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Fraser writing contest goes on, Aspen Elementary winners announced

Special to The Aspen Times

The 19th Annual Fraser Creative Writing Contest held among Aspen third and fourth graders adapted as did everything else this spring due to the coronavirus.

The winners were announced via a video and slide show to all third and fourth graders in March. The contest is organized by Julie Zats at Aspen Elementary School and is judged by Lynda McCarthy and Jill Sheeley. The theme this year was courage — “a prophetic choice it seems,” Sheeley noted, adding the two judges “were incredibly impressed by the amazing stories and congratulate all who entered.”

The following essays were deemed first-place winners for the third and fourth grades.

“Charlie’s Story”

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By Jadyn Rebbeca Puder

Third Grade

Teachers: Julie Zats and Amy Coyle

I wake up and stare at the ceiling for a while NOT ready to go to … “Charlie honey, time for school; you don’t want to be late on your first day of fourth grade.” My Mom hollered. Exactly, I’m NOT ready to go school. “Coming,” I hollered.

When you’re different, life is different. I’m not like other kids. I act different because I look different. I’m not normal; not like anybody else I know; not that I know of. I don’t really know a lot of people and not a lot of people want to be friends with me. My only friends are my Mom Sarah; my Dad Josh; my sweet dog Bowser and Mildred and Milo, my two sisters. Well, they’re not really my friends, they’re not always the nicest. My one brother Elliot though, ALWAYS has my back.

Beep beep, oh the bus is here! “gotta go!” I yelped to my Mom. The HORRIBLE smell of gasoline sweeps into my nose as I open the red crooked door out of my house. Step, by step, by step, by step!

Wow! There are a lot of steps on this bus. Once I pass the driver, whose name is Gus, everyone looks. Dead cold eyes are staring at me, one by one, as I walk down the aisle with my brown jeans and my blue buttoned shirt that says BE BRAVE. But I’m not being so brave right now. Oh! Oh!, I say to myself excitedly, when there’s finally a seat available. I’m so excited to sit in it and make a new friend. Just as I’m about to sit, the kid moves to a different seat, ugh, so rude! Yes, it’s true, I do have a crooked nose; my mouth doesn’t look so normal as it’s sideways, so I chew sideways and my ears are lower than they’re supposed to be; so yes, it’s true, I’m different. You can see that it’s not a lie and I can’t hide it; but look at the bright side, at least I get the whole row of seats to myself!

When we arrive at school, kids stare at me, again with dead cold eyes! I hear whispers. I don’t mind though; well I kinda do. It’s mean hearing voices behind your back whispering things like, “oh, he’s weird” and “who’s that kid?” and “geez, I don’t want to be friends with him.” Anyways, I’ve gotten used to eating lunch in the janitor’s closet. It’s loud and busy in the lunchroom and kids are very picky about who sits with them. “Hi, my name is Cassidy. Do you go to school here? Are you a new kid?” I thought it was weird she came into the janitor’s closet. How’d she know I was here? I thought she was getting a broom, but ahh! she turned on the light and a whole group of tall kids with hoods hiding their faces surrounded Cassidy, who was also wearing a hood, blurted out, “Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! ugly boy!” and then Cassidy chuckled meanly as she said, “welcome to my crew, get used to us, you’ll be seeing us around,” and then everyone laughed. I took my lunch to the bathroom which was even worse. I stared DIRECTLY into the toilet as I ate and I have to say, it was not the best view.

After school, I went straight to bed. I wasn’t tired though as it was only 3 in the afternoon, but I just snuggled up in my sheets with Bowser. I fell asleep anyway, because I was just really bored. The next day, I was in the janitor’s closet, when suddenly I heard chewing on my right and coughing on my left. I turned on the light and to my right I see …um, me, or at least someone who reminds me of me. She was scared, shy and had a different face that was not normal. She definitely reminded me of me. She was different like me, and not normal like other kids, so I had nothing else to say except for, “Hi, I’m Charlie, what’s your name?” I happily exclaimed. “Izzy, um, short for Isabella,” she shyly replied. I was being as nice as I could. She was really, really shy. “and that’s my brother Luke,” she whispered. Wow! Two friends that are EXACTLY LIKE ME! So I then politely asked, “Hey, you wanna come to my house?” They both said yes. GOAL! Friend making is officially checked off the list. Izzy and Luke are now my new besties.

Let me tell you how making friends gave me courage. One day, Luke, Izzy and I were walking through the halls, when the rude, mischievous, bully Cassidy, and her hoodie crew came around the corner. “Why hello!” she said schemingly, as she gave me a little glare. “Why are you so mean? I’m done with the rudeness, stop being mean right now!” I boldly said to her. She and her friends slowly slid off their hoodies. We saw that they were one of us. “I’m sorry, I just don’t like being different. Can we be friends?” Cassidy asked. “I’m always open for a new friend. Group hug!” I happily said. Izzy whispered. “Wow, you were so courageous to stand up to Cassidy. She has been mean for years. I wish I can be like you someday” said Izzy. “Thanks” I said to Izzy, “I guess I am courageous afterall.”

“The Two Girls”

By Keely Corbett

Fourth Grade

Meet Emily, the fifth grade girl who loved to horseback ride. So did Veronica, her worst enemy. Both girls attended Oakdale Prep since they were in kindergarten. They were never good friends, but they should have been best friends because they both had something very special in common. They both grew up riding horses at the same barn. They were so different. Emily always felt that Veronica was not a very nice girl. She usually acted like a bully. She tried to act like an older girl and she had a hard time keeping friends. This year they had the same classes. Which made it worse. Third period was math class and also Emily’s favorite. The teacher was talking about fractions when Veronica leaned over and said to Emily, “Emily, you are so bad at riding!” Emily said, “No I am not Veronica.” “Emily, we will see who is the better rider this weekend at the Grand Prix year end show!” Emily had to ask the teacher for a bathroom break because she did not know if she was going to cry or throw up. Veronica always made Emily feel sick to her stomach. Why couldn’t she just be nice? Emily always thought to herself. Emily felt bad because Veronica was probably right. Veronica rode at a higher level than Emily and always seemed to have the bigger, faster horse. She had the nicest saddle and the shiniest new boots. Her hair was always perfect like she went to a salon every day and Emily always felt like she was not as pretty. Emily’s mom never was able to buy her new boots or new clothes. She had to wear her older sister’s clothes and get hand-me-down riding clothes from the older girls at the barn.

The morning of the show started off great for Emily. She got up very early at 5 a.m. and her mom surprised her with a new show jacket! It was beautiful and Emily thought it was the most incredible thing she had ever received! She felt very pretty in her new jacket and felt like a true show-girl!

Emily was standing near the arena watching her friends ride and she was listening to the sound of the horse’s feet pounding around the arena“Click clock click clock.” Her nerves began to kick in. She was so nervous all she could hear was the sound of her breathing through her clothes and her new show jacket that felt like 100 pounds. Her heart was pounding and felt like it was going to jump out of her chest. All of a sudden, Emily spotted Veronica. Emily walked over to say hello and thought Veronica would be nice. But she was wrong. Veronica ignored Emily.

The announcer said, “Arena 2 you’re up in 12 minutes. Next rider is 4723, Veronica Washer.” Emily thought to herself, “I hope Veronica doesn’t fall off.” In lessons she fell off a couple times because her horse was going too fast over a really high jump.

The Judge said on the loudspeaker, “Veronica is doing really well! Her round is almost over.” Right at the exact second the Judge was talking, something went wrong. Her horse spooked and Veronica had the biggest fall in the whole Grand Prix Year End Show. Veronica was crying but was able to get up and get her horse who was running around the arena. Emily couldn’t help notice that her parents were being really harsh on her. Emily wished she could run over to her and help her and talk to her parents but it was her turn for the hunter/jumper class. Emily was called into the ring. “That was an amazing round for Emily Trisa!” The announcer said over the loudspeaker. “Next up is the flat class.” Emily saw that Veronica looked scared and nervous because she had just fallen off earlier. Now her horse was aggressive and hyper. Too hyper. She rode in to the ring like a thunderstorm came to Colorado.

Then the rest of the people (12 of them) entered the ring. Then, Emily noticed that she had the wrong diagonal and looked up at the Judge. The Judge wasn’t looking. Emily was filled with a feeling of joy that she could still win the class. If the Judge didn’t see that she had the wrong diagonal, then she won’t lose any points! But, after a second, she felt bad because she knew that was cheating.

“Everyone please line up,” announced the Judge. Then the Judge began announcing the places. She announced 5th, 4th, 3td, and then 2nd. “2nd place goes to Veronica Washer. For the Winner, 1st place, goes to Emily Trisa! Great ride Emily on Jack!” the Judge said. Emily was so happy she was celebrating her victory in a daze of amazement! She felt like she was in a dream. She finally won! And she beat Veronica! When they were done riding and grooming their horses Emily began to get a bad feeling in her stomach. The same feeling she got at school when Veronica would try and bully her in class. It was a big pit that twisted her stomach and made her heart race. While putting her horse away, Emily heard someone crying in the bathroom. She realized it was Veronica. She was crying to her mom in the bathroom and said she really wanted to win and felt like she rode a really good round.

“Emily, are you ready?” yelled Emily’s mom. “Your dad and I will be in the car. Please hurry up. We are exhausted!” yelling from a really far distance. Emily decided she had better go talk to the Judges.

The Judge looked at Emily and said “ hello, do you need anything?” “Hello,” said Emily. “I just came here to tell you something. I don’t deserve to win first place.” “Why not?” said the Judge. “Because on the left hand corner I picked up the wrong diagonal and I looked at you and you didn’t notice me. I think this trophy belongs to Veronica Washer.”

“Well, you young lady are a very sweet girl. You had tons of courage to tell me this. I think that you should give her the trophy, not me.” Suddenly the pit in her stomach was gone and even though she didn’t win or get a place, she felt such relief to be able to give the trophy to the right person, even if it was Veronica.

She ran over to Veronica yelling “Veronica! WAIT! WAIT! I have something to tell you.” “What Emily?” “You deserved this trophy! I talked to the judges and I told them that I got the wrong diagonal!” Veronica just stared at me and I don’t think she knew what to say or do and then she blurted out “Wow, … Emily. I can’t believe you did that. After all the mean things I have said and done to you. … I feel so bad. I am so, so, so sorry Emily. Can you forgive me?” “Yes. Of course I can Veronica! I have always just wanted to be friends since Kindergarten!”

Then the two girls became two close friends. They rode together on the weekends and competed in shows together. This time, supporting each other and cheering each other on and being a shoulder to cry on if one fell off, lost an event or got bullied by another mean girl! The two girls had big dreams to have their own ranch together one day and invite anyone that wanted to learn how to ride or even just play with horses to come any time they wanted.


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