In the midst of college essays and life-altering decisions, I think about the writer I once was. When my competition was my best friend in my fourth grade class, not other students nation-wide fighting for admittance into my dream school. My friend Jess and I fought to be the one with more completed journals, not the one with a more impressive essay about our accomplishments. We stared each other down from opposite sides of the classroom, and then wrote feverishly until our allotted 30 minutes of writing time was up.
By the end of the year, Jess had more completed journals than I. If I said I wasn’t still disappointed in myself, I would be lying.
I recently rediscovered these tattered fourth grade journals, their covers decorated with sketches of rainbows, hearts, and butterflies. Reading through them, I decided to continue the story I had created (and Jess stole from me).
**warning: this is really long and I don’t expect you to read this, but it would be cool if you did : )**
To summarize the story: The main characters are “Joe the French Fri,” “Shake the Hot Dog,” “Bob the Burger,” “Casper the Ghost,” Sam and Jess (the competing fourth graders), “Jackie the Dog,” “Sally the Duck,” and last, but not least, “Sue the Duck.” The story takes place in Yacapoosh, Pennsylvania, and is about the adventures of the aforementioned characters.* When we last saw them, the heroic characters had defeated “Daddy Duck” and his duck army. (twice!) After defeating the duck army in London, the crew traveled back to Pennsylvania on a cruise ship. When they arrived back at Filler Meal (where Joe, Bob, Shake, and Casper live), there was an ad on their television for a new Sirloin Steak Burger in Asia.
The following story will be written in the style of my fourth-grade self. (and implementing my spelling and grammar errors.)
*note: all characters and places named in this story are fictional.
The Sirloin Steak Burger (Yacapoosh Story #19)
“The Sirloin steak hamburger, new in Asia!” the add yelled.
“That’s so crazy, isn’t it guys? That there’s a new burger, after we traveled all the way to London to buy Tenderloin Steak tacos?” Joe asked.
“Yeah!” They all exclaimed.
The Filler Meal crew was having a good time watching Dancing with the Dogs on TV before their show was interrupted by the add. After the add came on, they emidetly (immediately) decided to travel to Asia.
“But wait!” Sally shouted. “Isn’t it a bad idea to go to Asia? What if… Daddy Duck comes back?”
“Yeah…” whispered Sue.
They all agreed with the duck sisters, and tried to create a plan to save them from Daddy Duck. They thought about the last two times he had appeared, and relised (realized) it was when they were near water. To get to Asia, they would have to travel another way.
“If we can’t travel by water… how will we get there?” Bob wondered.
Sam and Jess looked at each other and emidetly relised something.
“JOE, CASPER, AND BOB CAN FLY!!” they both boomed.
Joe the flying french fri, Casper the Ghost, and Bob the Burger all remembered their ability to fly. “Oh! You’re right!”
“Let’s go to Asia!” the crew exclaimed.
And off they went. But not before ordering ice cream from Ralph’s Sweet Shoppe (where Sam worked). They couldn’t abandon their weekly routine of getting ice cream just to go to Asia! Sam and Jess both got mint-chip, Joe got pistachio, Bob got chocolate, Casper got vanilla, Sally got Oreo, and Sue got rainbow sherbet. After they finished their ice cream, they took a walk in the park and talked about how excited they were for the Sirloin Steak Hamburger in Asia.
“Wow guys, I can’t wait to eat that sirloin steak burger!” Jess exclaimed. “I bet it’s going to be so good!”
“Guys. I have a secret” Sam said.
Everyone stopped dead in their tracks. Sam told them everything! What could she have to say that they wouldn’t already have known? The crew all turned to look at Sam. With looks of suspicion in their eyes, they motioned for Sam to continue.
“I’m… a vegetarian” she said, finally.
Shake fainted. Sam tried to help her up, but Joe and Bob pushed her out of the way. By the time Joe and Bob could help Shake, Sally fainted too, so Joe and Bob had to help Sally. Shake got up and was okay, and helped wake Sally up.
“I’m sorry,” Sam sighed.
No one accepted her apology. No one wanted to go all the way to Asia for a Sirloin Steak burger with someone who wasn’t even going to eat it. So they decided they would go without her. Sam was so sad. She hadn’t been away from her friends for a whole seven years, she had dropped out of school to live with her friends in Filler Meal and was making a living working at Ralph’s Sweet Shoppe. She couldn’t believe that they would go to Asia without her, all because she was a vegetarian and wouldn’t eat the steak burger. But they did. Sam watched as Joe, Casper, and Bob started flying, and then lifted Shake, Jackie, Jess, Sally, and Sue into the air. Joe carried Jess, Sally, and Sue because he was the strongest, while Casper carried Jackie and Bob carried Shake. Sam stood in the park, alone, watching the crew fly away to Asia.
“Fine.” Sam thought. “If they can live without me, I can live without them.”
She walked down the winding path of the park, and came across a mysterious figure.
“Oh shoot, this better not be Daddy Duck!” She thought- she was not in the mood to fight him with squirt guns again.
But it wasn’t! It was an old man.
“I am Trevor,” the old man said.
He seemed friendly enough, and Sam was lonely so she decided to become friends with him.
“Oh, hello Trevor! All of my friends went to Asia to buy a Sirloin Steak burger,” Sam said sadly.
“Oh I’m sorry to hear about that. Is there anything I can do to help you?” Trevor questioned.
Sam explained to Trevor that she just needed a friend, and that she had not been away from her friends for seven whole years. Trevor was so surprised! He agreed to be her friend, and to walk her back to Filler Meal. On the walk back, he explained that he was not an old man, he just seemed like it because he was wearing an Old Man Sweater. They walked past Ralph’s Sweet Shoppe, the Jail, the Holiday Hall, and finally arrived at Filler Meal and watched Dancing with the Dogs on TV.
After a few days, the Filler Meal crew returned from Asia, to find Sam and Trevor sitting outside Filler Meal.
“Rho ris rhis?*” Jackie asked.
*”Who is this” in dog language
“This is Trevor,” Sam said. “We became friends because you guys left me.”
“We’re sorry,” they all said, and Jess pulled out a huge salad from her purse.
“Look what we brought you!” Sally quacked.
“Awe guys! You shouldn’t have!” Sam shouted.
“But we did!” Jess said, happily.
And then they all sat outside Filler Meal eating the salad, and talking to Trevor about Dungeons and Dragons.
I apologize for it being so long, but I needed to write something fun instead of going on and on about myself and my deepest feelings for colleges. I needed to go back to my roots, where my love of writing first blossomed, and I began writing stories. Writing is not always about following guidelines, or answering some prompt, and I needed to remind myself that. Writing is about expression, about imagination, and I just needed to remember what that felt like.
Thanks for reading, if you’ve gotten this far.
Sam : )