Here's another winning entry from our recent short story contest. This one is by Charlotte Cross.
Violet hated wearing her hair in a bun. She also hated wearing dresses and the tiara that went with them. Violet secretly wished she was a unicorn trainer. They got to have all the fun! Which is why, this year, Violet was going to run away with the traveling unicorn show. There was just one thing stopping her-she was a princess.
Violet was lounging on her canopy bed, thinking things like, “Why was I born a princess? I’m not keen on princess apparel. My least favorite color is pink …”
Violet’s thoughts were interrupted by her father’s knock at her door.
“Violet, dear, it’s time for dinner. Please get ready.”
At dinner, the king announced that tomorrow the family would go to Eltonbridge and watch the trained unicorns. Violet was suddenly too excited to eat a bite more. That night, she tossed and turned and even counted sheep, but the sheep kept turning into unicorns.
At the show, a unicorn, glimmering and silvery, pranced out magnificently and began his performance. The audience cheered, Violet chief among them.
Suddenly, the unicorn stopped obeying the trainer and began kicking around. The trainer turned frantic, clapping his hands and shouting. Violet watched intently, until it became clear the unicorn was heading towards her front row seat. When he got to the edge of the rail, Violet braced, thinking he might be ready to leap over it on top of her. Instead, he stopped suddenly, staring straight at her head.
She tipped her head to the side, looking him over, and he did the same thing. He was mirroring her! She tried the action again, tipping her head to the other side. Again, he moved his head to copy her. He seemed placid and happy now.
“Hmm,” Violet thought to herself, “What is he doing?”
Then she remembered that bothersome weight on her head: her tiara! That’s what he was staring at!
She gingerly removed it, lifting it high. The unicorn responded by standing on its back legs and reaching up. The audience hushed.
Violet then tossed her tiara in the air and caught it. Astoundingly, the unicorn did a back handspring, landing in the center of the ring.
At this, the audience roared. The trainer, who had been frozen in place, his mouth agape and eyes wide with fear, motioned for Violet to join him.
She glanced at her father, who, still clapping, nodded his approval.
Addressing the king and queen, the trainer said, “Your highnesses, your daughter with her lovely little crown has saved the night. Would you consider permitting her to join us as trainer for the remainder of our traveling season?”
Violet looked hopefully across the ring at her parents.
Her mother leaned over to her father and said, “But she’s a princess!”
Her father responded, “Because she’s a princess!”
He squeezed the queen’s hand, and she squeezed back.
“She may go,” the king announced.
Violet beamed her thanks. She felt as if she would burst with joy.
Charlotte Cross, Grade 5 - Cincinnati, Ohio