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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Illustrate the meaning of “Don’t Try to Walk before You Can Crawl” (without using the actual phrase or literal example). (01/17/08)

TITLE: Maxed Out
By Lyn Churchyard
01/20/08


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Sarah smiled to herself as she made her way home from the shops hugging her parcel. She knew exactly what she was going to do. She had planned it all so carefully.

Her father had started a new job as head chef at Banyan’s Restaurant after they had moved from Melbourne to Perth a month earlier. Just the two of them - Max and Sarah - starting a new life after Sarah’s mother had been killed in a car accident.

“Just unpack the two biggest boxes.” Her father had said as he headed out the door that morning. “Then you can go for a swim.” The apartment block had its own heated indoor pool, complete with a swipe card for the security entrance to avoid any unwelcome visitors.

But the boxes could wait. Sarah had much more important things to do. It was the first day of winter school vacation, and this was her big chance to show her father how responsible and helpful she could be.

But somehow, it had all gone terribly wrong and she looked in horror as the thick glutinous mass seemed to grow larger and larger. “This can’t be happening!” she thought frantically as the river of liquid inched slowly towards her.

“I’m home.”

Sarah looked around as her father came into the kitchen and gasped in shock as a blob of potato and leek soup dropped from the ceiling and ran down his neck.

“Sarah, what happened?”

The look of disbelief on her father’s face was more than Sarah could bare and she burst into tears. “I don’t know what went wrong. I followed the directions. It said to add a tub of corn flour but...”

Max looked at the recipe. “Sarah, it says 1 Tab of corn flour; that means 1 tablespoon, not 1 tub.” Then he picked up the plastic container from the bench and read the label – CARBONATE OF SODA.

“Sarah, this is carbonate of soda.” It was all Max could do not to laugh. “You’ve just made yourself a small volcano.”

Sarah looked miserable. “It started overflowing onto the stove and when I picked up the pot I dropped it and it went everywhere and...”

Max looked up as another blob of soup dripped down on his head. “Including the ceiling it would appear.”

“I wanted everything to be just perfect for you.” Sarah said as tears rolled down her cheeks, “I wanted to cook dinner and surprise you.”

“Oh honey, I know you did!” said her father kissing the top of her head. “But for now, why don’t we just clean up this little mess and go out to dinner. Then on Saturday, we’ll start those cooking lessons with something a little simpler.”


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This article has been read 735 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Cheryl Martin01/24/08
I really enjoyed your story. It is true to the topic and delightful to read. What a great dad. Haven't we all experienced this in our own young lives. You made me smile. Thanks. I look forward to more of your stories.
Carol Shaffron01/24/08
How wonderful! This made me laugh. It's a lovely story of how a simple situation can turn out upside down. Poor child. But still a lot of fun to read.
Joshua Janoski01/26/08
This reminded me of all the many silly mistakes that I have made. It's good that she had an understanding father. Nice story!
Yvonne Blake 01/28/08
Crazy! I had a pressure blow the top and had a pea soup mess like this!
It might have helped to give us an idea of the girl's age.
Good job...keep writing.
Joy Faire Stewart01/29/08
This is a delightful read and love the touches of humor. I too, would like to know the MC's age. Excellent example on topic.
James Dixon01/29/08
A lesson with smiles. Good job.
LauraLee Shaw01/29/08
Awesome example of the topic. I agree with the comment above that I would have LOVED to know the age of the little chef. Your title is so creative, too!
Temple Miller01/30/08
Great application of the proverb in an enjoyable read. Well done!
Sara Harricharan 01/30/08
Aw! What a tender father-daughter moment! I could identify with this darling little girl who wanted to surprise her dad with a good dinner-the tub/tab was hilarious! Good job. ^_^
Dee Yoder 01/30/08
Fabulous! I really enjoyed reading this tender little dad/ daughter story. What I like is the conversations (very natural), the characterizations, and the setting descriptions (enough details to fill me in without a lot of text). Great story and right on topic!
Peter Stone02/01/08
That was most amusing - accidentally recreating a popular science experiment rather than dinner! And so great to see another Aussie writer frequenting the Writing Challenge.