Once upon a time, on the shelf of a store selling many different creative tools, there sat a pencil. The pencil was itching to be taken home and her heart filled with excitement each time a young girl boy would take a moment to look at her. Thinking of all the things they would create together only raised her hopes even further! Her hopes and her heart promptly sank once they placed her back on the shelf, having decided she was not suitable for their needs. This pattern of heart-filling and hope-dashing continued for many months until the day the pencil was purchased by a young girl named Zoe.
The pencil knew instantly that her and Zoe would be terrific together. Mostly because of the way Zoe held her and the way she gently placed her inside a felt-lined pencil case. There were other pencils in the pencil case giving her some clues as well. Each pencil was well sharpened and had Zoe’s name written on the side. As far as she could tell, there were no missing colours and the bottom of the case was clean and free from pencil shavings. The pencil couldn’t be happier and it only got better once they arrived home. The pencil helped Zoe draw the most beautiful pictures. Sometimes, they drew rainbows and mountains and at other times they drew faces or animals. It was everything the pencil had hoped for.
Zoe seemed to be in a hurry while getting ready for school one morning and the pencil felt a little upset when Zoe threw her into the pencil case using more force than she was expecting. The pencil was surprised when she started to hear voices, and, when Zoe eventually took her out of the pencil case, she was disappointed to be surrounded by other children, most of them sitting at their desks, writing words in their books which had already been written on a board in front of them. The pencil wrote word after word, but there was very little passion in Zoe’s writing. It felt forced and nowhere near as enjoyable as when they were drawing at home. A bell sounded and, in her rush to be one of the first leave the room, Zoe carelessly knocked the pencil off the desk and on to the floor. Large, black shoes landed very close to the pencil’s head and she felt something she had never felt before: Panic.
Things went from bad to worse when a boy, who was also leaving the classroom, stopped to pick the pencil up from the carpet and shove her in his pocket. The pocket was full of things that shouldn’t be in a pocket such as old sweet wrappers and thumb tacks and the feeling of constantly being close to falling out of the pocket made the pencil feel more uncomfortable than she had ever been. The pencil jostled around inside the pocket for what felt like hours and when the boy eventually took her out of the pocket, she was surrounded by people and walls that she didn’t recognise. There were no words to copy, only blank pieces of paper in the middle of the table surrounded by various glues and paints. The boy gripped the pencil in his hand in a most ungentle manner, proceeded to draw a collection of the most unrecognisable figures pencil had seen. She tried to help the boy as best as she could but he appeared too excited at the thought of getting anything at all on the page so that he could use the paints and glues. He placed the pencil on the table in front of him and, before long, she was covered from head-to-toe in glue as well as paint of all different colours.
The pencil felt sadder than she had ever felt sitting on the shelf in the shop and she missed Zoe with all of her heart. An adult came over to where the pencil was lying and started speaking to the boy using a serious tone, ordering him to clean his desk. While wiping pencil with a cloth, the adult looked towards the base of the pencil, tilted her head to the side and the pencil could hear her say the word, “Zoe”.
Within moments, the pencil was moving again, this time in the more gentler hands of the adult. Her heart filled with joy as she was taken into the room she recognised from that morning and she could see Zoe on her way over to collect her. Once Zoe had her, she gently placed her inside the pencil case and zipped it shut. The pencil felt calm inside the pencil case and it wasn’t long before Zoe had her at home again, passionately drawing rainbows and mountains and, sometimes, faces and animals.
My name is Gregg Savage and, every night when the house is quiet, I write and publish a free children’s story at dailytales.com.au for you to share and enjoy.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.