Caw-caw! Chirp! Chirp! It is morning in Foxwood forest. All the animals gathered around the giant maple tree. The animals of the wood loved that tree so much that every day they met there to welcome the sun.
Near the wood there was a small town. In that town there lived a little boy named Nicholas. Nicholas walked two miles to school every day, but on Sunday he worked non-stop on his family’s farm. Nick’s family was not the richest family in the town, but they survived.
Nick lived so close to the forest that every morning he ran in and climbed the maple tree. He sat with the animals and looked out of the woods and waited for the beautiful red splash of sun to come peeking up over the hill. But that specific morning when he climbed the maple tree, he found no raccoon sitting and waiting for him, no buck sharpening it’s antlers on the tree’s rough bark. At first this did not faze him, then he noticed that Chi-Chi, the chipmunk did not come and curl up in the old bird nest that was perched right next to the dip in the tree where Nick always sat. Chi-Chi always sat there, always, even when it was -20 degrees! Even when it was 100 degrees! Chi-Chi always sat right next to Nick, and Nick always looked for him in the nest. But he wasn’t there! This scared Nick so he climbed down the tree, jumped across the pond, and into the wheat field. He was startled by a low humming sound. At first it sounded like a mosquito, but then got louder like a tractor. The first thing that popped into his head was that the farmer was starting to harvest the wheat. But then he realized it was Friday and the crops don’t come in until Monday. He looked down at his watch to see if it was time for school. It was 7:45, with 10 minutes left to get to school.
Nick could hardly pay attention during school. He couldn’t stop wondering what that sound was. Was it a comet hurtling towards Earth that would hit it at any moment and send them all hurtling into space with no air to breathe?!! Or was it simply a bug in his ear? Nick didn’t know, but he was going to find out.
Ding! Ding! School is out for the weekend and Nick is the first one out the door. He ran all the way to the field, not even stopping at home to drop off his backpack. He ran to the maple tree, frantically climbing its sturdy branches. When he reached the top, he caught a glimpse of a big yellow thing. Suddenly the ground started to shake. The leaves started to fall heavily on the ground. He could feel the maple tree shaking. All of a sudden, the yellow thing appeared again but this time Nick saw that it had a big bucket on the front. Nick was worried they were going to dig out the crops and build houses instead. Nick started to think that the government had gone crazy, taking away their grain and crops. But the thing wasn’t going to the field; it was coming right at him!
He scampered down the tree like a squirrel that had seen a ghost. He ran to the edge of the woods, only to feel the vibration stop. Nick heard some men yelling, then a chain saw buzz. Timber! The men yelled. Then silence except for the falling of the tree and the rumble of the yellow thing driving slowly away.
Nick ran into the woods only to find a small stump where the maple tree used to be. Nick caught only a small glimpse of the name on the side of the yellow thing, “#2 Pencils, We Are #1 At Making #2 (pencils).” He started to wonder where the animals had gotten away to. He thought maybe they had ran deeper into the woods to hide. He searched the ground for animal’s tracks until he heared his mother calling from the house. He ran home, yelling as he did so. Nick yelled, “They took my tree! They took it!” His mom told Nick to take it easy and to remember that it wasn’t their tree and that it was the farmer’s.
Nick ran to his bedroom, slaming the door and locking it. He reached under his bed and gently patting the carpet until he found the old paper pad. Nick gently turned the gold fragile pages filled with memories until he came to an empty page. He again reached under the bed, patting the carpet a 2nd time until he found the ripped bag of colored pencils. He plunged his hand into the bag pulling out a beautiful sky blue. He then shaded in a tree trunk. Nick drew in some leaves. Then the last touch…a small chipmunk sitting in a bird’s nest. Suddenly there was a knock at the door. Nick slowly opened the door. It was his mom. “Tommorow is a new day”, she said and left without a sound. Nick closed the door. He layed down on his bed thinking about what his mother had said. He decided that tommorow would be a new and better day (Sunday was his birthday).
Not soon after Nick gently fell into a deep sleep, full of dreams. When he awoke he felt as if he had been filled with hot cocoa. He felt so warm he almost forgave “#2 Pencils” for cutting down the maple tree. He looked at his clock. It was almost 8:00. Nick was so deep in thought that he almost didn’t smell the sweet smell of coffee and rice. He swung his legs over the side of his bed, almost tripping on the bag of colored pencils. Nick tiredly made his way down the hall . Nick sat in his usual spot at the table. His mother handed him a steaming plate of rice. Nick loved Saturday because Saturday is the only day he doesn’t have to slop the pigs, count or gather the chicken eggs, or milk the cows. Saturday was also the day Nick’s dad took him to the free Rhino Zoo.
Nick quickly ate his breakfast and chugged down his fresh milk, not even stopping to taste it’s sweetness. Nick ran into his room and slipped on a t-shirt and jeans. Nick was so excited he forgot to put on socks. At that moment his dad ran into Nick’s room, scooping him up and putting him on the bed. He asked if he was ready to go to the zoo. Nick almost yelled YEA=http://! Nick climbed onto his dad’s shoulders just as his dad raced down the hall. “To the zoo!” Nick yelled. They told mom that they would be back in 1-hour. Nick jumped into the back seat of the car. He was buckled and sitting before his dad even got out of the door.
After they got back from the zoo Nick went to his room to finish the drawing he had started the night before. When he finished Nick walked down the hall. He grabbed the tape and went back to his room. He gently ripped the paper out of the note pad. He ripped off a piece of tape. He connected the tape to the back of the paper then stuck it to his closet.
Nick heard his mom calling from the kitchen. Nick was so hungry he could eat a cow. They had beans and rice for lunch as usual. After lunch it seemed that almost instantly they had supper even though hours went past. After supper Nick climbed into bed.
The next day Nick smelled something sweet he had never smelled before. He was surprised and excited at the same time. When he got to the table his mom didn’t hand him bacon but a small cake looking thing. His mom told him it was what rich people ate on their birthdays. It had lime green frosting with a cream filling. Nick had never tasted anything so extraordinary, so amazing. When he bit into it he thought he would faint. When he was finished his mother told him that they had spent their month’s earnings on the cup cake, so that meant that they would have to have smaller portions. Nick thought about that and decided that the cupcake was so good he could handle less food any other time and that he would just have to adjust.
The day went by so fast it almost felt like he had just eaten the cup cake when he climbed into bed. When his mom bent down to say goodnight she instead handed him a package of pencils and whispered, “Happy birthday”.
When his parents left the room he took out the candle and matches. He lit the candle and set it by his bed. He ripped open the package of pencils (for people like Nick’s family a piece of pizza was a big deal, so pencils were like a million dollars). Nick could hardly wait to go to school tomorrow. He then remembered what his mom had told him, the sooner you go to sleep the sooner morning comes…but the problem was Nick was so excited he couldn’t relax enough to get to sleep. He thought maybe if there was no light he could relax more. He reached down and blew out the candle. Not soon after that Nick fell fast asleep.
The next morning Nick woke up by him by himself. He threw off his blanket, got on his shorts and shirt, and grabbed all his books. Nick went into his sleeping parent’s room and told his dad he was going to school but he just snorted. Nick took that as an ok. Nick couldn’t stand going to the forest anymore since they took down the tree. Nick went straight to school. He was the first one there. It was kind of cold in only a thin t-shirt and some shorts so Nick went inside and sat at his desk as usual. When his teacher came in Nick scared her half to death. Soon the classroom was full of kids yelling and talking. It took a bit for the teacher to calm the kids down. When the teacher got their attention the school day began. Nick was squirming all through math into writing until she called out, “Take out your pencils”. Nick quickly reached into his desk and grabbed his package of pencils and ripped them open. He grabbed the first one he saw. He then looked at the place and kind of tree engraved on the pencil. Foxwood forest, maple tree it read. Nick couldn’t believe it. Everything around him froze. The school day went so fast it was as if he got there and then left.
FORTY YEARS LATER
Fifty one year old Nick got up trying not to wake up the sleeping collie Tony who was sleeping peacefully next to him. He slowly opened the dresser door. Inside there was a package of pencils that all read Foxwood forest, maple tree in shining gold print.
I rated myself a 4 because I feel I have a strong lead and a suspenseful body in my story.