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Grace Furnari
11/7/2012 10:01:38 am

11/7/2012 10:31:58 am

Little Red Riding Blood Cell
The fresh smell of oatmeal raisin, chocolate chip, and even cinnamon cookies fill the air. I fly down the stairs to find the source of the delightful fragrance. I find my mother baking cookies of all sorts. “Today’s the day!” she chants. Then I realize today I’m delivering some of those addicting treats to my grandma! “Now go get dressed Erythro! You have a long journey ahead of you!” My real name is Erythrocyte, but most people call me Little Red. My family calls me Erythro, though.
As I dress myself, my mind is busy and thinking of the journey. I can’t wait to see the look on Grandma’s face! She could really use some sweets so she forgets that she is ill. Then, I realize that grandma would like something to drink! I head to the refrigerator and I seize the bottle of oxygen. Then I grab my basket full of the pastries, hop on my bike, and I pedal away. I started in the right atrium, but I really live in the right ventricle. In the distance, I hear my mother yell, “Do not talk to strangers and stay on the path!” “Yes ma’am!” I holler back. I lose her image as my eyes meet with go the tricuspid valve.
I pedal with great speed as I acknowledge the hellos and goodbyes. My Grandma lives in a cottage where the land is called, ‘Thumb’. It is a very unusual name to me, because I have no idea what a “thumb” is. Alas, I am young and what am I to know about my surroundings? I go through the pulmonary artery, and then through a valve. Down the bronchioles and to the Alveoli Market I go. I collect some more bottles of oxygen for my mother when I get back home. I visit Capillary while I’m there and she gives me some pastries for my grandma. After that I go to the veins, and then through the pulmonary vein and then head on along the left atrium, which is not only next to the left ventricle, but is neighbors with my neighborhood. I pass my favorite restaurant called, “Aorta Eat This”. It serves the best O2 pizza in the history of pizza! So, I start to slow my pace, because of the delicious smells, and, I do have all day, after all.
The aorta is letting me go through smoothly. I head a little deeper into the arm along the arteries until I come across a mysterious creature that is much larger than I. “Where are you going with those delicious pastries?” he asked. I gesture his size and voice, then I realize he is known as “Carbon Dioxide”. We see them all the time around the right atrium, but I have never seen one outside of it. “To my Grandma’s.” I get out. “Hmmm. I know a shortcut off of this blood stream. It will be a lot—quicker.” I think about it, and then I reply, “Okay.” He gives me directions, and I follow them just as he said. The way the Carbon Dioxide didn’t feel as if I was getting anywhere quicker, but it felt longer.
After a while, I finally get to the land of the “Thumb”, and I find my Grandma’s cottage. I knock three times, then someone answers, “Who is it?” “It’s Erythro!” I retort. “The door is unlocked, Red!” I turn the nob and the door creaks open. I head to Grandma’s bedroom, and I see her in her bed--except, she looks a lot bigger.
“You have grown since the last time I saw you.”
“Time flies, Red.”
“You don’t look the same, Grandma. Remove your blankets so that I may see you face.”
“No, no. That won’t be necessary.”
“I’ll do it for you.”
With that, I slipped the blankets away. It wasn’t my Grandma who was under the blankets, though. It was the Carbon! “I told you that was not necessary!” he growled. The Carbon lunged at me and pinned me to the ground. Then, something sucked the Carbon away. The place that we live in doesn’t like Carbon Dioxide, so it gets rid of it. I open the closet, and there is my weak, old Grandma with her hands tied and her mouth taped. I release her hands and mouth and we enjoy a meal together. It is evening, and we say our goodbyes and I went back to the right atrium through the superior vena cava. I find my mom standing at the interior vena cava, waiting for something. Then she turns around and runs right at me greeting me with hugs and kisses. “So, how’d it go?” she asks. Then I simply say, “It was a piece of cake.”

Lauren Gilbertsen
11/7/2012 10:45:54 am

Rudolph the Red Blood Cell
Hey guys! My name is Rudolph! My name may sound cute and cuddly like the dumb reindeer on the movie, but I am the roughest, toughest Red Blood Cell you will ever meet! I am much better than all the rest of 'em! My lifetime job starts in the Bone Marrow (where I am born). This annoying job of mine is to travel through the body, and carry oxygen to different parts of the body. My first stop of my never ending, full-time job is at the Right Atrium. The Right Atrium is where a group of red blood cells first enters the heart. My next stop is at the Right Ventricle. The Right Ventricle is my favorite place to go to because it sends me through the Pulmonary Arteries, to the Lungs, which gives me more oxygen. I trade Carbon Dioxide (a harmful gas) for oxygen; the body exhales the Carbon Dioxide. This exchange of gases happens in the Lungs’ tiny air sacs called Alveoli. After I go to the Lungs, I go through the Pulmonary Veins to the Left Atrium. I get into the Left Atrium by going through a valve that opens and closes like a door. The Left Atrium is where I go because I am oxygenated. My circulation job is about half way done with by now, but, I have to circulate 39 million more times in a year! Anyways, the Left Ventricle is next in the Circulatory System. When I am done visiting the Left Ventricle I then go through the Aorta to the rest of the body, while traveling through the Blood Vessels and Capillaries (Capillaries are very thin and branch off from the Blood Vessels). I think of the Blood Vessels as large highways. There are so many different ways to go, and it is very congested. If you are a smart Red Blood Cell like me, you will go before rush hour, and get ahead of the job. Did you know that there are 5 million of me in one drop of blood? The others aren’t as cool though! I continue to go through the rest of the body to give the muscles the oxygen I got from the Lungs. I have a little fun traveling through the entire body because there are so many twists and turns! I am still not done yet though. Ugh! What a long day it is! When I go towards the bottom of my body, I come up through the Inferior Vena Cava to get back to the heart. However, if I go to the upper body, like the arm, I enter the heart again through the Superior Vena Cava. What I just described is only one circulation; I circulate 100,000 times in a day! It may seem as if I hate my job, but I like it a little. Mainly because, if the body didn’t have me, it wouldn’t survive! Just as Santa needs Rudolph (the reindeer), your body needs Red Blood Cells!


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