Don't forget! From now through November 26, 2014 you can earn chances to win a copy of one of my books. See Blogoversary #6
Confirmed entries to date: 3

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Winners of the Essay Contest

Everyone was a winner! There were four entries and six awards, so anyone who entered gets to choose a gift. The only question is the order in which the entrants get to make their selection. Here is the picture that was to inspire a story of 300-600 words.

old woman watching baby

The stories were judged by members of the writers' group that I've been attending. The stories were judged on their appeal, not perfect English or mechanics, although none of the entries was poorly written.

First place goes to: John Lottery. His story will be featured today.

Second place goes to: Ivy.

Third place goes to: Canadian Doomer, a new blog friend whose real name I don't even know yet!

Fourth place goes to: Chuck. (Sorry, buddy- but somebody had to be fourth)

The Photograph

Perhaps the earliest memory that I can remember is playing in the grass on a warm spring day. Grandmother had packed a picnic lunch for the two of us and we pretended to be visiting the Park As we walked out of the house, I saw a butterfly zigzagging aimlessly just above the grass. I ran down the steps and followed the critter around the house. Round and round we went, as if the monarch led me on a leash.

Grandmother watched in absolute amusement. She placed her chair at the foot of the steps and listened to my childish giggles. As if on cue, the butterfly alit on a dandelion just feet away from Grandma. I quietly tiptoed to where it twitched its wings, careful not to scare it away. Then, I slowly sat down and spread my legs. Oh, how I wished I could fly.

Living in a small Michigan town, we knew there was rarely any traffic. Occasionally a neighbor would peek out the windows or shake out a rag. But no distractions would interrupt my imagination.

The winter was harsh, but the three feet high snow had finally melted. The grass was turning green and had the fresh cut smell. My sisters were in school and wouldn't be home until 3. Mother worked in the dress factory and would walk home with the women at 4pm. So it was left to Grandmother to be my babysitter, playmate, and friend until I was old enough to go to school.

Easter was around the corner and I hoped that the butterfly would lead me to the Easter bunny. Oh, what a day, sitting in the sun watching the magnificent orange winged creature that I believed to be an angel.

Grandmother handed me a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. I took a bite and offered it to my friend She flapped her wings and instantly flew onto my nose. It tickled my cheeks and I started to giggle. But the butterfly didn't move.

Watching me play, Mrs. B walked out of her house and crouched on the sidewalk. "Smile" she said and clicked the trigger of her Brownie Instamatic camera. Just then, a gust of wind blew across the yard and the butterfly was gone. Higher and higher it went until I could see it no more. Oh how I cried after I lost my dear friend. For the next few days, I would search for this bug inside and out, but could not find it anywhere.

Alas, Mrs B came to my rescue. She had her pictures developed and had a present for me. It was the photograph of me, sitting on the grass with the butterfly on my nose. Grandmother was behind me, pleasantly smiling.

Though 80 years have passed, I always sit in the grass, clutching my photograph and waiting my turn for the butterfly to return and carry me into the heavens of eternity.


John: Go to More about the contest and claim your prize.



9 comments:

Emma Springfield said...

Lovely story. Definitely worthy of first prize.

RNSANE said...

A perfect story, of a child's happiness over a perfect butterfly.

spinninglovelydays said...

I'm so happy! I can't believe I came in second! Thanks, Sharkbytes!

This is a wonderful story, btw. Congrats to John Lottery!

Karen and Gerard said...

Good pick for first place! Heartwarming little story.

Ann said...

I procrastinated to long and never got to writing the story. drats.
This is a good one though and deserving of first place.

Canadian Doomer said...

Oh, hey, I won! :D I entered the contest because it looked fun, not to win anything.

I'm afraid my story will be gloomy and depressing, but you have to realize that I'm well-named - I'm a doomer.

Everyone calls me C.D. Honestly, no one online knows my real name.

Sharkbytes (TM) said...

Emma- Thanks for reading and letting John know you like it!

Carmen- It's interesting in that it's from the child's perspective

Ivy- I'm glad you're glad! I'm glad I said I wouldn't be the judge.

Karen- there still is a touch of sweetness in the world!

Ann- I'm sorry you didn't get an entry in, but thanks for reading.

CD- CD it is then! Each story took a different attitude. The variety is good!

www.thelastnut.com said...

What a charming story! I loved the picture....it really struck a heartwarming chord.

Jean said...

Great pick for first place! Congrats to you John.:)

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