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Retired teachers honor essay contest winners

The Lawrence County Retired Teachers Association hosted its fourth-grade writing contest for 2009.

The winners were:

1st place:

Heath Wade, Symmes Valley, teacher Amy Ferguson.

2nd place:

Katelyn Ferguson, Symmes Valley, teacher Amy Ferguson

3rd place (tie):

Alexa Dickerson, Dawson-Bryant Elementary; Jonah Galloway, Fairland West Elementary.

Honorable mentions:

Lacy Lemley, Fairland West Elementary; Breanna Baise, Burlington Elementary.

Recognition:

Jakob Hetton, Burlington Elementary; Myra Alexis Hall, Dawson-Bryant Elementary; Nathan Strunk, Ironton Elementary; Elizabeth Cole, Ironton Elementary

Students from South Point, Symmes Valley, Fairland, Ironton, Dawson-Bryant participated. They were asked to write essays from the perspective of a tree.

Here is the first place entry, “The Great Hickory.”

“Hi, my name is Harold Hickory. I started out as a hickory nut on a huge hickory tree, not knowing that someday I would become something very special. This is my life story.

There I was, just hanging from one of my mother’s branches. I was a small hickory nut, no bigger than a human boys’ thumb. I was the smallest of the bunch. I was talking to one of my brothers when we all heard footsteps, thump, thump, coming toward us. Human footsteps.

There they came, human boys. Hungry, with baskets in their hands. We all screamed! But I don’t think they heard us. But a fox near by sure did. He ran down by us and chased the boys away. But when the fox left, a few of the boys came back! One very chubby boy picked me off the branch I was on and dropped me in his basket along with about fifteen of my brothers and sisters. It felt like I was in that basket for at least an hour, then the boy accidentally tripped over a tree root and fell to the ground. All of us fell out of the basket. He picked all of us up except for me and put them in the basket. There I was, all alone, grateful that he didn’t find me.

I laid there for about 4 months. Then I grew roots and began to grow. Then I became a seedling. The boy was pretty close to his home when he dropped me. I was growing right at the edge of the woods, just about 20 feet from his yard. After about four years, I was an eleven foot tall hickory tree. A few cardinals had made nests on my branches. A few boys would regularly come and climb on me. I really enjoyed it.

After 8 years, I was a fully grown 20 foot tall hickory tree. I had a whole branch of hickory nuts growing on my branches. When it was time, they all fell off and grew into hickory trees.

After about 70 years, I had given off over 50 sets of hickory nuts. There was a completely different family that lived in the house where the chubby boy and his family used to live.

I was starting to rot and the new family wanted to build a log cabin where I was. So they hired some loggers to cut me down. They turned me into some special paper, the Declaration of Independence.

And here I am, laying in a container in The National Archives, very proud.”

— Heath Wade,

Symmes Valley