Aspen Misc.: Fraser Creative Writing Contest winners | AspenTimes.com

Aspen Misc.: Fraser Creative Writing Contest winners

The 15th annual Fraser Creative Writing Contest was in honor of Mary Eshbaugh Hayes, who was Jill Sheeley's fellow judge for 14 years and a dear friend. Eshbaugh Hayes worked as a journalist in Aspen since the 1950s and was once a reporter and editor at The Aspen Times. She died January 2015 at age 86.

The contest is held at Aspen Elementary School and open to third- and fourth-graders. Jill Sheeley would like to thank Julie Wille, the chief organizer of the contest at the school as well as Lynda McCarthy, who came on board this year as Sheeley's fellow judge. The stories are read anonymously. There were 65 entries this year.

The theme this year was "Aspen in the year 2050." There were many imaginative ideas woven throughout the stories: levitating food, bubble cars, robotic dogs who can shoot lasers out of their noses to make trash disappear, floating gondolas, flamingos roaming freely in Aspen and toilets made out of gold because it makes people feel special.

An Elk's Adventure Through Time

By Zala Smalls, fourth-grade winner:

One beautiful fall day a bull elk was strolling around in the golden fields when all of a sudden he heard a huge gust of wind and stepped into a big hole, which led right to Aspen in 2050. He slowly woke up and looked around. He heard loud greeting, grunting, and high-pitched squeals coming from the herd down below. He slowly realized that he was bigger, stronger and more muscular than he had ever imagined himself.

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He slowly left his herd and strolled around the places which used to be tall golden grass fields but something has changed. There were more trees and forests but the biggest change of all was that the wolves have returned to Aspen … must be because of the big difference in habitat. The bull had to think fast to protect his big herd from the wolves. He quickly but quietly moved back through the woods to his herd and had them get settled for the night. In the morning the elk woke up suddenly to the howling of the returned species. The bull told the others that they were going to spend the day exploring the new habitat while trying to find a good hidden place to spend some time. Once it was time to get ready for another long night of wolves stalking on their heels they slowly drifted to sleep.

The next morning the herd got a late start and noticed that one of the youngsters was gone. They knew that they had been uncovered. The bull slowly thought of how afraid he actually has been but when he started thinking about how much the herd needs him his fears slowly cleared his mind. He told the herd that they were going to need to proceed in life without one of the youngsters and also try not to loose anyone else. Their day continues as the one before walking as thoughts drift in and out of their minds to make room for others. They bedded down and full of hope that they had found a nice spot to stay more than just one night. The next morning they awoke to the bright blazing sun shining down on them. Their next days continued like this and they slowly got used to this big change. The wolves found other food sources, water sources and new ways of life.

One day came when the elk were strolling through the woods and came across a huge footprint. They started wondering what could have made it. It was too large to be a black bear but could it be another unknown animal lurking in the new time of Aspen? They walked along the footprints only to find another sign by the riverbank — fish carcasses lined the edges of the water. This was not an animal any elk would want to mess with but the bull felt that he had to see it to know what it is and what damage or success it would cause in their lives and if it would make impact on the wolves? They kept walking when they heard a distant growl. It was on the move heading right toward them. It was bounding quickly through the woods and making sounds they have not heard before. But now it was so close that they could hear the leaves crunching beneath its feet. They saw one huge brown paw … then another … then a leg. They saw a huge creature emerging right before them and last of all came the head. The elk got a good look at this and darted off before it could have a chance of standing up on its hind legs and pouncing on them. That night the bull told them what the horrid creature was. He said it was a grizzly bear and that it came from Alaska and that it might have more impact on them than the wolves.

The crazy year sadly came to an end but can you imagine the next 50 years of the herd's life?

My Future Life

By Morgan Phillips, third-grade winner:

As I fall asleep at night I wonder what Aspen will be like in 2050.

"Arf! Arf!" my robotic canine screams at me." Ok, ok, I'm getting out of bed" I sigh. Clap! Clap! My clothes jump out of the drawers and arrange themselves on my body. Clap! My breakfast is on my plate already. Suddenly out pops my freshly squeezed orange juice. Out of nowhere raspberry jam appears on my toast. As I glance over at my robotic canine chomping as he chews his food, I can see the clock. Oh no, I'm late! I scramble around my house for my teaching supplies I brought home from my classroom. In exactly 5 minutes, I'm ready. Clap! Snap! My door pops open as I scoop up my supplies and skip out with my robotic canine hopping close behind.

As I rush along with my robotic canine to work, I'm planning out my day in my head. I realize we have our art class field trip to the mountains. So I start planning that out too. As I get closer to the school grounds I see the flying school bus land. That means the children are already at school! So I start to run. I dream about my classroom and poof! I'm there! I organize all the kids papers and pencils. My robotic canine grabs my stuff, organizes it and puts my bag in the back of the room. I got our field trip skis out. Also poles.

The door to the art room pops open and in come my kids. They all clap 3 times and float to their desks. Clap! I get their attention right at me. Snap! Now I know everybody is here. "Ok class, today we are going on our ski field trip on Aspen Mountain. Just snap twice and dream you are there. You will get transported there. Meet me by the elevator." Snap! Snap! comes from everyone except one student. "Oh my, sorry. I forgot you were on crutches Terri. Do you want to go to Katherine's classroom until we get back?" "Sure!" said Terri. "I'll come get you when we're done." Snap! Snap! I am by the elevator on Aspen Mountain.

"Hello class, are you ready to go skiing?" "Yeah." "I can't hear you." "Yeaaah!" Pat! The elevator creaks open. "Let's get in to go to the top of the mountain to ski" I said. "Let's ski from top to bottom 6 times. Also ski half the mountain 6 times. When I was little we had to wear warm ski clothes and ski boots. But now we can wear shorts and t-shirts. Also we can have regular shoes and even bare feet!" If you have shoes on, there are magnets in the skis so they stay on the skis. But if you have bare feet there are shoes that are attached to the skis.

When we got to the bottom the first time I showed them how to go to the top. "Hold out your arms and wait." Whee! I'm in the air flying high. "You ready girls? This is our last time to go all the way down to the bottom and fly up to the top." Our arms knew that it was the last time so they flew slower to the top. When we got the top we were about to head down when I saw my robotic canine flying up. I realized I forgot he could ski. So he joined our group and showed us the way to the middle because he knew I'd forget where to go. He even showed us how to fly up to the top of the mountain.

On the last way up he was teaching a lesson when I realized Kala was not with us! I told my robotic canine and he called Kala. She had fallen and was behind us. So we waited for Kala and skied down to the bottom.

We were taking off our skis when out of nowhere the flying school bus arrived to take us back to school. When I realized one of my students is allergic to dogs. So I told my robotic canine to dream about the art classroom and he will go back to the classroom. When I got on the bus everybody was nicely sitting in each seat. So I sat in the driver's seat and we got to school 2 minutes later.

While everybody was packing I ran to get to Terri. When I got back with Terri everybody was on task free drawing. While Terri was packing up everyone was so quiet as they were petting my robotic canine. I gave everyone a star for good behavior and even Terri because she stayed here with a teacher she never knew. When Terri was done packing I let everybody go home.

After everybody left my robotic canine and I cleaned up. Then my robotic canine packed my bag as I got supplies out for tomorrow.

Then we skipped home. When we got home I clapped and snapped. The door popped open and in we went. Bang! The door closed shut. Sniff! Sniff! Spaghetti! As I sat down meatballs suddenly appeared on my plate. After dinner my robotic canine and I went upstairs. Clap! Clap! My pjs jumped out of the drawer and arranged themselves on me. "Goodnight."

Wow, what a dream. I'll just enjoy my life while it lasts.

The winners

Third Grade

1st Place: Morgan Phillips; 2nd Place: Quintessa Frisch, Jaden Schille and Ingrid Cassidy; 3rd Place: Smith Agley and Delilah Hemstreet; Honorable Mention: Audrey Woodrow and Ana Crimmel.

Fourth Grade

1st Place: Zala Smalls; 2nd Place: Charley Rock, Eric Phillips, Reese Chapdelaine and Andrew Perley; 3rd Place: Jess Vesey, Addison Chess, Linden Chaney and Lauren Kinney; Platinum Honorable Mention: Maggie Durham, Zoe Sinclair, Chase Kelly, Kira Locke, Tessa Guilander, Annika Johansson, Maia Ettlinger and Grace Hollander; Honorable Mention: Jake Hartley, Gemma Baker, Kylani Nakagawa, Bodhi Yang, RJ Stoll, Montana Flynn, Edie Creamer, Benjamin Slossberg, Gracie Brown and Arden Monaghan.

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