love for Sage and I. Wait, I know what you’re thinking, ‘Sage and Peat…are they a couple now?’ Well, don’t get ahead of yourself; this was a month full of love for ourselves! As much as we love each other, we’re just friends and we spent February taking care of our mental health. We spent the month of love with candles burning, reading books and doing some mindfulness exercises. Sage and I even got to lay out in the rain for the first time. Lucy and Ella always talk about how the rain is the best, but Sage and I never really understood what they were talking about. It was a relatively light rain, nothing too crazy, and it wasn’t too cold either. We laid outside in our little home together and soaked it all in. The way it fell and rippled in the water of our home and dripped down the walls was beautiful and unforgettable. One day, Sage and I even had a dance party with Lucy and Ella! We listened to music, moved around in the water and had a blast. 

Sage: Peat and I both turned one year old on February 9, 2022. It was a lovely Wednesday when we woke up to the birds singing to us. We immediately jumped out of bed and brushed our teeth, waiting patiently for Ella and Lucy to arrive for our birthday bash. As soon as they walked in the door we started the festivities. The party was everything you could wish for, with cake, music, and gifts! Peat and I took turns opening our presents. Peat got an awesome new hat while I received a new pair of clip-on earrings, (Ella says I have to wait till I’m at least three to get my ears pierced.) Before we knew it the day was over and Ella and Lucy were putting us to bed. I noticed tears forming in their eyes; they were so proud of the moss balls Peat and I had turned into. 

Lucy & Ella: It’s been a crazy roller coaster of a year since we got Peat and Sage. We went from being sophomores to juniors, we went back to in-person school, Peat and Sage moved to Franklin, and they turned one! When we got Peat and Sage, we had no idea how important they would become in our lives; we just wanted some COVID buddies while we were home alone. Little did we know our love for our small, round, green friends would blossom into what it is today. Peat and Sage are noticeably happier now that they’re living together; they get to learn new things, meet new people and make new friends every day in class. Peat and Sage have been sharing the joy and light they bring to this world with the Franklin community every day. If you haven’t met them yet, feel free to say hi through the M-219 window, they are always there!