I love how Hayden, Natalie, and Sabrina all chose the same squiggle line, but turned them into completely different pictures!
The Creepy Forest, by Hayden (1st grade)
Once upon a time, there was a little girl in a magical creepy forest. She found a 3 leaf clover. She got lost. She went the wrong way. Then she got eaten.
The Elephant Parade, by Natalie (2nd grade)
Once upon a time, on a beautiful afternoon at the carnival, during the elephant parade, a little boy was riding an elephant. It was the opening act. Then, he fell off the elephant! The boy broke his arm, but he was okay.
Christmas Night, by Sabrina (3rd grade)
On Christmas Night, Santa Claus and Rudolph are about to leave the North Pole so Santa can deliver his presents. But when he delivers his presents, he goes the wrong way and gets lost in a humungous forest!
Luckily, Rudolph saves the day and finds the next house that needs presents!
After the last house, Santa Claus is so tired. I bet that Rudolph is tired also. When Santa and Rudolph come back home, they both eat two cookies with milk and take a long nap (which really turned into sleep) and they are so happy to be back home in the North Pole.
Get your kleenex ready... this is a tear-jerker! By Amelia (4th grade)
Once in a land far far away, where the summers are tropical and the winters are arctical, there was a parrot named Felicia. She was a carrier parrot (yes, I am sure I meant parrot) during the summer and there was nothing she liked doing more than gliding over the beach with an important message from the mayor in her claws. True, her trainer was quite hard on her, making her carry message from the moment the sun came up to well into the night, but she could forgive him for that. Felicia always told herself that he was just stressed, but she had never seen how cruel he could be in the winter. Right after the first snowfall, her trainer took her outside and set her on a small branch nailed to a pole.
"We'll be needing the birdhouse for warmth," he grunted, and without warning whipped out a length of gold chain and bound Felicia to the pole. The poor parrot squawked in protest, but the burly figure of her trainer was already disappearing into the thick morning fog.
A few minutes later, Felicia saw the trainer through the window holding her birdhouse. He struck a match and lit the house on fire, before throwing it into the fireplace. Felicia tried to scream, but she realized that her beak was already frozen closed.
Days passed. Icicles formed on Felicia's once silky smooth feathers. Every breath came slower than the last. Just as she was about to lose all hope, Felicia saw a hazy silhouette staggering toward her. Suddenly, her breathing became easier. Silently, she thanked the heavens for bestowing this miracle upon her. Finally, the girl arrived at the pole. With great difficulty, she pulled out a knife, and cut Felicia free. It seemed like hours before they arrived at a small cottage.
"Alicia!" cried a voice. A tall lady stepped out. "Where were you? We were so worried."
"But, but.... Mother," the girl named Alicia said, "I couldn't let the pp-pparrot freeze to dd-death."
Upon seeing Felicia, Alicia's mother's expression softened. "All right," she said. "Bring her in."
Soon Felicia was thawing out next to the hearth. Alicia was beside her, still shivering from the cold. That night, Alicia's family ate a feast, and for the first time in her life, Felicia felt genuinely contented. She wondered if this was what it was like to have a caring owner.
As she settled down to sleep, Felicia thought that her life from now on was going to be flawless. But as Felicia had to learn, not every story was a fairy tale with a happily-ever-after.
The next morning, Alicia woke up with a raging fever. The doctor said that it was just an aftershock of Alicia's long journey through the blizzard, but the whole family was still worried. Felicia felt burdened with a newly awakened guilt. She didn't want someone to risk their health (or life) to save her.
Winter gave way to spring, and soon the temperature would warm up. Alicia still didn't get better. She rarely got out of bed.
One day, she didn't wake. Her family stood by her bedside. Felicia flew down from her new birdhouse and perched mournfully on her night stand. Alicia woke briefly to smile at the beautiful parrot, then closed her clear blue eyes forever.
Felicia stretched her wings out as she soared through the cloud. This time, though, she wasn't delivering a message. In her claws was a bouquet of pink carnations. She landed in the graveyard, and looked for the grave with the parrot carved on to it. Felicia snatched the old withering flowers, and pecked at them. Then, she carefully laid the new carnations at the foot of the grave, dusted the slate of stone, and flew off.
Roxy and Sammy, By Talya (5th grade)
"Arf! Are!" Sammy the dog barked as the girl filled her and Roxy's bowls.
After about ten seconds, their bowls were full and then she headed out the door. Roxy and Sammy both stared at their bowls. Like the predators from those cartoons, they stared at their food eagerly, their mouths watering.
Only then, when they decided to eat their food, did they notice their bowls moving slightly toward the crack in the wall.
Sammy tilted her head as Roxy pawed it a little.
"Why is my bowl walking?" they both thought anxiously.
As they stepped off the carpet, Roxy looked under her bright pink bowl to see three tiny little black specks.
Sammy trotted in front of the bowls and sniffed the underside of them. Then, she picked up her paw and kicked it. She expected the tiny black dots to get squished under the impact, but the ants only stumbled backwards.
And just as quickly as Sammy kicked them, the ants darted off in the other direction with their food! Sammy and Roxy sprinted right after them without hesitation. However, the dogs didn't notice the ants stop and go towards them.
The bowls of food started moving under the dogs and back to the cracks in the wall.
The dogs were going so fast that when they tried to stop, they slipped on the sleek wooden floor.
The ants had a big head start, and were running straight towards the crack. If they made it, the dogs would have no breakfast!
The good thing was, dogs are much faster, so they had the advantage.
Sammy dived right at the ants, just as they reached the crack, but it was too late..... for the ants. When Sammy had dived for the ants, her mouth was wide open. She may have swallowed a few. The rest, she accidentally breathed into her nose, which led to a lot of sneezing.
But it was all worth it because they still got their food in the end!
River & Tree, by Flo (6th grade)
A long time ago, in a place far, far away from humans stood a beautiful tree named Aurora. Next to the tree flowed a stunning river named August. This is their story.
August and Aurora lived in between thirteen hills and a forest. August was born from mountain-top snow melting and trickling into a dry ravine. Aurora was born from seeds of another tree in the forest, Elora. As children of the Hills and Forest, they should have been mortal enemies. But August and Aurora, by fate’s twisted hand, fell in love.
It began one day when the sky was stormy and the wind fierce. A sharp gust of wind blew Aurora away from the Forest and toward August, who was racing faster than ever before. August, always the friendly one, greeted her.
“Hello! I’m August, who might you be?”
While August knew not to talk to the evil trees of the Forest, as the elder mountains had said, something had changed on that particular day.
“Oh! Uh, I’m Aurora. Aren’t you a … mountain river?”
Aurora didn’t mean to be rude, but she was brought up to know that all mountains were strict and detested fun. They were definitely not supposed to be polite.
“Yes, technically, although I couldn’t be more different than the Elders, or my cousins,” replied August.
Aurora responded without a thought, for if she had pondered her statemeant she would never have uttered it.
“Good. Me too.”
The rest of the day was spent talking of their parents’ rules, how little freedom they were given, and how much they wished they were free to do whatever they wanted, live with whomever they loved.
But alas, all good things must come to an end, followed perhaps by something less pleasant.
At the storm’s end, another gust of wind blew Aurora back to her original position leaning towards the forest, and their first encounter ended.
That night, both August and Aurora faced the wrath of the Elders.
“August!” bellowed the Mountain from which August was born, “How dare you fraternize with a child of the Forest!”
“Aurora, you will never speak to or think about that Mountain river ever again!” commanded the nearest Elder.
However, that night, regardless of their superiors’ instructions, August and Aurora pondered their encounter. Neither could remember a time when they met a kindred spirit, another who felt oppressed by their clan, and when they had fallen in love so quickly. But alas, they would never see each other again...or so they thought.
When the sun again rose over the mountains, Elora, Aurora’s mother, beckoned to her daughter, and Aurora braced herself for more reprimands. Yet, that was not what she received.
“Aurora, please listen to me, I have-”
“Mother, please don’t tell me never to see August again, I know,”
“No, you don’t. Listen to me: I was just like you once, I once loved a smaller Mountain, and I gave him up, but you mustn’t give your love up. She really belongs with you. Now, I know you must be shocked, but I needed to tell you about my past.”
For a moment, all Aurora could do was stare at her mother; but, after the moment had passed, all the young child of the forest could say was, “Thank you.”
This was the last time Aurora talked to her mother.
That night, a storm struck. In fact, it was the worst storm Nature had ever seen. The Wind ripped through the Forest with more violence than ever before. Even the mightiest Mountain felt the great force of the rain on its slopes. Forest and Mountain alike were praying only to see a clear blue sky once more.
Aurora, however, was calm, even content. The Wind was pushing her more and more toward her love with every howl. And then, suddenly, it happened. Aurora’s roots were ripped from the ground, and she fell. Fell all the way into August’s arms, where she belonged. And so, as the storm began to fade, Aurora’s fruit fell into August’s soil, and overtime, new life arose, which we would now call seaweed.
This is the story of how two young wonders of nature in love brought new life to this world, new peace to their families, and a new understanding of just how big a difference love can make.