Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Write something suitable for CHILDREN (05/31/07)
TITLE: The Secret Money Vine
By Dee Yoder
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“Look!” he said to Robert. He held out his hand with the weird, green, square
seed in it.
“That’s strange,” said Robert.
“I know”, replied Sam. “I’ve never seen anything like it before.”
“Let’s plant it and see what grows.”
“Ok. I’ll get a shovel”.
The friends planted the green seed at their fort in the woods, and every day, for two weeks, they came to look at the spot where it was planted. Nothing ever showed above the dirt. After a while, they decided the square, green seed with writing on it was not going to grow any plant at all. They gave up looking at it.
One morning, many months later, Sam rode his bike to the fort. He noticed something very strange. A leafy vine was waving in the air above the fort. The leaves on the vine were square, green, and had writing on them!
“Well, look at that!” he exclaimed.
He ran around to the side of the fort where he and Robert had planted the weird seed many months before. There, growing tall, and straight, was the biggest vine Sam had ever seen.
“Wow! I gotta go call Robert!”
Robert came riding up ten minutes later. He was just as excited as Sam when he saw the giant vine with the square, green leaves.
“Sam, look!” Robert pointed to a leaf that was sticking straight out from the vine.
Sam picked it. He held it in his palm and examined it closely. When he looked at Robert, his eyes were shining and his lips were quivering.
“Robert”, breathed Sam, “It’s m..m..money!”
“What?! Give me that!”
Robert looked the leaf over carefully and decided Sam was right. It was money!
“Oh, man! We are two lucky dudes, Sam!”
“Don’t I know it!”
The boys ran to the vine and began harvesting the money leaves right and left. Soon, they had so much money, stuffed in their pockets, in their shoes, in their hats and in their hands that they couldn’t hold another leaf. They decided they would each take some and hide the leaves in their closets until they could think of how to explain the money to their parents.
“Have fun hiding it, Robert” called Sam as his friend pedaled away.
“I will! Tomorrow let’s go downtown and buy whatever we want!” replied Robert happily.
At dinner that night, Sam could barely hide his excitement. He wanted to tell his Mom and Dad what he and Robert discovered that morning, but the pact he made with his friend stopped him.
“Sam, I found your new soccer ball in the road this afternoon”, said Dad suddenly.
“Uh, you did?”
“Yes, and I want you to know that I don’t appreciate the way you’re taking care of it. That ball cost a pretty penny, son.”
“Sam, you know money doesn’t grow on trees”, scolded Mom.
Sam nearly spit his milk out on the table. He wished he could tell her that it grows on vines! He choked a little and his parents eyed him closely. Sam kept his head down through the rest of dinner, but later in bed, he dreamed of all the things he would buy tomorrow.
The next day, Robert and Sam discussed their problem. They couldn’t figure out how to spend the money without their parents finding out about the secret vine. Finally, they decided to say they found it buried in the woods. The boys took a big box, filled it with dirt and stuck several money leaves in it. They carried the box to Sam’s house. Sam’s Mom was outside when they got to his backyard.
“Mom! Look!” called Sam to his mother.
Mom was startled when she saw the money in the box; she hurried to the house to call Sam’s Dad.
While the boy’s parents talked about the found money, Sam and Robert began to feel guilty for the lies they had told. The time was right to tell the truth. The two friends started to speak when Sam’s Mom suddenly pointed to the box.
“Oh!” she exclaimed.
Everyone gathered around the box. Inside, nothing but dirt, and little crumbled pieces of leaves remained.
“Well, isn’t that odd?” asked Robert’s Mom.
Robert and Sam looked at each other sadly. Their dreams crumbled in their heads just like the leaves. Their secret money vine was only a plant after all.
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