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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Write something suitable for CHILDREN (05/31/07)

TITLE: Little Ballerina
By Dara Sorensen


In a small corner toy shop, not so very long ago, there lived a dancing ballerina doll. She wore a light pink dress with a little silver crown atop her golden head.

Little Ballerina loved to twirl and dance to the chimes when curious children turned her silver key. Though she loved to dance, it was not what she desired most, for Little Ballerina was very lonely.

How I wish I could have a little girl take me home! Little Ballerina dreamed.

One day, as Little Ballerina danced, she heard the words she had longed to hear for so long: “We’ll take that dancing ballerina doll over there--the one with the silver crown.” Little Ballerina twirled with joy. Her wish had finally come true!

Little Ballerina was wrapped in shiny pink and white paper and placed in a box. She waited patiently in her pretty package as she was carried to her new home.

As Little Ballerina waited, she wondered about her new owner. What does she look like? Will she like to dance like me?

Little Ballerina’s questions were soon answered as the lid of the box opened and she was placed in front of a green-eyed, curly-haired little girl.

“Happy birthday, Julie!” exclaimed the voices around her.

The little girl named Julie jumped up and down in excitement. “It’s a ballerina! Just like me!” she exclaimed. Little Ballerina noticed they were dressed alike—from the little pink dress, to the silver tiara and pink ballet shoes.

Julie turned the silver key and smiled. The two figures danced and twirled, swirled and spun. Little Ballerina’s ceramic heart was filled with happiness.

Little Ballerina was placed in Julie’s room on the nightstand. Each day, Julie would turn the key and dance along with Little Ballerina. They would twirl, twirl, twirl together, Julie’s curly brown pigtails swinging around with her.

Little Ballerina and Julie had many happy times together. Julie’s laughter always made the Little Ballerina’s heart swell up with joy and love for the little girl.

However, with each turn of the key, Little Ballerina noticed that her little girl was changing. Over time, Julie danced with her less and less. Soon, ballet shoes were exchanged for heels; the silver tiara for necklaces, earrings and bracelets. Finally, Little Ballerina was transferred to the shelf, losing her cherished place on Julie’s nightstand.

Time passed and Little Ballerina became covered in dust. But she did not lose hope. She faithfully stood there on that dust-covered shelf, dreaming of the day when she would dance with Julie once again.

After years of standing idle, Little Ballerina noticed Julie had glanced her way. Little Ballerina felt that familiar feeling of joy well up within her. Maybe she will dance with me!

“Oh, your little doll…I haven’t seen that in forever,” said Julie’s mother. “What are you going to do with her?”

“I don’t know,” Julie said. “I guess I’ll box her up with some of the other stuff. I haven’t got much use for her in college.”

Little Ballerina was wrapped in tissue paper and placed in a small cardboard box along with other forgotten items. The lid was closed and Julie’s face faded away with the light.

It seemed that Little Ballerina’s dancing days were over forever as the years passed by. She fell into a deep sleep, comforted by dreams of dancing days past.

Someday, we will dance together again.

One day, after many years, Little Ballerina heard voices of a mother and little girl. She awoke as light streamed into the darkened box. As the lid opened, a little girl’s bright green eyes stared at her in wonder. She looked so familiar…

“Lily,” came a woman’s gentle voice. “That was mommy’s doll when she was your age.”

Little Ballerina immediately recognized the face of the woman standing next to the little girl—it was her beloved Julie.

“Does she still play music, Mommy?” Lily asked.

“Oh I should think so. Let’s see.” Julie lovingly pulled Little Ballerina out of the musty old box and set her on a table. She turned the key and Little Ballerina danced again, after so many forgotten years.

“Mommy, she dances just like me!” Lily exclaimed as she grabbed her mother’s hands and twirled around.

Mother and daughter twirled together along with Little Ballerina to the soft chimes. Little Ballerina’s heart smiled. Once again, her dreams had come true. She and Julie danced together again, the spirit of childhood more alive than ever.

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This article has been read 961 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Janice Fitzpatrick06/09/07
Oh, this is beautiful but I had to stop to dab my eyes as life goes by so quickly. A very touching story. I absolutely love this! I can see it illustrated. I would love to design this. I can see it in pastels and subdued background. This exudes a tenderness and sweetness. What joy to reopen the magic of childhood and relive it with your own prescious daughter. I could relate to this as I have taken memories tucked away and pulled them out to let my little one enjoy them as I once did. Very well done. Bravo.Janice
Rita Garcia06/10/07
LOVE IT! Beautifully written!
Joanne Sher 06/11/07
Sweet and lovely! I KNOW my daughter will love this when she's a touch older. I love your descriptions of the ballerina's emotions. Great job!
Sandra Petersen 06/11/07
I loved the fairy tale quality to this story. And it had a happy ending, too. This story seems perfect for a little girl who dreams of dancing someday.

I couldn't help but think of "The Steadfast Tin Soldier" when I read this. Excellent job!
Jan Ackerson 06/11/07
Very, very sweet and lovingly written.
Mo 06/11/07
Wow, this 1 made me teary.
Dee Yoder 06/12/07
This is a wonderful story. It would be perfect as a special book just right for a special occasion! I think any little girl would truly love to read this.
Kristen Hester06/12/07
This is beautiful! It is so well written. I have chills.
Dara Sorensen06/13/07
Aww, that made me teary-eyed. I like the conversation a lot. I think both children and adults would gain something from this story.
Verna Cole Mitchell 06/13/07
This is one of my favorite "little girl" stories of all this week. It's really special!
Jacquelyn Horne06/13/07
Wonderful little girl's story. With a subtle lesson of growing up and time changing things.
Loren T. Lowery06/13/07
Reminded me of the ballerina music box we gave our daughter when she was in ballet. I think it's boxed up, too, just waiting to dance with her once again when our granddaughter begins her ballet lessons. Nice story tellling!
Leigh MacKelvey06/13/07
Oh my, I haven't a chance after reading this one! Very, very well written and so sweet. I loved the last paragraph.
Sara Harricharan 06/14/07
I love this ballerina! You brought life to a little ceramic figure. ^_^ Very well done, I loved following the story, though I did guess the ending correctly. Good job!
Janice Cartwright08/07/07
You woke the chid in me with this one and all the emotions that go with it when we personify pets and dolls and other treasures of our past. Very, very well done!