“Aqualdo the Awkward Turtle”
Kate Kogut, Cessie Ferero, Grade 6

One great day in the Gulf of Mexico lived a turtle, a very special turtle. His name was Aqualdo. Now Aqualdo was not very turtle-like.  He, unlike his fellow sea turtles, wanted to fly.  His best friend Fredrick kept telling him, “No, no, no, Aqualdo; you will just fall and die.” But Aqualdo never listened. Woe to Aqualdo.

One day he decided to see if he really could fly. He swam over to the shore and waddled over to the nearby cliffs. Now these were the cliffs even the bravest of turtles would not dare go near. One slip would lead to certain death. Aqualdo had only heard of one to be brave enough to even go 473 meters near the cliff. That was Antonio the Brave. Antonio was the bravest turtle in all the Gulf of Mexico. He swam with sharks. He survived a 49 ½ foot jump. He lived through a hurricane. Now if anyone would be too scared to do this it would be Aqualdo. But Aqualdo wanted to be better than Antonio the Brave. He wanted to be Aqualdo the Bravest of Brave. The cliffs were even higher then he thought. It would take a good seven days to climb to the top. And even by the time you reach the top, when you jumped off it, would take three days to fall. But Aqualdo thought nothing about this. The only thing he thought of was being honored when he got back to Turtletown, even more than Antonio the Brave.

The cliffs were lined with jagged rocks, poison ivy and scorpions. One step into the border would lead to certain death at the moment his fin touched the ground.

“Seven days should be easy!” Aqualdo said confidently. He lifted his head and smiled with quiet confidence. What Aqualdo thought was wrong.  As you could guess, he had poison ivy, cuts and scorpions all over him 23.491657 seconds into the trip. With no anti-itch cream, he kept walking towards the top.

The 7th day was the hardest: rock climbing, snakes and other deadly creatures, and *dun dun dun* mosquitos. Turtles have never seen mosquitos due to their life under the sea. Finally, Aqualdo was 473 meters away from the peak. With just one step, Aqualdo could set a new world record. And that is what he did. 472 meters later Aqualdo was at one meter away. He peered over the cliff. Sharks? Lasers?  *Gasp* SHARKS WITH LASERS?! There was no possible way of survival. But Aqualdo did not care. He needed to do this. He needed to fly. One step. Two steps. One big jump.

2 days, 23 hours, 58 minutes and 56, 57, 58, 59 minutes and counting. Aqualdo was one minute away from the water. If he was going to die, he might as well think about all the great things in life. His mother›s best friend’s daughter-in-law›s nephew›s son’s uncle›s second cousin’s (twice removed) best friend.  His best friend›s sister›s best friend’s cousin-in-law. His dad›s brother’s grandpa›s bestie›s dog›s goldfish. And of course, his grandma’s sea anemone. The sharks with lasers were seconds away from having a delicious snack. Aqualdo shut his eyes.

“* SPLASH.*”  He waited for a couple seconds then, “I’M ALIVE! A wave of relief washed over him. A crowd of people stood there, jaws nearly touching the ocean floor. Oh Joy.

Aqualdo was a god according to the news. A god. He was Aqualdo the Bravest of Brave. A dream come true! A dream a little too good to be true. Whatever! He was better than Antonio the Brave. He was a god! Or so he thought…

“The Amazing Journey” (Excerpt)
Ethan Morris, Grade 6

There was a mouse; he was scared; he did not know where he was, but then his parents came. They grabbed him and started to run; he was scared. Squeeks did not know what was going on, then suddenly everything vanished.

Once upon a time there was a mouse named Squeeks; he was a cute little fellow. He had a mom and a dad; they loved him very much, but then one day they were on a walk, and he heard something, but his dad heard it better.

‘’RUN!’’ he yelled; it was an eagle; they were running when the eagle caught up and grabbed Squeeks.

‘’SQUEEKS!’’ his parents yelled.

He was trying to get away, but the eagle dug his claws into him; he could not breathe; he thought he was going to die. He thought about his parents and how much he loved them; he was crying, and the wind was hard on his body since they were flying so fast. The eagle dropped him in the nest and went in too; he got his feet and put his sharp piercing claws on his body; he was about to KILL him, but then Squeeks heard a shot. That was the loudest thing he had ever heard. The eagle fell down to the bottom of the tree; he had been shot and out of hunting season. (I do not think eagles can get shot, but if they can, it was still out of hunting season; if they can’t, they were bad people).

Squeeks was terrified; he lay there in shock. The people came over to get the bird. Squeeks looked down; he wanted to see what they were up to so he climbed down the tree. He was running through the tall grass when he saw them load the bird up. He then he jumped onto the truck and waited 30 minutes to get to their house; they got the bird out of the truck. Squeeks had to hide so they would not see him. They unloaded the eagle and brought it inside. Squeeks needed to slip inside, and he did; the house was gross, he thought.

He forgot he was in the MIDDLE of the FLOOR when the person yelled, ‘’HEY.’’ The man took a pan and tried to hit him; he was running around; he jumped on a chair, but the person had the pan and swung it as hard as he could at the chair. Squeeks jumped off just in time, and the chair went into pieces. He kept running, then suddenly he fell; there was a hole in the floor. He fell in water, and he kept trying to swim until he finally got to the end of the water. He was breathing so hard, and he wanted to find his family so much that he was crying. He could still hear the guy’s voice; he had fallen in a sewer, gotten up and started to walk.

“A Poem”
Oliver Nelson, Grade 6

This is a poem
a poem about anything
yes anything you want
How about winter
Yes my favorite topic
Winter is a time to play in snow
or make a snow fort
Then you can put up your Christmas tree
Next it’s Christmas Eve
maybe you go to church
Now it’s Christmas
You want to wake up early and see everything you got
Then your parents wake up and you get in trouble for being loud
That was a poem I guess
And try not being loud on Christmas morning