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Daniel and the Art Competition (Original fiction from the school yard)

Updated on May 3, 2017
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Daniel and the Art Competition.

Daniel loved to draw and paint. So when he heard that a local community group was running an Art competition, he asked his Teacher whether the children in the class could enter. Miss Mackay thought about it for a while and then said “yes.”

Daniel was very excited and spent hours planning his picture. The competition rules said that the picture had to feature a native animal or bird, and live creatures were very hard to draw. At last he decided to do a magpie sitting on a fence. The magpie was filled in with bold back and white, and the fence was red. The grass and trees in the background were painted in light and dark green. Everyone admired Daniel’s picture as he set it aside on the shelf to dry.

Picture courtesy: morguefile.com
Picture courtesy: morguefile.com

The accident

Some of the other children in the class were having trouble with their pictures and Daniel decided to help them. Just a little, because the competition entry had to be “all your own work”. He encouraged the girl who was drawing a koala and the boy who was stuck for an idea. No one was allowed to give up!

While Daniel was talking to the other children, a strong wind entered the classroom. It picked up Daniel’s painting, which was dry except for the thickest bits of black paint and blew the paper down onto the floor. The page landed face down on the linoleum.

Miss Mackay called out to Daniel and he ran across the room in alarm. Together they picked the paper up and turned it right side up. Some of the black paint on the edge of the magpie’s wing had smudged across onto the beautiful white patch on its back.

Magpie picture courtesy morguefile.com
Magpie picture courtesy morguefile.com

Keep trying

Daniel was devastated, but Miss Mackay said it might be possible to fix it very carefully using some white paint. They closed the window and put the painting back on the shelf to dry. There was nothing more Daniel could do for his own picture, so he went to help the other kids again. The boy who had been stuck for an idea was now drawing a tiger snake and colouring the stripes very carefully. The ground behind the snake was dark brown and the contrast was very good.

The next day, Daniel mixed a very strong solution of white paint and applied it to the body of the magpie with a fine brush. In the end, all you could see was a small grey smudge. Daniel’s picture was good enough for the competition, but it was no longer perfect. Miss Mackay got the children to fill out their entry forms and then delivered the paintings to the community organisation which was going to judge the competition.

A greater achievement than winning

The school went to the Institute to look on the following Monday. First prize had been given to a child from another school and second prize had also been awarded to a child from a different school. The third prize had been presented to the boy who had drawn the tiger snake.

Daniel’s magpie picture had been granted a certificate of merit. Daniel was pleased and sad at the same time. He called Miss Mackay to look.

Miss Mackay pointed out that one whole wall was covered with paintings from their school. “This is all your doing,” the Teacher said: “You should be glad that you helped our class get involved.” And Daniel was happy, because he knew he had done much more than win a prize for himself.

© Cecelia

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My dreams of becoming a writer

As a child I was an avid reader and it was my ambition to become an "author". I dreamt of being prolific like Enid Blyton, and creating a style that was as riveting and addictive to young readers as hers.

As I grew older, I faced many discouragements. First there was the need for an original and interesting idea, then there was the effort required to write a novel out to full length, many days and hours of long work. Having overcome the second hurdle, there was the final barrier, often insurmountable for an unknown aspiring writer - that of finding a publisher interested in printing and distributing the work.

Along the road to authorship, there is also the need to care for one's family and maintain a "day job". At this point in time, I am sorry to say I am busy with day jobs and writing another full length novel has been placed on the back-burner. So is editing and promoting the three full length manuscripts I have burnt to CD.

I still write the occasional short story, poem and university paper. My style ranges from realistic (mostly bildungsroman or developmental stories) to fantasy. Along the way, I maintain a keen appreciation of other people's writing, acting, painting and photography, as you will find expressed in my hubs.

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      Hard 2 years ago

      Our kids teach us the best lessons don't they!As an unlhipbsued writer, it can be tempting sometimes to develop the attitude some day if I'm lucky I might get published , rather than thinking With sufficient hard I work I know I can hone my craft to bring my work to publishable standards . Next time I am tempted to have a negative attitude about any of my abilities in life, I will remember your son.