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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Fulfillment (04/06/06)

TITLE: The Little Pencil
By Elizabeth Budd


There was once a young pencil who lived in the desk of an author. She was not a particularly beautiful pencil. She wasnít hot pink or crimson; she wasnít shaped like a flamingo or a heart or a baseball bat; she didnít have any special messages written on her side; she didnít even light up when pressed onto paper. She was tall and slim and yellowish-brown, with nothing in her appearance to make her stand out from any other pencil in the drawer.

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 didnít 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 Ė 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 authorís 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. ďYouíve been such a good pencil. Youíve done everything I asked of you, and done it well. Itís time to rest. I guess you didnít know I never throw out my pencils; I save them all in another drawer. Youíre going there now. Thank you.Ē

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 Ė the task she had been created for.

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This article has been read 660 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Amy Michelle Wiley 04/13/06
I like this--very creative! I like the parallel of US being used by The Author of life.
Helen Paynter04/13/06
I like the idea of being used up as she served - gradually shrinking because she was giving of herself
Lynda Schultz 04/13/06
This is such a marvelous picture that you have painted for us of our lives and our future in the hands of the Master Writer of Heaven. Wonderfully done. Thank you.
Jan Ackerson 04/13/06
I really loved this! Thank you for not "explaining" your story to the readers, but letting the "aha" moments dawn on us. I like the pencil's thoughts on pain / reward. These sorts of stories--with "thinking" inanimate objects--usually leave me cold, but this one was excellent.
Venice Kichura04/14/06
Wow! Very creative writing here!
Delores Baber04/14/06
What a beautiful picture. I guess we are like that pencil in God's hands. The reader thinks about what she would look like right at this moment if she was seen as a pencil. How long would I still be? How would I look? I love new pencils, but it would be tragic to live for Jesus 45 years and still look new.It reminds us of the great honor we have been given, to be used up and then join all those who had been used up ahead of us.
Pat Guy 04/16/06
Yes, yes, yes! So very creative - such a wonderful messages. Great stuff here and a joy!