Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: The Pen is Mightier than the Sword (04/08/10)
TITLE: Plastic Swords and Book Reports
By Sarah Elisabeth
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Sam’s sigh was audible. “I was not. She won’t play with me!”
Katherine put a hand on each of her grandchildren. “Sam and Meg, you need to learn to get along with each other. All this fussing and fighting will bring nothing but harm. Now, what is the problem?”
Meg opened her mouth, but Sam was faster. “She’s been sitting in her chair all day reading and scribbling. I wanted her to play sword fight with me, but she just turned up her nose. There’s no one else for me to play with and she’s being mean!”
“Quiet.” Katherine sent up a prayer for wisdom. “All right, Meg, let’s hear your side of it.”
“I’m trying to finish reading this book so I can write a report on it. I-“
“Why write a report?” Sam interrupted, “School’s out. You spend too much time reading and writing when we could be-“
“Sam.” Katherine managed to keep the edge from her voice. “Let Meg finish.”
Sam pinned his lips together, clenching his plastic white sword with both hands. Katherine knew he was ready to use it.
Meg lifted her chin. “I want to write a report for Aunt Mary. She gave me the book and I want her to know how much I like it. But I can’t get it done because Sam’s been pestering me all day. All he ever wants to do is play, play, play and he aggravates me, poking me with that thing until I finally give in. But I don’t want to play, I wanna read!”
Another prayer went up before Katherine spoke. “It sounds like you two need to find some common ground. Jesus said we should come and reason together. I think you two are old enough to do that on your own. Find something you both enjoy and agree to spend a certain amount of time doing it. Then you need to respect one another’s different interests and desires.
“Here’s what we will do. You two spend the next hour thinking of something you both enjoy. Then you will spend the rest of the afternoon doing that. And if I don’t hear any bickering during that time, tomorrow you both can do what you like – separately, no bugging each other. Agreed?”
The two children puckered their lips at their grandmother.
Meg spoke first. “There’s nothing we both like to do, Grammy.”
“Pray about it and I know you will think of something. You do have a whole hour.” Without waiting for further protests, Katherine rose from her recliner and went into the kitchen. The smell of cookies baking should give her grandchildren extra motivation.
Less than an hour later, a squeal called Katherine back into the living room.
“What is going on?” Katherine’s rebuke was sharper than she’d intended, but the sight of Sam thrusting his plastic sword at the paper waving Meg, nearly undid her. Would these children ever listen to her?
Two pairs of chocolate brown eyes turned to meet Katherine’s. “We’re playing, Grammy,” came the unison reply. They giggled.
“Meg wrote a play about a big sword fight between a knight and a dragon,” Sam said, a hint of pride in his voice, “And since I’m the sword fighting expert, I get to be the knight and she’s the dragon. It’s fun, especially ‘cause I know how it ends.”
Katherine could feel the muscles in her shoulders melting. “That’s sound very good. How does it end?”
Meg chimed in. “It has a happy ending, Grammy. The knight and dragon figure out that if they work together instead of fighting, they can overthrow the queen of the kingdom.”
An eyebrow shot up. “And who might the queen be?”
Two plastic swords turned on her.
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