Two of our very own students won the very prestigious State Young Authors Award. 5th Grader, Avery Braithwaite and 8th Grader Emma Johnson were both recognized for their outstanding submissions in the competition. Avery’s teacher Mrs. Hamilton, and Emma’s teacher Mrs. Puritis, were both extremely proud of these outstanding young authors. Please scroll below to read their winning submissions.
I was sitting in my cage when my brother, Owen, told me it was time. I knew that, of course, but it was nice to know I wasn’t alone. My cage was cramped and I felt like I should do something! That’s when my instincts took over. Every muscle in my body was telling me to break my cage, but my mind said I wasn’t strong enough. My muscles didn’t care. I started pecking, and pecking until I finally saw a sliver of moonlight. I pushed so hard with my head until I heard – CRACK! I could feel my cage crumble around me. I was free.
As I crawled onto the warm, soft sand I heard a crash. I looked around and saw a vast expanse of blue. Waves were crashing down onto the sand, causing a white layer of foam to bounce into the air. I saw a bright, round object floating in the sky, beckoning me. My brothers and sisters, whom I’d never seen before, seemed to also be in its trance. We started flopping towards it, knowing land was not our element. Then, the spell was broken by a loud squawking. It flew down to my sister Ellen. We were so confused but we sensed she was gone. I started scurrying as fast as I could towards the ocean. Every time a sibling was taken, my heart broke a little. I was near the water, the fastest of my siblings, when I stopped. Owen was calling me. I turned around to see him snatched by a seagull. I yelled his name, did everything I could, until I couldn’t hear him anymore. He was gone. I was in tears as I made it into the cruel ocean.
Wilmington Academy of Arts and Sciences
Living as One
As I stare down at the warm ocean waves lapping at my feet, I envision who else was looking at this same water. I look to the horizon, and imagine being the Native American who saw the European explorers arriving in their daunting ships. I shift the gritty sand between my toes, and think of the children who built their towers and dug holes in it in the 18th century, the children who did the same thing in the 19th century, and the children doing the same thing today.
I observe the cliffs that lead down to the Maine seaside, and see the ocean spray bash against the rocks. I picture the ancient creatures and dinosaurs that were looking out over the land into the distant water. I see the primitive humans crouching on the same slabs of rock. I envision natives coming and going, and as settlers arrive, trying to find their way in this strange land in search of a better way of life. I see the building of houses and lighthouses. I watch as more boats float along, and the tourists start to gather. This cliff has watched with patience through it all.
I now gaze over the snowy peaks in the Rocky Mountains. The harsh wind is a cold contrast to the sun warming my back. I think about the people who are doing the same thing, right now, across the world. In the Andes, Himalayas, Alps, and more, there are other people admiring the outdoors. The beauty, the serenity, the pureness, and rawness of nature doesn’t ever change.
I turn around in the Alabama forest and sniff the earthy scent of the trees and dirt around me. The birds tweet overhead, and a squirrel scampers through a patch of sunlight. My ancestors watched it too. Humans’ first home was outdoors; our hearts lie there. Humans came from nature, and will always return.
Nature connects us, whether in the past or the present. Time is nothing, and the soil watches as humanity makes the same mistakes, then fixes them. The rock watches as our fads come and go, yet our purpose remains the same: to improve and live our life. Across the globe, no matter what color your skin is, what language you speak, or what you daily life consists of, nature connects us. Our hearts lie in nature, and it’s what binds humanity together.
Wilmington Academy of Arts and Science