Every year the East Gwillimbury Public Library hosts its annual Write On! contest, providing an opportunity for young authors and comic artists to submit their stories and possibly be published in our anthology. This year, our anthology is called, Dream Big! An Anthology of Big Dreams and Short Stories. These stories are then reviewed by a panel of community judges, and our grand prize winner is announced during a large book signing event.
This year, for the first time ever we are posting the winning story online, so please enjoy “The Slow Sloth: A Journey of Self-Discovery” by Eva Ahlberg, our Write On! 2019 contest winner:
Dedicated to Mrs Cresswell, who helped me find out who I really am.
Once upon a time there was a sloth named Sarah. Her friend was a cheetah named Chase. Chase was fast and rushed. Sarah was too slow. Sarah had a tutor named Master Do This Do That, who tried to help Sarah complete her work on time. Master Do This Do That appeared to be a tad bossy, but she meant well and was actually quite nice. Everyday Sarah was very tired because she could do nothing but lay awake in her bed worrying about all her unfinished work.
One day, Sarah’s tutor said “Sarah, I have some strategies that might work for you. The first one is a pair of noise-cancelling headphones. If the class is being too loud, just open up your desk and put them on. I hope it works for you.”
The next strategy is a ‘private desk’ away from other people, so they can’t talk to you or distract you. Just remember that you have to choose to go sit at the private desk.
The third strategy is an iPad so you can use a timer to help you keep track of how much time is passing while you work. If you want, you can also use these headphones that you plug into the iPad and then you can put on some music and listen to it while you work. Just make sure that it doesn’t end up distracting you more.
Sarah didn’t think they would work. She just thought that nothing would work. She thought she would be slow forever. The next day, when the class was loud, Sarah tried the noise cancelling-headphones, but they didn’t make her work any faster. Although, she did like how quiet it seemed, she noticed that it allowed her to focus just a little bit more on her thoughts.
That night, Sarah had a dream that she was the world’s fastest worker and she was REALLY famous. When she woke up, she remembered that she was still really slow, but she was determined to finish her work on time.
So that morning, she went to school and tried listening to some music on the ipad but it didn’t work either. Master Do This Do That suggested that Sarah try the timer, so she did. She set it for 10 minutes, AND IT WORKED!!!!! Sarah beat the timer!!! Sarah was so happy that she jumped out of her seat and asked if Mr. Do This Do That would throw a party to celebrate!
After school, when the bell rang, Master Do This Do That called Sarah to stay back, and talk with him. “Sarah, do you know that you really just wanted to be fast like Chase?” “No” “Did you know that sloths are supposed to be slow?” “Yes, of course.” “Sarah, you were right, you were really slow, even for a sloth. I’m glad you are working more quickly now.” said Master Do This Do That. “Thank you.” said Sarah. “Just remember that you are not a cheetah, you don’t need to be fast. You have other talents that make you special. Plus, you have found a strategy that helps you move a ‘little’ quicker. Just don’t try and be a cheetah; be you, be Sarah the Sloth.
That night, Sarah went to bed thinking about Master Do This Do That’s words. Had she really wanted to be as fast as Chase? Then she fell asleep. The next morning, Sarah woke up and realised that she didn’t need to be fast! She was a sloth, and sloths are slow. When she got to school, Sarah walked up to her teacher’s desk. “Master Do This Do That, I realised that I am a sloth, and sloths are slow, I don’t need to be fast like Chase, I can be myself and no one can stop me!” “Yes!, Yes!, Yes!!!!!!!!! That’s exactly what I’ve been trying to tell you all along!!!” said Master Do This Do That. “Be the best you that you can be!”
Master Do This Do That’s class had a huge party because Sarah had taught the class the importance of not trying to be like others, and being proud of yourself for who you are. It was the best celebration that class had ever had!