SILVER WATER—A Silver Water writer has had one of her stories selected and published by Polar Expressions Publishing in an annual contest.
“I was one of the writers whose work was chosen to be published in the book,” said Virginia Matheson. “Polar Expressions Publishing holds a writing contest every year, with submissions to be entered by the end of August. Poems and short stories from across Canada are selected by a panel of judges and published.”
Ms. Matheson pointed out, “this is the third time I’ve had my works published in this annual book.”
Her story, ‘The Old Oak Tree,’ is printed below.
The Old Oak Tree
As the long days of summer were coming to a close, the cool days of fall were fast approaching. Emma thought of the summer: it had been a good one, filled with swimming and playing baseball. There were a few days when Emma sat quietly on the back steps in the afternoon, listening to the flies buzzing around the old house.
Soon, it would be time for her mother, Nora, to go for her evening walk. For as long as Emma could remember, her mother would go out after all the supper dishes were done and the floors were swept. Emma guessed it was her way of winding down from a day of being busy doing all the housework. Emma went about her days as any young girl would, playing outside and helping her mother when she was needed.
One day, Emma’s day changed, and her mother decided to go out with some friends instead of going for her evening walk. Well, if Mother is not going this evening, Emma decided, I will go this time. Emma had never been for a walk alone before. She had sometimes gone with her mother. She thought of the animals out in the forest. What will I do if I see something? Then, she thought, Mother had never seen any animals when she went for her walks before. Surely, I will not see any on this one. Shaking away all the jitters in her stomach, she headed out the door for the evening stroll.
The birds were singing their evening songs, a light breeze was blowing, and the gravel crunched under her feet as she walked on the road. Emma had decided she would go as far as the corner, which was a good distance from home. Thinking she was very grown up, she continued walking until she noticed an apple tree off to the side of the road. As she looked at it, she saw the biggest red apple she had ever seen in her life. She had to get it, take it home, and show her brothers and sisters. What a find! She thought.
After some difficulty, she finally got the apple, which was bigger than a baseball. Instead of continuing to the corner, she turned around right there and headed back home. As she walked back, Emma thought to herself, What is my family going to think of this? She started to walk back home, holding the apple in her hand, thinking how she would love to bite right into it.
A sound brought Emma back from looking at the apple, a sound she had never heard before. She looked around and didn’t say anything. Then, she heard it again. What is it? Emma slowed her walk and listened. Then, she stopped and listened again.
Emma finally looked up at the oak tree, which she stood under. Then, she saw the most amazing sight she had ever seen. As she turned, she kept looking up, and all she could whisper to herself was, “Wow.”
There, in the giant oak tree on every branch, were thousands of monarch butterflies, their tiny wings making that strange sound she had heard. It was the most beautiful sight she had ever seen. She had to tell someone, show someone. Emma did not want to scare them away, so she walked away very slowly. When she was far enough away, she picked up her pace, hurrying home as quickly as she could. All she could think about was the oak tree that was covered with thousands of beautiful butterflies, which were hanging from every leaf.
As she arrived home, filled with excitement, she found no one at home. No one was around to see the big red apple or hear about the oak tree filled with butterflies. What should I do now? Emma decided to go back to the oak tree and watch the butterflies again.
She want back as quietly as she could, and when Emma got back to the oak tree, she looked up, only to find the oak tree was empty of butterflies.”