The Daily Star, Oneonta, NY - otsego county news, delaware county news, oneonta news, oneonta sports


May 19, 2011

Riley, a dog, an ant, a train and an apple make for interesting stories

We recently had an essay contest for school children, and we received many delightful entries. We gave children a list of items, and asked them to tell us what they had in common in a one-page story.

The items were an ant, a dog, an apple, a train, and a kid named Riley. We had three winners, and their essays are below.

First place went to Avalyn, age 7, with "Just an Ordinary Walk In the Park":

Once upon a time there was a little girl named Riley who was walking in the park with her dog, Spot. Riley is a kind hearted, good humor girl with a craving for apples. As she walked she ate an apple and noticed that there was an ant on her apple. So she flicked it off her apple. It went so far that it landed on a big brown, evil, money stealing train.

The ant was wandering around the train wondering where it was. Then it saw a big brown seat with a man. It also heard a deep evil laugh. It was so scared, that it went closer to see what it was. What did it find? It found Dr. Deteto, a criminal loose for two years _ not anymore! The ant that Riley flicked off her apple when she was walking with her dog Spot in the park, when she was eating an apple that had an ant on it, which she flicked off her apple, that flew on a big, brown money stealing train, where the ant scared Dr. Deteto, who jumped off the train and broke a leg. Riley called the hospital then the police on her new iPhone 4 she got for her birthday last May. When they got there the police asked Riley (who still had Spot) a bunch of questions. But Riley did not pay attention. She said, "The ant saved the day." Because Riley explained what happened. Every one agreed it was the ant. Then a museum manager came and made the ant a home in a tank to stay at the museum. The ant was known all over the world for catching DR. DETETO!

Miranda, age 10, was our second-place winner.

One day a boy named Riley was on a train. He was headed to Boston to get his new bulldog. Riley was not sure what to name this bulldog. This story tells you how the bulldog ends up getting her name. As he was riding down the track he decided he needed a snack. Riley pulled an apple out his backpack. He went to take his first bite out of the apple when he was rudely interrupted. Riley looked up to see who did this. He looked side to side. On his left shoulder he saw an ant! The ant told Riley that he had to share the apple with him. Riley was refusing to share an apple with an ant. The ant jumped on the leaf of the apple. Then the train stopped. They were in Boston. Riley got off the train, went to the place the dog was, got the dog and got back on the train. The same thing happened with the ant on the way back. But, about half way through the ride, Riley gave in. The ant got his share of apple and so did Riley. When Riley got home he knew exactly what to name his dog. He named her Aunt Apples.

Our third-place winner was Gabrielle with a short story, titled "Riley & the Magic Apple."

One there was a girl named Riley who was 9 years old. She always wanted to go somewhere in her imagination. One day Riley went to an apple orchard with her school. She said, "I hate apple orchards. They are just a waste of time!"

When they got to the orchard, a skinny man in a fancy suit told each kid to pick an apple. Riley went to a very green tree and picked a large, ripe apple. She took a bite and suddenly was on a train with her dog, Togo! Togo was a Great Dane dog and was very big.

The train was heading to a place called Antopolis. Riley loved ants, so was excited to go! She was so happy when an ant named Alexander A. Ant asked if Riley would go to the Ant Ball with him. Riley said, "YES!"

At the ball, Togo, Riley and Alexander A. Ant ate a lot of apples! But Riley didn't know that they were still on the train the whole time. When Riley finally said goodbye to Alexander A. Ant, he cried. She closed her eyes and was back in the apple orchard just like that.

Library Hours: 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday; 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Friday; 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday; closed Sunday.

Marie Bruni is director of Huntington Memorial Library in Oneonta. Her column appears in the community section of the Daily Star every Thursday. Her columns can be found online at

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