two girls on a hammock
3RD PLACE || 2020


by Alessandra Lockard


Once there was a girl named Annie. Now, Annie was a selfish little girl and she did not like sharing, but she loved playing with friends.

It was December and Christmas was only a couple of days away. Annie was so excited because on Christmas Eve, her cousins would be visiting, but also because there were a lot of presents under the tree and there would be even more when her relatives came. She couldn’t wait to open the ones that were for her.

Annie was bored and her mother said, “It’s time for you to go to bed because you have a long day tomorrow.”

The next morning, they had pancakes for breakfast. While she was eating, Annie asked, “What time is everybody coming?”

“They’re going to be here soon,” her mom said.

Annie ate her breakfast quickly and then got dressed. There was a knock on the front door. Her cousins had arrived. Then another car drove up. After everybody was there, they started to open presents.

Annie helped to hand out the presents. After all the presents had been handed out, Annie opened the presents that were hers. She got a hammock, a doll, a soccer ball, and a scooter.

Right away she went to the backyard and hung up her hammock. Her cousins followed her and asked if they could have a turn.

“No, because it’s mine. You could have asked for a hammock for Christmas.”

All her cousins went inside, and Annie kept swinging. It was boring without anyone to play with, so she also went inside for lunch. They prayed and then, of course, Annie jumped to the front of the line and got her food and then waited for her cousins. After lunch, her cousins left, and they cleaned up the house.

A couple of days after Christmas, her friends came over and they played some games. Her friends wanted to play soccer, but Annie said the same thing she’d said to her cousins.

“No, you can’t play with my soccer ball. It’s mine and you’ll ruin it.”

They asked to play with the doll, but she said, “No you’ll ruin her hair, so why would I let you play with my doll?”

Anyway, it was time for her friends to go. The next day she invited her friends over again, but since she had been so selfish about her toys, they said no. When she was done with her call, she asked her mom why they didn’t want to come, and her mom said it was because she was so selfish with her toys.

Annie decided that maybe her friends would like her better if she was nicer to them. She decided to take them to a movie theater and pay for all the tickets and her mom said that she could ask them tomorrow.

The next day, Annie called her friends and asked them if they wanted to go to the movie theater. At first, they said no, but when she said that she would pay for all the tickets, they agreed. She told them that they could have a vote that afternoon for which movie to go to. Annie bought popcorn and drinks and they had a lot of fun. After that, she asked her friends to play soccer and dolls with her.

Annie finally learned that if you’re selfish with toys or anything, your friends might never want to play with you ever again. And from then on, she was always willing to share her toys with her friends and her cousins even if they were her favorite toys, like her doll, hammock, and scooter. And she was glad that she had decided to be nice because she gained more friends. Her mother was very proud of her for making the change from being selfish and un-sharing to being very nice and always sharing. Everyone liked her much better.

Alessandra is a fourth grader who loves math, reading, holidays, and dogs. She wants to be a vet when she grows up.