Thursday, March 30, 2006

The Subterranean Gnome

Just a cute little story Annie wrote for her homework assignment tonight. The assignment was to use each of her spelling words to write a story. (And no, these aren't your typical 3rd grade spelling words. She gets her own individual list.)

The words: isolated, guarantee, chartreuse, cautious, gnome, smorgasbord, subterranean, succinct, pesticide, persnickety, raspberry, nemesis, querulous, rancid, considerable, announcement

The Subterranean Gnome
*by Annie (March 2006, age 8)

Once there was a community of subterranean gnomes. They all were inquisitive, but one in particular was always getting into trouble. I guarantee you, he went on an adventure at least once a week. A considerable amount of these adventures had been dangerous. The most renowned of these journeys was on an isolated island...

It was the Gnometown Annual Meeting. All the gnomes were feasting on a smorgasbord of gnome food while listening to a succinct announcement made by the Gnometown mayor. He was very persnickety about how the new library was to be built. The gnome's siblings were getting awfully querulous during the speech, and Piksnick, the gnome himself, was getting antsy. He edged away from his plate of rancid chartreuse raspberries and darted away. His parents were so engrossed in the speech they didn't even notice.

Dodging the small areas sprayed with pesticide, he zoomed down a small hill, abruptly stopping as he reached a hot spring. A gnome-sized sailboat was right there in front of him. Piksnik hopped into it and paddled away. He sighted a large predatory fish. This was to be his nemesis. Cautiously dodging the fish's jaws, he crash-landed on a small rock, his boat shattering into pieces. Watching with despair as the boat sank, he realized he was stuck on the rock.

Suddenly, a voice shouted out, "Grab the rope." The faint image of a rope appeared in the distance. As it got closer, Piksnik snatched it, and was pulled across the water. As he looked at his rescuer, he realized it was his dad!

Do you think Piksnik was in trouble after he returned? Yes, but that's another story...

Friday, March 24, 2006

Flowers of Spring

by Annie (summer 2005, age 8)

Three types of flowers
gather in the gardens today.
First, the daisy,
wild and free,
petals like a lion's mane.
Second, the rose,
so mysterious, so beautiful,
its fierce thorns protect it in battle.
Third, the dandelion,
lets go of its children early
when the first breeze comes.
Three types of flowers
gather in the gardens today.
Let me hope,
that they will stay.

Spring Inside and Out

*by Annie (April 2005, age 8)

Spring outside is fun and sun,
picking flowers,
light spring showers,
But spring inside is gloomy and gray,
that's not the way to spend
the day...
Especially in Spring!

The Globe

*by Annie (winter 2005, age 7)

Lots of colors.
All the countries
around the world
in our


*by Annie (December 2005, age 8)

All I live with is death and fear,
So I shed one single tear.
I cannot watch that last tear fall,
As I give up on it all.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

At the End of the Rainbow

*by Annie (March 2006, age 8)

Yuji had always hoped to see the end of the rainbow, and now he FINALLY had his chance. It was Saturday, he was free, and a rainbow had just appeared over the horizon. Yuji decided to follow that rainbow to the end.

The road leading to the end of the rainbow was perilous. Yuji would have to cross the Death River, pass through the Dark Forest, and confront the most horrible foe imaginable--the Slithering Serpent. Yuji did not know of these perils.

Yuji wanted to start immediately. He packed a week's supply of food and drink, a flashlight for traveling in the dark, and a sleeping bag. He thought he was ready, but that was only what he THOUGHT.

It had been an hour since Yuji had set off. He was exhausted, but tried not to show it. Suddenly, the leaves on the trees started rustling. "Ai Ai Ai Ai Ai!!" A weird-looking creature shot out of the trees. (Well, Yuji was in fantasyland.)

"Who are you?!" Yuji questioned the creature.

"Nayr, Nayr!" the creature squeaked. Obviously, it couldn't speak.

"I'll call you Nayr," Yuji proclaimed.

Nayr climbed onto Yuji's shoulder. "You want to come along with me?" Yuji asked. Nayr nodded. Yuji now had a cute, furry companion to accompany him. (He was kind of ugly, but cute all the same.)

A couple of minutes later, they reached danger #1. The Death River. Yuji stared. "What is this?!" he spat.

"Nayr," Nayr peeped. He frantically waved his hands around, then pointed to the river.

"Hmm...river?" Yuji asked.

Nayr nodded, then fell to the ground.

"Death?" Yuji impatiently guessed.

Nayr clapped his paws and nodded again.

"River of Death!" Yuji gasped. He and Nayr would have to cross that river to get to the end of the rainbow. The whole thing was raging rapids, and Yuji could see an enormous shadow under the water.

This was the bravest thing Yuji had EVER done. He stepped into the wild waters of the Death River.

He was surprised by how warm the water was. It was also extremely shallow. Then he looked under him. He was on the back of a huge creature. Suddenly, it jumped up. Yuji clung on with all his might. The creature spoke, "I am Einna!"

Einna snapped at Yuji and Nayr, "Get OFF of me!" Yuji reluctantly let go. He fell into the rapids. Nayr squeaked.

"Nayr!" Yuji cried. Nayr had fallen off and was being swept away. But Yuji HAD to keep going on the path. He would have to leave Nayr. Then Einna suddenly dove down into the water. She came back a minute later carrying Nayr. Nayr chattered excitedly.

"I wish to accompany you," Einna said.

Yuji thought for a minute. "Sure, but won't you miss the water?"

"Are you kidding?!" Einna laughed. "I'm made out of water!"

Yuji stared at her. "You are not an animal?"

"Of course I am," Einna snapped. "But my tail stores water, so it feels like I'm in water everywhere."

"Oh," Yuji said. It did not make sense, but...oh, whatever!

When the traveling trio climbed onto the muddy bank, they were gasping for breath. "That wasn't much of a death river," remarked Yuji.

"Only because I was there to help you!" laughed Einna.

Yuji snarled, "Oh, I did not NEED your help, but was nice enough to accept it!!"

"Is that so?" Einna teased. Yuji blushed bright red. "Thought so," she laughed.

"Humph!" Yuji stuck his nose in the air and led the group onward. Little did he know that Nayr was going to be the next hero.

Yuji began complaining as night started falling. "We are never going to reach the end of the rainbow!"

"Stop complaining already," spat Einna crossly.

Yuji was quiet then. In fact, all was quiet. They reached the Dark Forest just as night was falling. Yuji gulped. "Er...should we wait until morning to in THERE?!"

Einna unhappily nodded, but Nayr angrily shook his head. He chittered furiously at Einna.

"He says that if we stay out here, the ghosts will get us while we are in a deep sleep!"

Yuji didn't want to admit that Nayr was right, but he was!

"Nayr has a strategy. If we think happy thoughts, the ghosts cannot harm us!"

Yuji sighed, "All right, if we HAVE to go..."

Nayr smiled at Yuji. Then they headed into the spooky forest.

A day later...
Yuji opened his eyes. He couldn't believe it was morning, and he had made it. The ghosts had put them to sleep by lulling them. But still they were happy. They passed through the Dark Forest easily.

But now they had to face the ultimate peril! The Slithering Serpent...

"AAH! I can't believe I ever fell for this!" the self-confidant Yuji screamed.

Xam's tail was wrapped snuggly around Yuji. Yuji had to escape the serpent's tail, or crush it. Einna warned him that he would be up against an extremely formidable foe. If he survived, he would see a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.

Yuji thought for a minute. The serpent was evil. So maybe...he should think good thoughts! He thought of the rainbow and of his new friends. Slowly, he began feeling stronger. He broke through the serpent's rough, textured scales.

" defeated me...aargh! Ugh!" And blink! Flash! The Slithering Serpent was gone.

Finally, Yuji reached his goal, the end of the rainbow. Einna stared nervously at Nayr when Yuji demanded the pot of gold. But Yuji already knew in his heart...there was no pot of gold.

O.K., so maybe Yuji didn't get his pot of gold, but the important thing was that he had had fun, and he had made new friends. No treasure could beat that!