Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: The Short End of the Stick (02/20/14)
TITLE: And the Winner Is...!
By lynn gipson
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Now, Bill and I dearly loved to ride a bicycle. The problem was the only one we ever owned was a rusty old relic we found down at the junkyard. Bill was able to repair it just enough for us to peddle it up and down the road a bit.
Then one day, Momma came home with a bicycle, and it was brand spanking new! It was pink with pink and white stripes flowing from the handle bars. A friend she worked with gave it to her told her to give it to one of her kids, but Bill and I were the only ones with legs short enough to ride it. Bill didn't care that it was a girl's bike. He just wanted it.
“That bike is mine!” Bill gloated.
So then came the stick contest. Whoever came up with the longest end of the stick got the bike. I was doomed from the start. Bill was small for his age, but muscular, and that gave him a definite advantage over me.
“But, Momma, this isn't fair. Bill always wins these contests! He's stronger than I am!” I complained.
Momma just smiled and whispered. “It won't matter. Bill won't want the bike for long. It will be yours in no time, Darlene. Trust me.”
I trusted Momma, but I also had my doubts, because my brother wanted that beautiful new bike. He had been dreaming of nothing else for two years, but Momma couldn't afford to buy him one, or me either, for that matter.
So Momma went and found a small stick and placed my hand around one end of it and my brother's hand around the other and shouted, “Go!”
Bill and I tugged, twisted, and turned on that stick for about thirty seconds, and sure enough, it broke. Guess who came up with the short end? Just like always.
Tears welled in my eyes as I was bitterly disappointed, but my mother just looked at me and winked.
“Don't worry, Darlene, just trust me.”
I didn't know what to think of Momma's words. I'd never had a reason to doubt her, but I just couldn't believe that my brother would end up giving me that dreamboat of a bike.
Off Bill rode down the long dirt road leading to his friend, Buck's, house. I watched with envy as he peddled faster and faster away from my pitiful place on the front steps of the porch.
A few minutes later, Bill came flying back with a fury, go off the bike and said, “Here, it's yours!”
"You're giving me the bike? Why?” I was dumbfounded.
“Buck and the other guys made fun of me for riding a girl's bike. They called me a sissy. So, you're a girl, and that's a girl's bike. It's all yours.” Now he was the one with tears in his eyes.
My heart was jumping for joy, but I tried not to let Bill see how happy I was. After all, he had won the contest, but I ended up with the prize. I hugged his neck and thanked him profusely. Then I jumped on that new, pink, girl's bike and rode as fast as it would take me down the mile long road in front of our house.
Then I understood why Momma had said, “Trust me, Darlene.” She knew all along that the other guys would tease Bill about the bike being pink. It never even occurred to me.
I was so thankful to God, do you know what I did? I took my birthday and Christmas money I had been saving since the day I knew what money was and gave it all to Momma. I told her to buy Bill a brand new boy's bike. It turned out to be just enough for a shiny, black, racing bike that was on sale at Sears.
My brother got so happy when he saw that bike, he danced a jig! After that, sometimes, he would let me win those stick-breaking contests. Sometimes.
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