2nd runner up in the 12 and younger age category – Wadadli Pen Challenge 2016
About the Story: A grade 5 student, Zion, was given an assignment to write a descriptive story about a Christmas dinner. This is the story she wrote.
Judge’s comments (positives only*): “Time, mood and anticipation are established early and continued through nicely. A celebration of ‘family’ through the eyes of a child… (who) can still see the ‘Christmas’ period through family gathering and having fun and not as the obscene behemoth it has become.”
Note: *While only the positives are being shared with the public, in keeping with the development goals of Wadadli Pen, all long listed entries are returned to the author with the judge’s note – both positives and negatives – for revision. Congrats to Zion, a 2014 finalist, on her return to the winners’ circle. Keep working on your craft; keep valuing your voice and your art. – JCH
Here now is A Dinner to Remember by Zion Ebony Williams, a 10-year-old student of Baptist Academy, who loves liturgical dancing, singing, and watching her favourite TV shows; whose involvement in public speaking at school is helping her break out of her shyness; and whose The Night I went to Cricket , in addition to being a 2014 honourable mention, was also included in the special Antigua and Barbuda edition of Tongues of the Ocean:
“Mmmmm! The wonderful blended aroma of baked turkey, macaroni pie and stewed pork filled the air. I quickly jumped out of bed. It was Boxing Day. The day of the family Christmas dinner at my grandmother’s house. Each family was required to bring something for the meal, so mom prepared the turkey, macaroni pie and stewed pork.
“Yummm!” I was feeling hungry already , just thinking about all the delicious food that would be there. I could hardly wait for the afternoon, when the dinner was to begin.
The afternoon finally came, and we arrived at my grandmother’s house. Mommy asked me to take the stewed pork inside.
“Be careful, Zion! Are you sure you can manage that?” she asked.
“Of course, Mommy! This is nothing for me” I bragged, walking slowly towards the house.
Suddenly, I tripped over the sleeping black and white striped cat.
“Bap!” I fell flat on my face.
The stewed pork flew all over the place. My arms, knees, and pride were badly bruised. I was so embarrassed. Luckily I didn’t break any bones. Then again, maybe I was not so lucky after all, because if I had a broken hand, then I would have to be taken to hospital, and every one would be fussing about me and feeling sorry for me, and no one would remember I had spilled the stewed pork, and I would not have felt so ashamed to face the rest of the family. It did not help that my cousins were all l laughing at me. “Yes… I think I would have preferred breaking a bone” I thought to myself.
My sore pride was soon soothed when we started dinner.
Ooooh! so much food and they all looked so delicious! The cat with her fur all slicked down with pork stew, would not stop licking herself. “Well, she certainly thought it was delicious!
I tasted a little of everything, but filled my plate up with my favorites. Broccoli covered with melted cheese, baked barbecue chicken, macaroni pie, ham and a refreshing glass of fruit punch . Of course, I had to have ice cream and cake, and I could not resist the chocolate covered marsh-mellows. Afterwards, I was so full, I felt my belly would burst.
The best part of the dinner was the old time funny stories that my uncles, aunts and grandmother told. They had me laughing until I cried, especially the one about the time when my mom urinated on herself running in fear from the “John Bull”. Oh! I would have loved to see that! I teased mom about this for a long time after, because she always made me think she was never afraid of anything. Ha! ha! Her secret was out!
I soon forgot about my pain, but I would never forget that Christmas dinner. The scar on my knees would always make it a dinner to remember.
For earning 2nd runner up in her age category, Zion received:
A certificate sponsored by the Best of Books
EC$125 – Caribbean Reads Publishing
EC$30 gift certificates for books – Cushion Club
Gift – Frank B. Armstrong
Inner City Girl by Colleen Smith-Dennis – Pam Arthurton of Carib World Travel
The Legend of Bat’s Cave and Other Stories by Barbara Arrindell – The Best of Books
Thanks to all partners and patrons for making the Wadadli Pen 2016 Challenge possible. Here at Wadadli Pen, we encourage you to support the businesses and individuals who support the arts.
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