Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: Write something suitable for CHILDREN (05/31/07)
TITLE: No More Butterflies
By Venice Kichura
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When her kindergarten class first sang “Itsy Bitsy Spider”, Melody’s angelic voice stood out among the rest.
Her music teacher, Miss Cathy, was so thrilled about Melody’s exceptional voice that she said, “Melody, I want you to sing a song in the kindergarten cantata that you sing all by yourself, without the other boys and girls. It’s called a solo.”
For weeks, Melody practiced and practiced with Miss Cathy, until she got every note on her solo just right. Then she sang it for the class. When she finished they all clapped their hands and said,” Melody Timberline, you have the voice of an angel.”
Melody had wanted to surprise her family, but had a hard time keeping secrets. The day before the cantata, she couldn’t wait to get off the bus and tell her family she would be singing a solo.
“Mom, Megan!” she cried, out of breath, bolting through her front door. “I’m singing a solo tomorrow night!”
“Awesome!” her mother said, hugging her.
“Totally cool,” her big sister, Megan, said, giving her a high-five. “But just wait…. You’ll get butterflies.”
Megan was in sixth grade and seven years older than Melody. When her big sister said something, Melody believed her.
“Now, now, Melody,” Mrs. Timberline said, casting a scolding look at Megan. “There’s no such thing as butterflies. Your sister just means that sometimes children get a little nervous when they stand up in front of an audience. But you, Melody, will sing like an angel.”
The next day when the children arrived at music class Miss Cathy announced….
“Today we’re practicing for tonight’s program in the auditorium. This is where your moms and dads will be sitting..”
As the children entered the auditorium, they gawked in amazement.
“This is the biggest room in the whole school,” Ryan Taylor said, staring up at the ceiling.
“The biggest room ever!” Melody said, feeling her voice tighten. Then she felt a fluttering in the pit of her tummy…
Butterflies! Megan was right!
As the children started singing, Melody felt her voice quiver, then stop.
When Miss Cathy motioned her to come up to the front and sing her solo, her voice froze. She opened her mouth but nothing came out.
“I …I’m sorry….I ca….can’t do this…” she stuttered, feeling tears well up in her clear blue eyes.
“What’s wrong, Melody?” Miss Cathy asked.
“I’ve got butterflies.”
The other kids giggled as a tear slid down Melody’s check.
Miss Cathy stood up on a chair and clapped her hands.
“One, two, three, all eyes at me,” she shouted, clapping her hands, again.
“Enough of this silliness. I expect my kindergarteners to be on their best behavior. And Melody, you'll be fine. There's no such thing as butterflies in your tummy." she said, straightening her auburn curls. You’re just feeling a little anxious. That’s all.”
But as she sang, Melody still felt them fluttering inside, as many as the freckles peppering her face.
Later that night Melody took her bubble bath but didn’t even sing to her rubber duckies. She dressed for the program, not saying a word as her family drove with her to the school.
As the children lined up behind the curtain, she cried,”I’ve got butterflies.”
“You’ll be fine, Melody,” Miss Cathy reassured her. “I already told you, there’s no such thing as butterflies in your tummy.”
But as the curtain opened, Melody felt the butterflies flutter again---right in the pit of her tummy.
Then just as she was about to run off the stage, she glanced up and stared at her baby sister, Morgan, in the front row, who was waving one of her rubber duckies at her.
She blinked her eyes. She didn’t see a crowd of people. Instead, she saw a bathtub full of rubber duckies. They were all lined up in rows, just like in her bathtub.
I’m back home in my bubble bath singing to my rubber duckies, she thought, feeling the butterflies leave.
When it was time for her solo, she strutted up to the platform and smiled at the crowd of “rubber duckies”. She opened her mouth and sang like an angel.
When she finished her song and everyone applauded, Miss Cathy ran up to her with a hug.
“Good job, Mel. And no butterflies?”
“No more butterflies,” Melody beamed.
“The rubber duckies swallowed them.”
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