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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Outbreak (04/07/11)

TITLE: the smile
By diana kay


Jemima Grump lived all alone in a great big house with a great big garage and seven great big bedrooms. There was a green room, a pink room, a blue room, a yellow room, a brown room, a spotted room and a striped room. Jemima was so grumpy that no one else wanted to live with her. She grumped from the moment she got out of bed, all through the day till night time. In fact she didn’t even stop when she was asleep because she had grumpy dreams.

You might think Jemima Grump was happy with being grumpy because she did it so much, but the truth was that she was stuck with it and she was not happy at all. She was a very unhappy grump.

On Mondays she tried the green room.

“This bed is too lumpy”, she said “I will try the pink room tomorrow.”

On Tuesday she used the pink room.

“This bed is too soft”, she said “I will try blue room tomorrow.” So it went on right through the week, grump, grump, grump.

At breakfast time she had the choice of seven different cereals, but she grumped about them all.

“Too crunchy, too sweet, too chocolaty, not sweet enough.”

No wonder no one liked her. She was never satisfied.

One sunny Monday in April, Jemima went to the garage to get one of her seven cars. Oh yes, she had seven cars and she was not happy with any of them. She got grumpily into the red car, backed grumpily down the drive, thinking grumpy thoughts as she drove one of the seven different routes into town.

“I knew that the traffic light would be red”, she said grumpily at the road junction.

“I knew I would not find a parking space near the shop”, she said grumpily as she got to the car park.

Jemima Grump grumped and clumped round the shop thumping things into her shopping trolley, her face like a dark thundercloud and her brows knitted together in a permanent scowl.

The shop assistants all knew Jemima Grump because she was the grumpiest person they had ever met. They would scurry away to hide when she came through their shop and would desperately hope she would not chose their check out queue.

That Monday there was a new checkout assistant. Her name was Miss Little
Sunshine. She was very happy with her new job, smiled at every customer,
said, “Have a Nice Day”, and really meant it.

The other shop assistants giggled when Jemima Grump went to Miss Sunshine’s checkout and breathed a sigh of relief that it was not their turn to be grumped at today.

Miss Little Sunshine did not seem to notice the grumpy look on Jemima’s face or the grumpy clumpy way she thumped the goods down at the checkout till. She smiled brightly and said, “Isn’t it a beautiful day?”

Jemima scowled and said, “Huh! No it is a horrible day.”

“Oh I am sorry to hear that. Is there anything I can do to help? Would you like any assistance with your packing or carrying your shopping to the car?”

Jemima Grump was so surprised at the kind and friendly tone that she looked curiously at Miss Little Sunshine. “Huh! Are you new here?“

“Yes, I am and I am so glad to meet you. I am really enjoying my job.”

As Jemima Grump looked some more at Miss Sunshine looking so happy and bright, she let her scowl relax just a little. It seemed like the sun was breaking through the dark thunderclouds and just a tiny little chink of light began to penetrate through into Jemima’s grumpy, grumpy soul.

Then the other checkout girls saw something they had never ever seen before, the corners of Jemima Grump's mouth were turning up ever so slightly and there was a hint of a teeny tiny smile breaking out.

Miss Little Sunshine carried Jemima’s shopping to the car.

“What a lovely red car you have”, she said.

“Well, yes, maybe it is”, said Jemima Grump.

“I hope to see you again soon.”

“Well, yes, maybe you will.”

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This article has been read 583 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Helen Curtis04/14/11
I loved this story! Very simple and yet very powerful, too. I will certainly remember this if (when!) I am becoming a "Jemima Grump" :-)
Ekua Bartlett-Mingle04/15/11
That's an interesting piece. The message is simple yet powerful
Mildred Sheldon04/15/11
What a lovely story. I have a bubbly personality and I laugh, smle and say hello to strangers and they respond in kind. I loved how you bought Ms Grump and Miss Sunshine together. Thanks for sharing.
Cris Cramer04/16/11
Gorgeously well done. I'd love to see this story illustrated, and to read it to my niece and nephew!
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 04/16/11
I love this delightful children's story-I could easily picture the pictures that would go with each scene. Although normally repeating the word over and over is distracting. But for a picture book it is perfect as it brings the Child into the story and she can help "read " along. Nice job.
Kathleen Langridge04/17/11
It made me smile and think of our cat, Saulite. Her name means 'Little Sunshine' in Latvian. Simply and clearly told a great candidate for an illustrated book. Loved the number symbolism.
Debra Hindman04/20/11
Lovely! I'll remember this one in the "grumpy" moments.
Lillian Rhoades 04/20/11
You did a super job with this children's story with, I might add, an message for adults as well. I could see this turning into a Seuss type publication...Jemima Grump thumped to her red car got in,and sat on her rump ... rump Maybe not:-0 You illustrated in no uncertian terms what a simple smile can do. Thanks!
Noel Mitaxa 04/22/11
Beautifully descriptive style that carries a great sense of fun and suspense. It has all the hallmarks of a children's series - a "Miss" Men (?) - unless Roger Hargreaves "Suess" you for muscling in on his territory. Very enjoyable read.
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 04/26/11
Congratulations for placing 7th in level two!