Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Fulfillment (04/06/06)
TITLE: The Little Pencil
By Elizabeth Budd
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Everyday, when the author sat down to write, she felt a sense of anticipation. Maybe today the writer would reach for her! Maybe today she would be taken out of her resting place! Day after day, other pencils would be chosen and used and placed back. She watched them grow smaller each day, sometimes being returned with strange, pointy hats on their heads. She would sigh and gaze at them with longing and wonder. What a wonderful thing to be held in the hand of the author!
So she continued to lie quietly in her place, waiting, until one day the author reached for her. Oh, she was excited! She was finally going to be held! Ouch! She had no idea how much sharpening would hurt!
The writer held her firmly, sometimes pushing her along blue lines on a white background, sometimes chewing on her long slim body, sometimes merely dangling her in mid-air. The pencil also spent a lot of time on her head, being scraped back and forth along those same blue lines, and then flipped over and pushed along them again. She didn’t like being chewed on or sharpened, but these things seemed to be a big part of being used by the author.
How the young pencil enjoyed her daily adventures! Every day she was out of the drawer, in the hands of her author, helping with the task of putting words on paper! And every day she saw more of herself slip away. That part always hurt – the sharpening of one end and the rubbing away of the other. She started wearing a bright yellow pointy hat as she continued to shrink. But she loved being held in the author’s hands!
One day, the author reached into the drawer and picked her up again. She looked at the now tiny, chewed pencil wearing the bright yellow pointy hat. She was no longer tall and slim and it was hard to see what color she used to be. For the first time, the author spoke to her. “You’ve been such a good pencil. You’ve done everything I asked of you, and done it well. It’s time to rest. I guess you didn’t know I never throw out my pencils; I save them all in another drawer. You’re going there now. Thank you.”
The author placed the little, chewed pencil in a special drawer with many other little, chewed pencils. They welcomed her, and she knew she had completed her task – the task she had been created for.
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