My first children’s story!

How a nickel saved a village

Excited children filled our school auditorium seats.
Teachers and parents stood along the walls, a buzzing sound of whispering voices reminded me of bees.
I didn’t know if the parents were fidgeting more than the children.
Would our village be saved? Today we’d find out.
Mr. Barnaby, the man with big whiskers, sat in the centre chair on the stage and watched closely as Miss Thomas and Mister Winters counted dollar bills and coins on a large crafting table.
Mr. Barnaby, hearing of the devastation of our village’s economy, had come to our school with an offer.
If the children of our school could raise $1,000, Mr. Barnaby would not only match the donation, but he would donate the rest of the money to build a new factory!
Working parents would mean poverty and hopelessness would be things of the past.
“Well,” I thought, “Fat chance that will happen.” I’d fought with mother before leaving for school. How could mom be so selfish not to give me her bus fare money? She could walk to work, I’d told her.
Mom had said, “It is too far for me to walk. All I have is this nickel to donate.”
I sat with the coin held tightly in my fist. There was no way I would drop it into the collection box. The kids bullied me already, how horrible would it be to hear their giggles of scorn.
A hush filled the room as Miss Thomas stood and walked toward the microphone.
“Ahem,” she cleared her throat, and in a sad voice said, “I am sorry to announce we have not met our goal. The total count is Nine Hundred and Ninety-Nine Dollars and Ninety-Five Cents.
“No, no, no!” I hollered as I raced toward the stage. “I didn’t put in my donation.”
Proudly I handed Miss Thomas the hot and sweaty five-cent coin.
Mr. Barnaby stood and walked over to my teacher and me.
“Young man,” He said, “Your gift has tipped the scales. How great a gift it is!”
In awe, I held tight to Mr. Barnaby’s hand as everyone cheered.
The rest of the day was the best day I’d ever had. Every face that looked at me wore a big smile.
I made lots of new friends, but I was anxious for the school bell to ring.
I could hardly wait to go home to tell mom how her nickel had saved the village.

© Zora Zebic 2018

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