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

TITLE: Grass Between Your Toes
By jean Clarkson


Alicia kicked a little stone on the dirt road. She

was almost home. Tomorrow is the last day, she

thought, hunching her shoulders with expectation.

The long lazy summer vacation would start


Now that she could ride her bike to town, she

could spend whole days with Margie and Tonie.

Picnics in the park, ice cream at the drugstore. She

could hardly wait.

She untied her shoes and pulled them off.

Stuffing her socks into the toes, she stepped onto

the lush green grass, sniffing the lilacs blooming on

the old bush by the front door.

She squished her toes into the sponging lawn

and walked slowly around to the side door. The sun

warmed her back and thoughts of summer freedom

filled her heart. She took a long deep breath.

When she opened the door, she heard Charlie

wailing like a police siren and her heart sank. I

forgot about Charlie, she thought. This could be a

long summer.

“Allie, would you check on Charlie, please?”

her mother called from the kitchen. “I’m right in the

middle of this.”

Mom’s always right in the middle of

something, she thought. She turned and headed

towards her brother’s room, dragging her feet.

Wonder what it is this time. Probably a loaded

Just as she reached the door, she heard a

thud. The wailing stopped. She popped open the

door and saw Charlie, sprawled on the floor

beneath his crib, face down.

She ran toward his limp body.


Her mother ran down the hall.

“What is it? What’s wrong?”

Allison shook her head. “I don’t know. Looks

like he knocked himself out trying to get out of


Mom stood wringing her hands and saying,

“Oh no, oh no,” over and over.

“We’ve got to get help,” Allie said, standing up. Her mother did not move. She stood staring

down at Charlie. She’s in shock, Allie realized.

Allie ran to the phone to call 911. A calm voice

answered. Allie gave the woman the address and


“Keep him still,” the woman told her. “Don’t move

him until the ambulance crew gets there. They are

on their way.”

She went back into the room where Mom was

leaning over Charlie, patting him. Mom started to

roll him over, but Allie stopped her.

“The ambulance is coming,” she said. “They

said not to move him until someone gets here.”

Mom nodded.
“Looks like a light concussion,” the EMT said,

checking him over. Charlie began to moan and his

legs twitched. “We’ll take him in and get him X-

rayed, but his vital signs are good. Little guys like

this usually bounce back in a hurry,” he assured


An hour later, they were on the way home with

Charlie safely bundled into the car seat. When they

stopped at a red light, Mom turned to Allie.

“I’m so glad you were there,” she said. “You

really kept your head, Allie. I’m proud of you.”

Allie smiled. “Thanks, Mom. I’m glad I was

there too. I’m glad Charlie's okay.”

A wave of love filled her when she glanced

back at her little brother, bright eyed in the back

seat. He gave her a big grin.

She smiled back at him and thought about the

summer days ahead. Charlie was just a baby last

year. This summer, they could look for bugs in the

garden and find the first red strawberries together.

She took a deep breath and leaned back.

Sunlight poured through the window, brightening

the lawns and flowers they drove past. There would

be lots of time for swimming and ice cream and

friends, she knew, and there would be time for

Charlie too.

I bet he will like grass between his toes too,

she thought.

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This article has been read 553 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Myrna Noyes06/08/07
There are a couple good messages for children in this story--knowing the importance of calling 911 in emergencies and being able to clearly tell your address and also that younger siblings aren't always a bother, but can be a joy!

I noticed you called the MC Alicia at the beginning of the story and Allison futher down. "Allie" works as a nickname for them both! :)

Nice job!

Janice Fitzpatrick06/09/07
Well done. I like the little drama and the relationship forming between sister and baby brother. God bless.Janice
Rita Garcia06/11/07
Love the messages, nicely tucked in like little surprises. Great writing!
Terry R A Eissfeldt 06/13/07
This is a great story. Well done