Our Stories

Connor’s Dialogue with leaders of eastern religions
By Michael

In Order of Appearance

Lao Tzu: Representing Taoism
Swami Vivekananda
: Representing Hinduism                             
Connor
: Person listening to the speech                                                    
Siddhartha Gautama
: Representing Buddhism

Lao Tzu: Martin Luther King Jr’s speech is very moving indeed. He is an epitome of a T’zu. In Taoism, that means that Martin Luther King Jr. is a person who has a lot of moral courage and compassion. He knows when to stand up for his people, and he is demonstrating it by giving this speech. He will not walk away from any situation that is an injustice. This is the kind of action that helps Martin Luther King Jr. return to his natural state instead of living in a world that defines who he is. There is a saying in Taoism, the wise man does not teach by words, but by deeds, which means that instead of talking about it to people, Martin Luther King Jr. actually makes things happen. He helps the race of African Americans to achieve freedom.

Swami Vivekananda: I agree with what Lao Tzu said that Martin Luther King Jr. is following his moral duty to help his people. In a Hindu point of view, this would be called following his individual dharma. Dharma is an ethical duty for a single person to achieve in their lifetime. Everyone has their own Dharma, which can also be thought of as everyone having their own path up to the top of the mountain to moksha, or the breaking out of the cycle of samsara; the wheel of rebirth.  Martin Luther King Jr. I would have to say is following his Dharma very well. He knows in his heart that he has to help his people.

Connor: How do you think people should act while they are on Earth, Siddhartha?

Siddhartha Gautama (The Buddha): In Buddhism, there is a doctrine called the Middle Way. When following the middle way, a person does not try too hard to achieve what he or she wants, nor does he not try at all. Martin Luther King Jr. can be considered to be following the middle way, because he does not try to hard to get what he wants by supporting violence. Nor does he not try at all to end the segregation and racism between blacks and whites. Instead he leads a peaceful protest to help his people.

Lao Tzu: I agree with what you said about the Middle Way. It is very similar to the Taoist concept of Wu Wei. Wu Wei literally translates as non-action or non-doing. When you follow Wu Wei, you just let it happen; you do not have to work so hard to get what you want. Yet, it does not mean that you do nothing as in being lazy. Instead you just go with the flow of the Tao. Instead of trying to go up a river, just flow with it to progress to where nature meant for you to go. By following Wu Wei, you do nothing and leave nothing undone instead of chasing the next biggest award that life supposedly supplies you.

Swami Vivekananda: I agree, that makes a lot of sense to me. I understand that the next biggest award is just an illusion. There is a concept in Hinduism called maya, which is the belief that the material world is what is real, yet it is not real because the person does not realize that it is magic or an illusion.

Siddhartha Gautama (The Buddha): I agree with what Lao Tzu said. People want everything to come out a certain way in order to be happy. A Buddhist teacher once said, “Why are you unhappy? Because 99.9% of everything you think and of everything you do is for yourself—and there isn’t one.” To achieve spiritual perfection, one must not focus on oneself and individual needs, because that will make the person suffer more. According to Buddhism, people aren’t suffering because of the white mistreatment of blacks; they are suffering because they are making themselves suffer by caring about their own needs.

Lao Tzu: I believe that it was rather upsetting that the white people of the time treated the African people so poorly. He is fit to govern who loves all people as he loves himself, which means that a person who does not treat the entire group the same way should not be in charge of everyone else. Their P’u must be in great danger. How can people be carved up so much to believe that they are dominant over the African race? Their treatment towards the people is truly an act of wickedness.

Connor: I couldn’t agree more with what you have said. White Americans have been dominant over our kind for many generations. I am not quite sure what you meant when you said P’u. Could you explain more on what P’u is?

Lao Tzu: I would be delighted to explain. P’u is the state of being of a person at the moment they are born. At birth, people are born pure, good, and innocent. Over time, P’u may change from outside influences, just as these different skinned people grew up to believe that they are dominant over the other skinned race, and they make them suffer. By letting this happen, it is like a block being carved up because the person changes and is shaped by society. What they do not know is that the white population suffers also because they do not try to be themselves, or what they were born like.

Siddhartha Gautama (The Buddha): That is a very interesting way to thing about how people suffer, but I would have to disagree with it. In this case they both are suffering because they want everything to come out a certain way, and the outcome that they are hoping for is pleasure. Think of it this way: he who in seeking happiness causes pain to others, who also long for happiness, will not find happiness after death. The black population struggles with the many problems that the white people create for them. They are separated in society and are treated very poorly of compared to the white. But that is not the reason why black people are suffering. The reason is because they have a craving too: a craving for happiness, and they will not accept that this is life. The black people have to be in the here and now, instead of hoping for something that will not come. If they do not struggle with craving, a change will come. This goes to the Buddhist concept of anicca, in which everything is constantly in change and there is always impermanence.

Connor: I would have never thought of it like that, but why are the white American people going to suffer from this too?

Siddhartha Gautama (The Buddha): The white population thinks that by separating the white race and the black race, it would destroy all of their problems. This goes to the second noble truth; the cause of dukkha (suffering) is tanha (our desires) and attachment. The white people are not in control of their strong craving for the white race and black race to be separate, and so they suffer because they can not let go of it.

Swami Vivekananda: I agree with what Lao Tzu said about how everyone should be treated equally. The reason is because we are all connected. Everyone has an individual soul or spirit, called an atman and every atman is interconnected and part of the universal soul or spirit, Brahman. The outside of every person should not matter. It does not matter what skin color the people are because being black or white does not signify anything. What really matters is what is inside every body. It would cause more suffering if the white people were to hurt themselves; the Brahman.

Siddhartha Gautama (The Buddha): I would have to disagree with what Swami Vivekananda said about every person having an individual soul. In Buddhism, there is a concept called anatta, in which there is no soul or spirit inside any living being. In a way, there is nothing inside every body, and instead we are all one with the universe, like Swami had pointed at.

Swami Vivekananda: I disagree with what you said about how the person suffers. This goes back to the Hindu concept of karma. What happens in karma is that when a person does an action, there is always an outcome to it that is based exclusively on the moral value. So when the white people act as though they are dominant and in charge of the black population, the white people are hurting their own karma. When the people do not follow their dharma, they cause suffering to themselves.

Connor: I enjoyed listening to all of your thoughts on what the human condition is. It looks as though Martin Luther King has just finished up the last few remarks of his speech. That was the most touching language I have ever heard. This man is definitely going to heaven; he has led a strong fight using civil disobedience.

Swami Vivekananda: You believe that a speech is going to advance a person spiritually?

Connor: Well, what you think brings a person to spiritual perfection?

Swami Vivekananda: Well, the path spiritual perfection can be thought of as a mountain in which all paths lead to the same summit, or it can be thought of as a river in which many rivers lead to one ocean. There are many paths to take to the one single goal of Hinduism: Moksha. There are four main paths to salvation that people can choose to take based on who they are and what they are capable of: Bhakti; the path for personalists, Karma; the path through selfless work for others, Jnana; the path through knowledge, and Raja; the experiential path. These are all forms of yoga. Yoga is important because it reduces the ego, accesses infinite joy, being, and understanding. Other then that, a person can advance spiritually by following their productive and unproductive karma and devoting the person’s life to a single god that is an absolute favorite, which is also known as an ishta.

Siddhartha Gautama (The Buddha): It is interesting how you compared Hinduism with a mountain. I disagree. In Buddhism, it can be thought of as three rafts crossing a river. On one side of the river is the realm of samsara, the ordinary world of suffering. On the other shore lies nirvana. No one can describe nirvana fully until they achieve it. The real world of suffering from prejudice between the white race and the black race will never get the opportunity to know what nirvana is really like until the people come on the raft.

Lao Tzu: I strongly agree on what you said about how no one can describe what it is like to achieve spiritual perfection. I had written in the Tao Te Ching, the book of Taoism, “Those who know do not say, those who say do not know” because the Tao is simply indescribable using words. This goes along with the story of the man pointing at the moon. Using words is like looking at the pointing finger. Actually knowing the Tao is looking at the moon.

Connor: I agree, some things I just feel can not be described. Siddhartha, could you explain what the three rafts you mentioned were?

Siddhartha Gautama (The Buddha): I would be delighted to. The first raft, also known as the little raft, is Theravada. The Theravada sect focuses mainly on the teachings of Buddhism and the wisdom that comes through knowing. The Mahayana sect, also known as the large raft, focuses more on me and they celebrate me as a divine savior. Lastly, there is the Vajrayana sect, which is also known as Tibetan Buddhism.

Lao Tzu: I disagree. In Taoism, spiritual perfection is achieved when a person returns to their state of P’u. The most wanted state in Taoism is the state in which the person has an empty mind. Unlike the west, in Taoism people would sit down and forget. Like I had said before, the empty mind is prevalent when a person is young of age, yet people can return to that state as they grow of age. Spiritual perfection also can occur when there is a perfect balance of yin and yang; the two opposing forces that are common in nature. The form of exercise that can be practiced in order to achieve perfect balance is Tai Chi.

Siddhartha Gautama (The Buddha): The concept you said, empty mind, is sort of similar to the goal of Buddhism. Yet instead of forgetting, people should release everything. The final destiny for Buddhism, nirvana, literally means blowing out. It is disposing of all of the titles that have been given to you over your lifetime on Earth because those titles are meaningless and only push you farther away from nirvana. In this case, it is forgetting that you are white, or forgetting that you are black, because those are just titles that are making life complicated. People need to learn to leg go of those titles and come together as one. In nirvana, the hidden energy inside of every body explodes from the cage of selfish desire.

Connor: Wow that was amazing! That really sums up what Martin Luther King Jr’s speech is trying to say to the people: that racism and prejudice should come to an end. How people should come to their senses and realize that we are a nation of one and not a divided group of many. I want to thank you for spending this time to talk. I really learned a lot about your religions.

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Dance Your Flippers Off
By Michael

Club Penguin is an arctic paradise where penguins from all around the world come to meet and talk. There are plenty of games to play and many fun activities to do. Of course, it took awhile for all of that to happen. Everything did not pop up in one day. You wouldn’t see all of the penguins show up at the same time. How did Club Penguin come to be the giant world it is today? When did the first penguin ever start waddling on the shore? Well, that is the story I shall tell now.
The wind picked up on the shores of Argentina as two penguins waddled towards shelter in the forest. They were limping and tugging, trying to find the safest spot to rest. The water level was rising, which had brought them into grave danger. What was going on around them? This would be an event that would alter penguin history forever. “Look out!” cried Penny. A leaf the size of a surfboard came rushing towards them. It missed and flew into the distance. Penny grabbed the penguin’s flipper and they both jumped into a brush between some palm trees and were left unconscious.
The next morning, the two penguins heard the chirping of birds in the distance. They smelled the tropical mist and the aroma of the bush. “What a rough night,” said Penny. She stood up and wiped her forehead with her flipper. Penny looked around; there were braches growing in every direction and birds flying above them. Penny grasped some coconuts she had found next to her. Penny took a sharp rock and started to break the skin off. While doing this, the other penguin began to open his eyes. “Where am I?” he said despairingly. “I’m not sure. Yesterday, there were very strong winds and… I saved your life. That palm could have severely injured you!” The penguin was not paying attention. He was focused on the coconuts in her flipper. “So, what’s your name?” Penny asked. “Clam,” he said. “I’m Penny,” said Penny. She sliced another coconut and tossed it to Clam. He opened his overwhelmingly hungry mouth and slurped out the liquid. Penny waddled around the brush and started to kick up some sand. Then she remembered; Penny peered out through an opening in the foliage. “Oh my,” she said. “What’s wrong?” said Clam. “The water level is so much higher now; we need to get out of here!”
Clam started to panic; he was furiously looking around as if the answer was somewhere in the brush. “Let’s make a boat and get out of here,” he finally said, “there’s no other choice but to leave.” “Where shall we go?” asked Penny. Clam started to play with a seashell he had found in front of him. “Well,” he finally said, “when I was little, my parents told me of this legend of some mysterious island. They said it was the perfect place, and the weather made each day beautiful,” Clam looked up at Penny, “I used to try to peer out into the horizon to try and hit upon it. My parents had given me this telescope they discovered. Some strange species called “humans” had misplaced it. I wish I had gotten to say goodbye to them after all of the penguins were exported to the zoo.” He then started to cry. “Its okay, Clam,” Penny assured, “at least we’re safe.” Clam continued to toss around the same seashell. “Yeah, but not for long,” he said after wiping his tears. Clam sat down on his back. He looked so helpless; it was like he was giving up on his dreams. Penny felt she had to speak up. “We are going to build that boat,” she demanded, “I have to trust you that there is an island out there, because you are right. There is no other choice but to leave.”
“Okay, Clam. Attach that piece of wood on to the base,” commanded Penny. Clam unenthusiastically picked up a block from what was left of the shore. He pounded it in until it was unaffected by the pushing of his flipper. “Are we done yet?” asked Clam. Penny inspected the mediocre ship they had built. “We probably need some leaves for padding,” she responded. Penny walked towards the brush. On her way, she spotted a small red puffball. “Hmm… that’s funny,” she said, “I’ve never seen that there before. Oh well…” Penny went on and picked up some lifeless palm leaves and situated them neatly on the foundation of the ship. “Perfect!” she bellowed. Penny grabbed handfuls of coconuts for food supply and dumped them into the ship. Clam followed her and hopped into the seat. “What should we call our ship, Penny?” asked Clam. Penny thought long and hard before answering. “Well… how about The Migrator?” she exclaimed. “That’s brilliant! Purely brilliant! I could have never thought of that excellent name,” replied Clam. He and Penny started up The Migrator. They pulled out the anchor they had made of a rock and set sail. Minutes later, the almost fully flooded Argentina was behind them. “I’m going to miss that place,” wept Penny. She was staring at the brush where she had met Clam.
Weeks had passed since Penny and Clam had touched land. It started to become shadowy and chilly. The two penguins had kept track of the days on a plank of wood. By now, there were too many scratch marks to count. Penny was lying on a patch of leaves moaning away. “Do you see anything yet?” she mumbled to Clam. Clam was busily steering the ship. He gazed across the horizon and responded, “Nothing yet, except for a giant cloud of white.” Penny got up from her stash of leaves. She walked across the deck and leaned over the railing. “That’s not a cloud, Clam,” she yelled, “that’s our island!” Clam looked through his telescope. “Good golly, you’re right!” he yelled. Clam got out of his seat and started dancing. “We made it!” he screamed, “We made it!” Penny leaped up and started dancing too. They both started jumping, hollering, and chanting as the sun started to set. When the sun finally went down, Clam and Penny were lying on the leaves watching the sky. “We should teach that dance to our followers,” said Clam, “Let’s call it the Clam-Penny dance!” They both laughed. Penny thought for a while. “Or…” she responded, “The Club Penguin dance!” “That’s brilliant! Purely brilliant! I could have never thought of that excellent name,” replied Clam.
The Club Penguin dance is only trace left of Clam and Penny. All around the island, penguins dance this special dance, not knowing its origins. The dance represents the freedom and celebration of not just the two penguins, but of the millions of generations that developed later on. Clam and Penny went on to become the elders of the world that they called, “Club Penguin.” They had many sons and daughters, whom included Billybob, Happy, Rsnail, Screenhog. Their oldest son, Rockhopper, still goes back to visit Argentina, where Clam and Penny had met. He inherited The Migrator, and named the spot where they had met, “Rockhopper Island.” All of their children, except Rockhopper, went on to become the kings and queens of the island and referred to themselves as “moderators.” Unfortunately for Clam and Penny, they were withdrawn from Club Penguin’s history because of an episode with their kids. After they had forced their moderator children to do chores, they were banished forever and were never heard from again. That is, until now.

The End

Golda Locks

By Michael


Snowflakes tumbled from heaven and landed on my shoulder. The tree branches in the forest rattled when my arm swung against them. The winter breeze shoved me back and forth across the snow. “Last one there is a rotten egg!” Jeremy called. We both jumped out of the bushes and landed on the icy, cold sidewalk. The warm scent of cookies filled the air. “Grandma’s making cookies!” I shouted. Jeremy then pounced up the driveway and stomped up the front steps of the house. I followed him, panting for breath while climbing the stairs. I tilted my head to look through the window covered by pink, dangling curtains. Jeremy raised his finger and rung the doorbell. Through the window I could see grandma taking out a batch of chocolate chip cookies from the oven. She then went to the door and opened it weakly. Grandma had short gray hair and an egg white apron that fell to her knees. “It’s so nice for you to visit!” she said, “I never usually have company over.” We went up the hug her. Jeremy and I took off our coats and hung them on a light orange wall. We then scampered into the living room. The room smelled like old paper and dust. My eyes followed the walls. There were clocks of many shapes and sizes that looked ancient.  The clocks ticked like a chorus of people. Jeremy and I sat on a wool carpet on the floor. It had a checkerboard pattern surrounding the rim. Grandma arrived in the room with a plate of cookies and two glasses of milk. “Now why don’t you relax while I read you a story,” grandma said calmly. “Which one is it this time?” I asked. Grandma always reads stories to us every time we visit. I took a bite out of a cookie. It was so gooey and delicious and tasted warm and cheerful in my mouth. “This story you are about to hear is similar to Goldilocks and the Three Bears,” She informed. Grandma sat in a comfy chair across the room next to a toasty fireplace. “Except,” Grandma said, “this one is called The Three Locks and the Bear.” She pulled her reading glasses from a nightstand and pulled out the book. Jeremy and I sat up on the carpet and listened.

“The air inside the carriage was dry and bitter. It was like eating salt on a hot summer day. The brown and black spotted horses were exhausted as they hobbled down the cobblestone pathway. Today was the peak of spring; when the weather starts to get humid and warm, the houses past by one after the other as I thought to myself; which one is it. My name is Golda Locks and I was clever and curious. Today I was wearing a lavender shirt and polished high-heeled shoes. I occupied myself by playing with a silver necklace around my collar. Finally, the cobblestones rumbled as the carriage came to a stop. I ceased playing with the necklace and descended the steps. The air around tried to bite me as I dismounted. “Jane, will you get the bags?” my father requested. Today was the day out family had finally moved to our new mansion. The ground ahead of us creaked and groaned as we went to the porch. Green marble lined the outside of the door. The windows seemed to curve in as if waving to us. On the front door was a bronze knocker in the shape of a bear. There was something that really stood out. A howl came from the distance. I tripped back to land against my father, Bernard. “It’s okay Golda,” my father said. Bernard is always supportive and yet he was full of activity at work. Bernard works at the major industry in the country of Centridove; Loco Soda. He was often showing rivalry against the other business, Coca Cola. I told him to settle down and drop the business. Maybe Coca Cola will reign for many years to come…

“We entered the mansion and the scent of pinewood spilled out. I walked across the tile floor. Everything was already placed. There were velvet indigo curtains by the windows, three massive leather couches, and lines of bookshelves surrounded the walls. A portrait of our family was hanging over a granite lined fireplace in the center of the room. Our butler, Clarence, walked in the entrance to see our mouths dropped in admiration.  Clarence was usually wearing a gray suit and a tie and had that solemn expression most butlers have. “Oh Clarence, you did a superior job decorating our mansion!” my mother said in amusement. My parents continued talking to Clarence. I was curious to look around the house, so I started to ascend a twirling, gold painted, spiral staircase in another room. I looked over the rail of the stairs to see everything from overhead view. I turned my head to look around. There in front of me were three wooden beds, a furry, emerald colored carpet and more of the velvet curtains.  I stepped over to the smallest of the beds and began to unpack my teddy bear, Harold. I hugged him and knew he would be happy living in his new home.

“Golda!” my mother called. “I’m upstairs!” I yelled. It was already the first morning in the mansion. I yawned and stretched my arms. My mother rushed up the flight of stairs. “Your father and I are going to a gathering at your father’s workplace for a few days. If you need anything, Clarence will be here while we are gone. I placed my teddy bear on the bed and went to the door to wave them goodbye. The cobblestone pathway clattered as they backed out. I leisurely closed to door and decided to do more exploring. I scampered across the tile floor to the dining hall. Three dishes of steaming soup were stretched on a table that seemed to span the entire room’s length. I raised the spoon of the first dish and tasted it. “Ouch! Hot! Hot! Hot!” I screamed. The soup was so scorching that I flung the spoon to the floor. The tiles clattered with every hit from the spoon until there was dead silence again.

“Bang! The front entrance made a thunderous racket. It was like a volcano ready to explode. The door began to cave in to the floorboards. An old man feebly entered the mansion. He was wearing a dusty jacket and worn down sneakers and he was holding a large brown cane.  Clarence came into the room the man was now staggering to get up. He strived to catch his breath and slowly sat in a nearby chair. “Excuse me sir,” Clarence said, “what’s wrong?” “He’s coming!” the man yelled. “Who is coming?” asked Clarence. I hid under the table. “Have you read the news?” continued the man, “there is a bear in the forest! He comes when a family is out of their home. The bear eats your food, sleeps in your beds and sits in your chairs!” “Why do I care if he sits in a chair?” Clarence asked. “I don’t know. But he will do that.” the man said. I stood up from under the table and gradually walked into the room. “Who is this little girl?” the man asked. “That is Golda Locks and I am the butler of the Locks family.” said Clarence. “Nice to meet you sir” said the man, “Here’s my card if you ever need help.” The man handed me the card.

Mr. Vincent Geri
1301 W. Doowey Blvd.
Mapleton, Centridove 40423
597-940-6212

“”You will need to stay sheltered inside your home or you might be visited by an unwanted guest” Mr. Geri informed.  He picked up the ruins of the door and slowly drifted out the door. I gazed through the windows as the man vanished behind one homes.

“”Ms. Locks, there is nothing to be bothered about!” Clarence kept repeating over and over again. I slouched into one of the three leather couches. I was horrified and started to become shaky. “I know there is a bear! I heard howling yesterday in the forest!” I argued. “Ms. Locks, I guarantee that there is no bear. It would have come here already.” stated Clarence. I actually believed him. A bear would have come when the house was empty before we moved in. I still had a bit of doubt a bear would come. I slowly stood up from the couch and stepped in front of Clarence. “Now there is only one way to find out,” I said to Clarence, “We are going to need protection just in case. You are going to get me some equipment.” Clarence was forced in to the situation and so he willingly pitched in to aid.

“I stared at a dusty cardboard package that Clarence brought in from a wooden shed behind the porch. My fingers heaved at the seal of the package. It finally unfastened with a loud snap. I could not believe my eyes! The tattered package was filled with iron bars, padlocks and tripwire. I clutched an armful of iron bars and handed them to Clarence. “Drill these on the windows.” I commanded. Clarence walked across the tiles. The jingling of the bars was substituted by the whine of the drill. I burrowed my hands deep into the package. There was something I felt on the bottom, so I dragged it out. There was a leather coated container with a copper fasten. I untied it to discover surveillance cameras placed efficiently inside. One of them felt cold in my hands when I picked it up. I walked over to the bookshelves in the living room and secured the camera above it. The camera was like a tiny fly; able to get into anything. I stepped back to admire my work and continued placing the cameras around the mansion. The last one I kept until I reached the peak of the spiral staircase. Harold was staring at me with his glistening eyes. “Don’t worry Harold,” I assured, “this will make you feel a lot happier.” I placed Harold on the front of the bed and slowly descended the staircase. Clarence was waiting for me at the foot of the stairs and was standing as if he were a military officer. “Ms. Locks, I don’t think iron bars will keep a bear out of the mansion,” Clarence stated. “They won’t” I said, “But they will attract a bear”

“Clarence was baffled. I needed to take my mind off the fact that a bear will destroy an extremely valuable mansion.  I took grip of the door which was impossible to open. This was due to the fact that it was smashed into pieces by an old man with a cane; how embarrassing. “Clarence, will you take me to the McHenwood Circus?” I asked, “I heard that they just came into town.” “Right away Ms. Locks,” Clarence said following along. We began walking down the stairs off the porch. Clarence opened the door to the carriage. “I’m not getting in there Clarence,” I complained, “why don’t we ride a real vehicle? This isn’t the 1800’s.” “Whatever you say Ms. Lock,” Clarence said. He slammed the door to the carriage. The horses neighed with joy. I jumped into the limousine parked at the rear. The cobblestones screeched as we backed out. All the trees waved farewell to us. The limo rolled down the pathway that led to the circus. I wondered if the bear would come and if it did, I was ready to accept whatever would happen.

“”Welcome to the McHenwood Circus!” an announcer greeted at the entrance. I leaped out of the limousine and Clarence followed me to the entrance. It was the most remarkable thing ever! People were strolling on high stilts and wore silly outfits. Clowns juggled balls and entertained us with jokes. Balloons were being inflated and morphed into many shapes. The sound of laughter came from the children playing in the carnival. Also, a bell rang over and over from one of the games. Finally, the aroma of sweet buttery popcorn roamed through the air. I noticed a massive tent in the background. “Clarence, will you take me over to the big tent past the carnival games?” I asked, “The one with the gold and scarlet stripes.”

“We began pushing through the crowds of people. There were fewer people after every few meters. Clarence and I slowed down after we were halfway there. It seemed a lot darker, and there where no people in sight. We finally stopped when we reached the tent. A gentleman in a suit was writing on a sign over the tent in marker, “Sorry,” he said, “the tent is closed.” The man began to scurry away until we were alone. I stepped up to examine what the sign said.

Bear Tent Hours:
Mon. through Fri. – – – 11 AM through 7 PM
Sat. through Sun. – – – 9 AM through 10 PM
BEAR TENT CLOSED: DUE TO SUDDEN DISAPPEARENCE

“I perked up.”Clarence, do you think that, perhaps,” I said, “That it might be happening?” I peeked inside the tent. It was crammed with strings of seating and in the center was a giant arena. In the middle of the arena was a metal cage. It was torn open and footprints led to a rip in the tent. Clarence and I slowly paced over and stood in front of the rip. I know that maybe our mansion is at the other end of this forest. We both drifted back to the limousine. I was too fearful to see the ruins of our mansion.

“We came up to our street. The limousine wheezed to a stop as I stepped out of the vehicle. Slowly, I took my hands off from over my eyes and I began to hit the roof. I screamed at the top of my lungs. From the outside, the entire door was flung off like it only weighed the same as a toothpick.  The bars on the windows were bashed into with claw marks. I walked in sorrow over to the door, which was now only a few feet in front of me. The bear formed knocker was pried off. I started to wonder where it was. I felt like I missed a colossal party. “It’s okay Ms. Locks,” Clarence assisted, “we will get it all worked out.” I didn’t want to see what was left of the inside of the mansion, but some unknown force was pushing me towards it.

“I peered in the entrance. The tiles on the floors were uprooted, the couches were tattered, the bookshelves were tumbled over and all the pages were torn and left deep into the floorboards. I pounced over to the one couch still standing. “One couch will be sat in . . .” I whispered to myself. I stepped up to the family portrait. The knocker on the door in the form of a bear was smashed into the middle of the image. I moaned and continued to the dining hall. The wooden table was torn in half; the soup dishes on the table were shattered and separated into pieces on the floor. There was on dish still standing. “One dish will be eaten from. . .” I whispered to myself. I paced over to the golden staircase; which was now full of punctures and piled in scraps. The stairs screeched as I ascended. I made it to the top of the staircase. I slowly turned around to make an ear piercing shriek. There in front of me, was the massive bear, which was resting in my bed. He had pulverized the carpet floor and the other two beds were torn in half by claw marks. Right away, his eyes shot open and he sprang into action.  The bear jumped out of the bed and climbed through the window. “One bed will be slept in. . .” I whispered to myself.  I dashed down the staircase.  “Clarence you need to go tell someone.” I said.

Clarence was slanting on a support beam of the house. “What is there to do Ms. Locks?” Clarence asked. “You will call Mr. Geri,” I answered, “Here is his card.” I handed Clarence a card from my pocket. He pulled out a phone from his suit and began dialing. I decided to investigate the mansion more, so I drifted back into the house. The cameras were not still on the wall. I wonder what happened. The wires were still attached. So I pulled all the wires together and rewound the tape to the beginning.

“There it started at the doorway. Right when the grandfather clock stuck noon. The beasts smashed through the front door. I witnessed him pry the knocker off the door. He covered the knocker up in his greedy leather paw. The bear then picked up the door and threw it on the porch.  I watched him calm down as he stomped over to the three couches. One after another, he selected a couch, heaved it into the air, and chopped it in half. The last couch was ignored by the beast. He sat on the couch with no expression, and then he trudged right in front of the portrait. The bear opened his paw and gradually aimed it to the center of the picture. He began screwing the bear knocker inside as I it was a nail. He kept screwing until it almost collapsed into pieces on the floor. The bear then turned his enormous head over to the camera. I froze instantly. The bear reached his filthy paw onto the lens and threw it on the floor. The last thing I witnessed on that camera was his smoky brown feet stomping up and down.

“I decided to switch cameras to the one in the dining hall. I waited in silence until a few minutes had past. The bear finally tumbled in the doorway and I saw he went straight for the kitchen.  He stomped right in front of the fridge, hurled it into the air, holding the sides with his immense claws. The door of the fridge weakened and slowly popped open. Food rolled downhill from the back of the fridge. I saw jars of pickles and jellies shattered on the floor. Milk and orange juice cartons bounced once and exploded all over the floor. He opened his broad jaw and door number two opened, spilling vanilla and strawberry ice cream into his mouth. Traces of it landed in his bushy, brown hair, which left him with pink and white blotches. Bags of frozen green beans and carrots toppled down through the air and slid on the countertops. The bear finally gave up and left the kitchen. He was now viewed back in the dining hall. The steam from the dishes had faded away. Just like the couches, the bear stomped up to the dishes and began to toss them in the air and they were shattered on the floor. Then, he drank from the one bowl he liked by grabbing it in his paws. The bear snatched the opposite end of the table and twisted the wood until it snapped. Then it happened again. Another camera was noticed. The bear yanked it off the wall and slammed in on the floor.

“There was one more camera I wanted to view: the bedroom. The bear was now seen ascending the spiral staircase. He fell through the steps as if they were quicksand, yet he still tried to persevere. Each step left an unpleasant hole as the bear lifted his enormous leg. Finally after a couple of minutes pasted by, he reached to summit of the stairs. The bear glanced at another bear that sat on the front of my bed: Harold. At that moment, Clarence walked in the door. “Mr. Geri is on his way, Ms. Locks,” Clarence announced. I began to peer more closely at the one camera on the bed. The bear choose my bed because of Harold. His big brown eyes glistened like Harold’s. I waited for a moment as the bear went to sleep. That was where I came in. I saw myself climb up the stairs. The bear went straight into action and went through the window. I paused the tape right when he was about to leave. Clarence came over to examine what I was doing. “Clarence!” I said, “The bear took Harold!” I pointed to the screen at Harold. He was in the bear’s mighty paw and only the head was seen. I hugged Clarence as tears fell from my eyes. “We will get him back Ms. Locks,” assured Clarence as he patted my head. I looked back at the screen, trying to bring back a few memories. I stared into his cheerful face and already I began to hold back tears. “Well,” I said slowly, “maybe Harold is happier now. He is with another bear.”

“Screech! A sound came from outside the mansion. Mr. Geri had arrived in a shiny, black car. “Mr. Geri! Mr. Geri!” I shouted as I scurried out of the doorway. Mr. Geri pulled out of his car. He was wearing a fancy tuxedo, sunglasses and an earphone. His cane was nowhere in sight. “What happened to you?” I asked. “Oh, that is my look when I’m not on missions,” said Mr. Geri. I was puzzled. “Here’s my real card” he said.

Lt. Vincent Geri: Secret Agent
1301 W. Doowey Blvd.
Mapleton, Centridove
597-940-6212

“Anyway,” he said, “The bear’s name is Rocky. Rocky played as a ballerina dancer in the circus. He escaped a few days before they arrived in Mapleton.” “Lt. Geri, when are my parents coming back?” I asked. “Actually, they will be arriving shortly. I contacted them and explained everything,” informed Lt. Geri, “oh, and here they are now!”

“The cobblestones rumbled as they carriage came to a stop. The air around them tried to bite as they dismounted. I ran up to hug them as tight as I could. “Everything’s going to be okay. We will have Harold come back to you,” my mother explained. “Actually,” I stated, “I will have Harold stay where he is. He would be a lot happier. Also, I have a question for you: what did you do at the gathering?” “Well, we talked about the company and decided to drop Loco Soda. It was loosing customers rapidly in the past years. So, I started working at Coca Cola.” said my father, “Also, we will need to move again if I can’t get to work. Clarence?” “Yes, Mr. Locks?” “Will you empty the mansion for us?” “Of course Mr. Locks”

“My father opened the carriage for me.”I’m not getting in there father,” I complained, “We never ride in a vehicle like a normal family would.” “I agree with you very much,” my father announced, “We don’t even need this heap of junk.” He walked up to the front of the carriage and untied the horses. “Watch this Golda” my father said. He stepped at the rear of the carriage and shoved it down the cobblestone pathway. The carriage tumbled for a short distance and it strolled of a cliff and landed in the ocean. I witnessed it sink down into the water, bubbles rising. The horses neighed with joy and galloped away into the distance. I jumped into the limousine. Lt. Geri came up to speak with me. “Thanks to you,” said Mr. Geri,” the bear is now satisfied inside the circus and wont be harming anyone for a long time.” My parents hopped in the front of the limousine. We strolled down the cobblestones and Mapleton vanished behind the foliage.”

The room started to get dark and now the clocks struck seven. “I hopped you enjoyed the story,” Grandma said. Jeremy and I sat up from the floor. “So,” Jeremy asked, “what happened to Golda?” Jeremy asked. “Well, that’s another long story,” Grandma told us. She got up from the chair and placed the book back into the shelf.  “It’s about time you go home. Your mother and father might be worried about you.” Jeremy and I walked out of the room and took our coats from the hook in the wall. I unlocked the door and walked into the snow. As I climbed down from the steps, I peered through the window again. Jeremy stopped to see what I was doing. “What is it?” asked Jeremy. “Watch” I said. Jeremy turned his head to look also. Grandma was taking something off of a shelf. She put it in her hands to stare at it. It looked like a soft, old teddy bear. “Do you think that,” I asked, “Golda retrieved Harold?” We took our vision off of the window and continued walking.


Anything Can Happen
By Michael

The wind blew against the side of my face as Joe and I were waiting at the corner. It was a quiet Saturday evening, the sun was just peaking over the summit of the houses. The two of us, both equipped with heavy baggage, passed the time until the bus arrived. Joe and I have been great friends ever since the fourth grade. We both signed up for a camping field trip two weeks ago with our classmates. I used to camp with my dad when I was little, and I am very desperate to go. Each trip is a whole new adventure for me. Joe hasn’t had any experience; I hope to educate him somewhat during the trip. While we were standing at the curb, I could hear the sound of the bus engine roar and the smell of smoke drawing closer. The massive, yellow bus drove through the street and stopped with a screech. Its soaring bus doors thrust open and we strode across the pavement. The sound of chatting campers surrounded us as we sat down in the grimy leather seats.

“Hi guys,” said Dale. Dale is a mischievous student from school. He loves to talk and gets a laugh from scaring people. “Hi,” Joe replied back, “is this your first time camping?” Dale sat up in his seat and responded, “Actually, I have gone a few times. The forest is beautiful; just do not become too interested in it.” “Why?” said Joe. “Well, last summer I heard that a few campers were lost in the woods for days. They did not realize the group was carrying on with the hike while they were admiring nature. Thank goodness they made lots of smoke, or rescue would have never come.” I could tell Joe had a sinking feeling in his stomach, but I paid no interest in what Dale was saying. I could tell it was going to be a long night, so I slept through the entire ride there.

Morning arrived in Wisconsin, where our campsite was located. Sunny weather covered the sky above us. The smell of trees ran loose and free throughout the forest. The height of the pines and spruces were implausible. Joe and I had pitched our large, dark green tent among the rest. I pulled out a large plastic package from inside my knapsack and opened it revealing a fine array of trail mixes. Joe reached in and grabbed one after I had. “The reason campers put food in such a tight package was so that it would not attract bears.” Joe sat up, pulled apart the seam on his mix and gave a little, “hmm” as if he understood what I was talking about. Around us, we could see other campers starting to wake up, open up a jug of water and stretch until they were wide awake.
While Joe and I were munching on trail mix, the sound of crinkling leaves and sticks came closer. Joe turned and looked the opposite direction, only to find a large pair of boots staring at him. Joe looked up from where he was sitting to find out a camp counselor was looking over him. The man seemed athletically in shape. He was wearing a large, tan sun-hat and thorough leather boots. “Hello campers,” he said in a low, manly voice, “I’m Peter, I will be leading the hike through the forest. I recommend you dress with plenty of insect repellent; there is a high population of mosquitoes this year, as many already know. Also, bring along your hikers guidebook in case of an emergency.” “Yes sir,” we both replied. Joe and I watched as Peter started walking away.
Late morning came and Joe and I were standing with the other campers waiting for Peter to show up. A loud scream came from behind us. About five or six younger campers began running towards the line. Dale approached from behind them. “Dale, what did you do to them?” I asked. It was obvious because Dale stood silently, trying to hide a large smirk on his face. “Oh nothing, Eric,” he answered, “all I did was put mice in their tents.” I rolled my eyes and turned around facing the front of the line. My back was starting to hurt from the weight of the knapsack. Joe brought along his camera to take pictures. As for me, I chose to not bring along any technology during the experience. It totally ruins the scenery.

Moments later, Joe and I were trotting through the forest with the group. Leaves shuffled under our feet as we moved with the group. We were walking for about fifteen minutes when Joe stopped. “Wow, look at that bird up there!” said Joe while pointing. It had an amazing golden color and a polished auburn beak. “That’s a Yellow Warbler,” I said, “They’re truly amazing birds; they are only found in wooded areas like this.” Joe kneeled down to grab his camera from his bag to take a picture. He began to look anxious and was shuffling through the pockets with great concern. “I can’t find it,” he finally admitted. I scanned the ground to make sure he did not drop it. The group was starting to move on to the next area in the forest. “Joe, we have to catch up, they are leaving,” I told him. “Eric, I need that camera,” he answered, “it’s worth hundreds of dollars. My father bought it for me as a present and he is going to be so angry at me if he finds out that I misplaced it.” “Look, we will get it tomorrow on the next hike.” I assured, “What’s the worst that could happen to it?” “Well,” he said, “some animal could mark its territory on it.” There was a long pause and he continued, “It won’t take long to find, and we can find the way back to camp easily.” I started an argument with myself and finally I agreed with Joe.

It had been fifteen minutes in which Joe and I spent looking for the camera and still there wasn’t any sign of it. “Let’s go back to camp,” I declared exhaustedly. Joe nodded his head and started walking the opposite direction I was walking. “Eric, camp’s this way,” he said. “No its not,” I answered. It occurred to us that we were lost. Both of us had forgotten the way to go and we were both hungry. I sat down on a mossy boulder in the middle of the area and pulled open my backpack. There were four water bottles, a flashlight, insect repellent, a compass, a box of matches, a blanket, and of course, bags of trail mix. I threw a water bottle to Joe along with some of the mix. He munched contentedly as I pulled out the survival guide book. “How are we going to get rescued?” Joe asked me. We thought for about five seconds and I said, “Do you remember when Dale was telling us that story about how the campers got lost in the forest? Well, he said that they were rescued by making a fire, and that is what we need to do.” I flipped pages in the guide until something caught my attention. “The guide says that we should make a fire and send puffs of smoke.” I said, “We need to find tinder, kindling and the main fuel, which are just large, wooden sticks. Joe, go find some dry twigs and dead leaves while I go get the bark. Remember to stay close to this area, though.” Joe scampered across the forest by a group of trees and started collecting the ingredients. Minutes later the campfire was ready to be lit. I had arranged the wooden sticks into a tipi shape. “How do we light it?” Joe asked. “Well, I have a box of matches inside my knapsack,” I answered. Joe stayed while I went and retrieved them. When I lit the wood, only a spark came. “We need more tinder,” I told Joe. He started walking over to some trees while he said, “I’ll go get some more-” “No. I know what will start it,” I said. Joe watched as I raised the guide book and tossed it into the feeble flames. Then, it caused a sudden effect and the fire shot up abruptly. I could not tell whether or not Joe was afraid or astonished. Seconds later, smoke was emitted from the fire and ascended to the sky. “Do you think this will work?” asked Joe. “Definitely,” I assured, “at camp they do role call; once they find out a camper is omitted, the counselors come looking for the person.” Joe and I sat down on the mossy boulder and watched the epitome of a campfire glisten in the sunset.

By nightfall, Joe and I were rescued and we were sitting inside our tent making shadow puppets. Peter, the camp counselor showed up unexpectedly. “Hello again boys,” he said. Peter pulled an object out of his leather bag. “I found this when I came to look for you two.” Joe’s face lit up when he found his camera in safe hands. “Where did you find it, Peter?” he asked. “Well, there was a yellow bird that I had found, and in its nest was the camera. The bird flew away when I approached him and I seized it.” “Thank you so much!” yelled Joe. Peter closed the flap of the tent and walked away.

I have always enjoyed camping; anything can happen. The experience before tonight was one I will never forget. Like I said before, each trip is a whole new adventure for me.

14 responses to this post.

  1. enjoy

  2. Clonez Great Job!

  3. i am the ownerof club penguin i created it i live in canada but always go in the united states.I go in the server alaska.If you are my friend i will give you an automatic 5000 coins and make you a member for free.And if you see me please address me as vinny or mr.presedent if you dont i will not be your friend.so call me vinny or mr.presedent then ask to be my friend and i will say yes and give you your 5000 coins and make you be a member for free for the rest of your life

  4. ????????????????

  5. HACKER!!!

  6. Posted by bacon707 on June 19, 2008 at 9:44 pm

    SURE YOU ARE
    BACON707 (IM ACTULLY BRITNEY SPEARS)

  7. Yeah and Bill Cosby! lol jkjk

  8. Posted by Shadow 126 on November 28, 2008 at 6:39 pm

    Wow, almost 9000 words. Thats alot.

  9. I almost forgot about Dubs stories and that I saved the day in the first series.lol

  10. Very Nice Site! Thanx!

  11. cooool.

    why are some fonts different? xD

  12. they were posted from different word documents, so they are different fonts

  13. Posted by Connor on August 20, 2009 at 4:54 pm

    omg, i remember that religion paper ;D

  14. yeah, i just HAD to put that up 😀

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