SNOWMASS VILLAGE - The 12th annual Fraser Writing Contest culminated with an awards ceremony at Aspen Elementary School on Dec. 20. Local writer Jill Sheeley and her famous yellow Lab, Fraser, sponsor the creative-writing contest for third- and fourth-graders. This year, there were 86 entries, and the theme was "Water." Judges Mary Eshbaugh Hayes and Sheeley read the stories anonymously. Julie Wille organizes the contest at the Aspen Elementary School. Each student receives a certificate. Honorable mentions receive ribbons, and first-, second- and third-place winners receive engraved medals. The first-place winners from third and fourth grade have their names engraved on the plaque that hangs at the school entrance.
The first-place-winning stories follow below.
By Annika Nichols
Once a long time ago, before you and I were born, on the same day the lightning touched the mountains of Nepal, it happened. The monks had laid a golden blanket across a post in the middle of a room. Sitting on top of the post was a glass bottle with little birds lined on the outside of the glass and a golden rim on the top. When the lightning struck something clear and shiny had gone into the bottle. From that day forward it was called "The Gift Of The Gods". The monks had the honor to guard it because people believed that the gift was water and where it landed it was meant to stay. And if any one or anything would get their hands on that water, their dreams would come true. One day though it so happened that the bottle tipped and the monks were not there to catch it so it rolled down the mountain.
As the bottle rolled down the mountain the cork began to get loose and just the tiniest drop you could imagine had gone into the grass. Even though the drop of water was super small the bottle had spilled just enough magic to let all of the grass in the world to get their one wish. All of the grass agreed that they would share their wish with the sky. They finally made their wish. The sky and the grass wanted to switch places, but leave the clouds, sun, stars, moon, the trees, rocks, rivers, and plants behind them. One thing that the sky and the grass didn't realize was that they didn't have enough of the water to switch their places back. So now the grass is in the sky and the sky is on the ground, and the bottle is still rolling down the mountain. Pretty soon the monks had realized the bottle was missing, because one of the monks was admiring the sky and all of the beautiful mountains when the sky in a flash had turned into the grass. Now of course the one monk went to see if the magic was still there. So eventually they figured it out. The monks also knew that by the time they found the bottle it would be empty and they would already be upside down facing the sky. So the bottle continued rolling but then hit a stop on a rock the cork now allowed the bottle to spill one more little, tiny, small drop on the rock, so of course the all of the rocks got their wish. The rocks decided to share their wish with the trees, all the animals, and the mountains. They decided they should go to be in the sky with the grass, because all of them knew they needed the grass to survive. The only animals that decided to stay with the rivers and oceans were all of the sea creatures. Now the magic water fell straight into the river at the bottom of the mountain, because since there were no mountains, no rocks, no trees, no grass, and no land animals. When the bottle went into the river the bottle completely broke on the bottom of the river. The river was connected to the ocean, and since all of the rest of the water had spilled in the river the magic could continue all around the globe because the oceans can go across the world. The monks knew we were now upside down but we felt the same because of gravity. And that is the world we live in today. The upside down world.
By Franny Yturri
Once there was a girl named Emma. She lived near Spring Park reservoir. One day she wanted to take a walk to the magical reservoir. She got her shoes on and put on sunscreen.
She was ready to go. Emma went outside and started walking. She was at the gate that you Open to get into the reservoir. Emma forgot she didn't have the magic key! "I must find it" Exclaimed Emma. Moments later, she decided to go find the key.
She went to the base of the tallest mountain. There is a cave ten miles up. Emma started Walking, one mile at a time. When she got to the cave, she saw a glimmering key on a Stone. She picked it up and put it in her pocket. One mile at a time, she walked down The mountain. Emma got down the mountain. She got to the reservoir and saw the Elk, Deer, ducks and geese. She saw cows from the neighbors ranch. They like the water. They Drink it, and swim in it. She saw a little fish. She scooped the little fish in her water bottle.
She watched him swim. He started talking to her about the magic in the reservoir. He said There is a hole in the very bottom of the reservoir and if you go into it you turn into a Mermaid. The fish told her to follow him and they would get to the bottom and the hole.
She followed the fish and he led her into a dark part of the water. She could see a
Shimmering in the dark. She went over to the shimmering object and reached out her hand And put it in . She turned her hand over and a ring fell into it. Then, the fish led her to the Secret door and she saw the door had a ring shaped cup where a key would be on the door.
She looked at the ring on her hand and put it on the door and then the door opened. The fish Told her to go inside. He asked her twelve times and she was getting annoyed so she went In. The fish could see a sparkle when she went in. Then she came out and he said " Are you Ok?" Emma responded "I'm fine, but when I reached down to touch my feet, I didn't feel Feet, I felt fins!"
The fish said "The magic door really works!" The fish and Emma started swimming away.
Emma realized she was a much better swimmer than before. Emma was ready to be a
Human again. They asked a dolphin how to turn back to a human. The dolphin said that
They needed to find a fruit that grew at the far end of the reservoir. They aksed the dolphin If she could show them the way. The dolphin led them to a bright spot with vines with fruit On them. The fruit was spotted purple and green. Emma took a bite and the fish and dolphin Saw another sparkle and suddenly Emma reached down and felt human skin again. She was Very excited, but sad to leave her friends, the dolphin and the fish. She had to go home so Her mom wouldn't worry. She got a ride on the dolphin's back and the dolphin took her to Shore and they all said goodbye. Emma said she would come see them again. Emma came To see them every chance she could. They were the best of friends at the magical reservoir.