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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Cup - 10-25-12 Deadline (10/18/12)

TITLE: The Puppy Cup
By Willena Flewelling


"Cammie, get out of Daddy's chair!"

"In your dreams! I was sitting here first! Now be quiet. I’m trying to watch Princess Bella!"

"It's my turn and I wanna watch Super Bunny!" The little boy tried to wrest the television remote from her grip.

"Well go sit on the couch! You sat here the other night when Grandpa was here. You even got to sit on his knee!"

Scott came at her, his chubby fists flying. Cammie flung her red hair over her shoulder and stuck her chin out defiantly as she warded off her little brother's blows.

"You're just a big old meanie! And it's your fault we can't get a puppy!"

Cammie stared at him. "It is not! You're the one who won't pick up your toys!"

Now her fists were ready to return blows. But before she could take a swing, her mother appeared in the doorway.

“Cammie! Scott! What are you squabbling about now?”



“Never mind!” Mom’s hand shot up in the air like that of a police sergeant at a busy intersection. “I don’t want to know. I’m sick of the two of you and your constant bickering. No TV for you this morning.”

“But Mom—“

“Both of you, to the kitchen! Now!”

Moments later, Mom sat down and set two cups on the table. A blue one and a white one.

“This,” she said, indicating the blue one, “is a Thankful Cup.”

“A thankful cup?” Cammie’s curiosity was beginning to peek through her anger and frustration. “What’s a thankful cup? And what’s the other one?”

“First you answer a question for me,” Mom said. “What does God say about fighting and complaining?”

“He says not to do it,” Scott said in a low voice, his eyes on the floor.

“That’s right,” Mom said. “It does not please Him one bit, and there’s been an awful lot of it around here lately. Both your Dad and I are very unhappy with the way you two have been behaving. And when you are mad at each other, you aren’t happy either, are you?”

Both children shook their heads.

“Okay, that’s where the Thankful Cup comes in. Cammie, how much is your weekly allowance?”

“Ten dollars.”

“And Scott, how much is yours?”

“This many,” he said, holding up four fingers.

“That’s right,” Mom said. “And here’s what we’re going to do. Every Saturday I’m going to put your allowance for the next week, in the Thankful Cup. Ten dollars in quarters, and four dollars in dimes. All during that week, every time you fight or complain, Cammie, you are going to take a quarter out of the Thankful Cup and put it into the Penalty Cup.” Mom pointed to the white cup.

“What about me?” Scott asked, evidently not wanting to be left out.

“Every time you fight or complain, you will take a dime out of the Thankful Cup and put it in the Penalty Cup.”

Just to make sure he knew what she meant, she showed him a dime.

“And then,” she went on, “when Saturday comes around, I will give you what is left of your allowance.”

“But what if there’s nothing left?” Scott asked, his eyebrows wrinkling.

“Well then, you get no allowance that week. You will have a chance to catch yourself, though. If you apologize right away, then you get to take your coin back out of the Penalty Cup and put it back in the Thankful Cup. Oh, and there’s one more thing.”

Mom went to the cupboard and returned with a third cup—a pink one this time.

“What’s that one for?” Cammie rolled her eyes. Mom ignored the gesture and continued.

“Your dad and I will match whatever is left in the Thankful Cup each Saturday in this cup—the Puppy Cup. Now what do you think of that?”

Scott jumped off his chair and hopped up and down on the kitchen floor.

“Yay! A puppy!”

Even Cammie smiled. “Thank you, Mom! It’s the best idea ever!”

“Do all things without murmurings and disputings.” ~ Philippians 2:14 KJV

“Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.” ~ Ephesians 5:20 KJV

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This article has been read 316 times
Member Comments
Member Date
C D Swanson 10/25/12
An authentic story with great intereaction between the characters, laced into a beautiful message at the end. This was a joy to read. Thanks. God bless~
Marie Hearty 10/25/12
I LOVED this story. Such a good idea the parents had to keep their children from fighting. I wish I had known about it when my kids were young. Great dialogue and message.

God Bless!
Theresa Santy 10/26/12
Ten dollars a week! Good gracious!

Please don't tell that to my twelve and fourteen year olds who get $2.50!

I enjoyed your application of the theme "Cup," and I loved the way the mother handled the sibling rivalry. My only suggestion is to use as few exclamation points as possible, and instead, show the energy through words, unlike my entry here.
Ellen Carr 10/28/12
I enjoyed this story. What a smart idea - the 3 cups. I wish I'd thought of that when my children were young!
Noel Mitaxa 11/01/12
Noel Mitaxa 11/01/12
As I was saying......
Totally credible characters and interaction, and a great mix of threat and promise tucked into a "coin"cept that the kids could understand. Great work.
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 11/01/12
This is a darling story. I can't imagine a parent around who wouldn't be able to relate to the squabbling. Kids really can make a mom want to pull her hair out. But this mom is quite clever.

I will say I was a tad confused because I thought there would be 4 cups or at least 3 but then I realized one allowance was in quarters and the other in dimes. I also smiled at this sentence: curiosity was beginning to peek through her anger
I was ready to say you pique your curiosity with that spelling but then I realized you were using it as almost another character who was literally peeking out from the anger. It was a wonderful mental picture.

You did a great job with coming up with a story that was on topic yet fresh and fascinating. It was a delight to read.
Noel Mitaxa 11/02/12
Congratulations on your placing. Great work.
Ellen Carr 11/02/12
Congratulations on your 3rd place. Well deserved.
Dannie Hawley 11/03/12
Delightful read and fabulous idea! Congrats on your ranking!
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 11/03/12
Congratulations on your ribbon and for ranking 17th overall!