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A+10 A+10 November 1 - 14, 2008 November 1 14, 2008
SanTan kids have talent! In the first issue of every month, the SanTan Sun News prints
the best entries from kids in kindergarten through 12th grade in a variety of categories.
Congratulations to this month’s winner!
Note: If a great entry doesn’t make it into this issue because of space considerations, we will hold it over to run
in a future issue. Submissions are minimally edited to preserve the writer’s voice. If your submission appears in this
section, compare it to your original to help improve your writing skills.
short story:
The Wanderer
the streak left by the tear on the man’s leathery happened to his friend. came over to him and held him until he quieted.
by Sydney Layton, Basha High, grade 9
cheek. When a knock finally rattled the door, the “Mister, every day I am going to come visit
“Why have you been crying, mister?” man was relieved. Ever since the boy had been you, and when I wipe a tear from your cheek, I am
Long ago in a far away land lived a wanderer,
The old man took a ragged breath in before coming, he felt as though he was getting stronger. going to make a notch in this branch,” whispered
who was not rich in wealth, but was a billionaire
responding, “I was just dreaming of my travels Although the doctor’s tests contradicted the old the boy. Pausing for the man to take it in, he
in wisdom and knowledge. And though he was
before you got here, lad.” man’s feelings, he didn’t care. As long as he felt continued. “My father is a carpenter, and every
an elderly man, his travels ended long before his
The boy nodded as if he absorbed the whole good he knew he would be okay. day for the past year we worked on it. Now it is a
mind was done dreaming of the spectacular sites
message of the old man’s life through those 12 Moving to the door as quickly as an old man crafted, sanded, beautiful, walking stick.”
he would have liked to see one day.
words. Getting up to move closer to the man, the could, he opened it. The boy stood on his doorstep The boy hugged the man tighter. “Do you
Depression overtook the man when he was
boy picked up his thick, wrinkled hand and placed with an ear-to-ear smile beaming across his face. remember when I had asked you the first day I
forced to stop traveling due to a wicked illness.
it over his own heart. Twenty or so other boys were crowded behind met you why you had been crying?”
He had cancer, and it was slowly, but surely,
“I promise I will be back tomorrow,” grinned him, and in unison they shouted, “Happy 75th The old man nodded.
ending his life.
the boy before turning to walk out out bbirthday!”t day “You responded that you had been dreaming
The man had lost his family in a tragedy
into the cool fall air. ThThe man was so taken aback he of your travels, so now you have a walking stick,
years back, which contributed to his passion for
The man was a bit baffled stustumbled a bit, but his surprised look m go.”
traveling – to get out and see the world and all the
as to what just happened waswas quickly replaced with a wide grin The man looked at the boy, bewildered. “I am
mystical wonders it had to offer. Now he had no
and wondered if it was anand a twinkle in his knowing eyes.n sick, lad, I can’t!” he replied.
one to share his wisdom and knowledge with, and
even real. Nobody ever The boys had a wonderful party “The doctor got the results back from your last
no one to tell of his earlier journeys. The man was
showed such concern for for the old man that included test,” the boy responded. “You can go. You’re on
giving in to the illness instead of fighting back.
him, especially a young lad. games, cake and presents. The the mend. You can leave right now.”
The former traveler had a small cottage next to
Murmuring to himself, he old man opened each one, The old man stood up and hugged the boy so
a flowing river. It was quite peaceful and a nice,
stumbled back to bed and looking at them with a smile, tightly it hurt just a bit, but the boy didn’t mind and
quiet place to settle down. However, he did not
fell back into his comforting even though he knew he hugged him back just as hard.
want to settle down yet. He wanted to continue
daydream. wouldn’t be able to use The old traveler whispered into the boy’s
his adventures discovering lost tombs or ancient
The next day he found them for long and would be ear, “Thank you lad, thank you for giving me my
artifacts or simply seeing new places.
himself getting melancholy giving them all away soon. dreams back!”
One day he lay in bed, doctor’s orders. He
all over again. As tears slid Handing him the last gift, The boy nodded and pushed the man out the
reminisced about the magnificent times he had
unchecked down his face, a the boy he called “friend” door, “Good luck!” he shouted, and the other
been blessed with as tears trickled down his
knock sounded at the door. for more than a year now boys’ voices joined in.
cheeks. A soft knock on the door broke through
Opening the door, he beamed, “this one is from The man walked down the road a little ways
his daydreaming, jolting him back to reality.
was surprised, yet glad, to me.” and then turned around as the boy yelled, “Will
Wiping the tears from his eyes, he slowly rose
see the boy had honored his The man looked at it with you write?”
from his bed and shuffled to the door to open it.
promise. He welcomed the appreciation, knowing the The man looked at the distant boy, the house
A small boy with sandy blonde hair and rosy
boy inside and offered him boy’s family wasn’t wealthy and the land before replying, “Mister, every day
cheeks stood on his doorstep. He looked up at
some hot chocolate. and probably had to scrape up I will write to you, and every time you see a
the man with gleaming green eyes and asked to
The sun raced across the the money to buy it. Taking the teardrop on the paper, make a notch in a branch
come in.
sky as the two shared endless long, slim item in his hands, he for me. Alright?”
The man was perplexed. The only person who
conversation. Suddenly, the ever so gently unwrapped it. The boy nodded and watched the man walk to
ever visited was the doctor. Ushering the boy in,
boy stopped mid sentence to Sobbing, he held the object the end of the road and disappear.
the man motioned him to sit at the table across
reach across the table and in his hands.
from him.
wipe another tear from the The other boys looked
The elderly man was very tired and would have
man’s face. puzzled as his young friend
preferred to remain in his daydream. Nonetheless,
“I sure don’t like to see
he asked the boy to speak up and tell him what
those tears on your face!”
he wanted.
he exclaimed.
The boy looked at the old man, steadily blinking
Calmly, the man looked
his green eyes and began to speak. “My family and
at the boy and replied, “They are
Send us your knockout
I just moved into the village a little ways away
not tears of sadness, boy; they are tears of joy.
stories and photos!
from your cottage, sir. And I just thought that I
You don’t need to worry about me, lad.”
would like to visit everyone.”
The boy did not seem satisfied with his answer,
The man looked concerned and asked the boy
and so he said, “Mister, every day I am going to
Students in Chandler and Gilbert have the
how old he was.
come visit you.” The man nodded and said that he
opportunity to see their articles, stories,
“I’m 9 years old today!” stated the youngster
would like that. The boy got up and took the old
poems, editorials and illustrations in print in
man’s hand again, but this time he pulled on it,
the SanTan Sun Kids Opportunity section. Visit
The man then asked the boy why he was alone
taking him outside. Reluctantly, the man followed, click on Youth and then
and told him it wasn’t safe going to strangers’
as the boy led him close to a tree by his house and Student Writer Permission Slip to download a submission/permission slip.
houses by himself.
picked up a dead branch.
Complete the form and have your parents sign it so we have their permission
“The doctor said you were really nice and
Turning to the man, branch in hand, the boy
to print your material with your byline. Then, email your submission/permission
needed a friend,” explained the boy. “So I thought
spoke, “Mister, every day I am going to come visit
slip and writing or cartoon to as a Word file (if writing)
I would be your friend! Do you want to be my
you, and when I wipe a tear from your cheek I am
or JPEG (if art) or pasted into the email. If you don’t have access to email, or
going to make a notch in this branch. Okay?”
Once again surprised, the man nodded,
The man looked puzzled, but nodded.
prefer to send your submission on disk, you may send a hard copy of the form
agreeing to be the boy’s friend, which brought a
The boy brought the man back into the house
with your entry in a Word file or JPEG on a CD via postal mail to Lynda Exley,
huge grin to the boy’s ruddy face.
and left for home with the branch in his hand.
Kids Op Page, SanTan Sun News, P.O. Box 23, Chandler, AZ 85244-0023. For more
Reaching across the table, the boy gently
Month after month the routine continued. The
information on the Kids Op page, or to have SanTan Sun News Editor Lynda Exley
brushed a tear off the man’s face and studied
boy would visit, wipe a tear off the old man’s face, speak at your school to rev students up about writing and
the droplet in his hand. Looking up, he noticed
and then go home. One day the boy did not show publishing, email
up, and the man was worried something bad
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