Building Bridges / 2
Local students show off their literary stuff in the 2016 McEntyre Writing Competition
Introduction by Wayne Larsen
In what has become an annual tradition in Westmount schools, the McEntyre Writing Competition always attracts a wide variety of thoughtful and creative entries, and the 2016 edition was no exception.
Endowed by the late Peter McEntyre, mayor of Westmount from 1969 to 1971, the competition encourages young writers to express themselves on a designated topic, each designed to get the creative juices flowing. It is coordinated each year by the Westmount Public Library.
In 2016, “Building Bridges” was the topic assigned to students in grades 1 through 11.
Westmount Magazine presents the full texts of the first-place entries in each grade category, as supplied by the Westmount Public Library.
Here we present Grade 5.
FIFTH GRADE | FIRST PRIZE | SELWYN HOUSE SCHOOL
Bridget the Octopus Building Bridges
One day, there was an octopus named Bridget who lived deep in the cold sea. Bridget was a tiny octopus, but she was also by far the most courageous octopus known to mankind. Bridget the octopus was looking to start a business, but she was not quite sure what to do.
As Bridget was living in the sea, she saw that seven islands around her were at war. The people on each of the islands hated and feared each other, even though they had never met since their islands were too far apart. The islanders were miserable since they could not find jobs. Their unhappiness grew into anger toward the other islands. Bridget despised the war around her and wanted everybody to be friends and live peacefully. She knew she had to make a difference, but she did not know how.
On a windy, stormy day, Bridget saw a man being pulled into the sea and taken away by the waves. Bridget rushed toward him, dodging a shark and a whale along the way, to stop him from drowning! She wrapped her eight tentacles around him, and swam him to safety. ‘Phew, he made it back to shore in one piece, so maybe that’s a good sign,” thought Bridget. The man was very grateful and thankful to Bridget. It turned out that this was not just any ordinary man, this was a man with magical powers! As a thank you for being so courageous and saving his life, he granted Bridget one wish. It took Bridget a week or two to figure out what she should wish for.
As the fighting between the seven islands grew worse and worse, Bridget came up with an amazing idea! This was it, she figured out how to make the fighting stop. Bridget rushed to find the man with magical powers and told him her wish, which was to be the biggest octopus in the world. The man granted her the wish and asked, ‘Why would that be your wish?”
Bridget answered, “One day, in your human newspapers, you’ll read an article and you’ll understand.” The man did not believe it, because one octopus alone could not possibly make a huge difference in the world, but he did grant Bridget her wish. Then, they each went their separate ways.
The day after Bridget got her wish, she became as gigantic as Lake Champlain! She placed herself right in the middle of the seven islands and was so huge that the top of her head popped up above the water, almost as if another island just appeared in the sea. Then, Bridget stretched her tentacles far out to reach each of the seven islands. The courageous octopus invited all of the islanders to climb along her bridge-like tentacles and meet on the top of her head. After all the people gathered at the center, they were finally able to meet and get to know each other. They learned that they all had a lot in common, that they should not be at war, and that they should be friends!
After everyone had a lively conversation and played on Bridget for a while, they realized that octopi have eight tentacles, but Bridget only used seven to connect them. They all asked Bridget why she did not reach out to an eight island, and Bridget had an amazing answer. She explained to them that her eighth tentacle was the tentacle of imagination and that they themselves get to choose where it goes. The islanders get to build the eighth bridge together and it will lead them anywhere their imagination will take them. The people from the islands told Bridget that they are too happy with the people they already have. Bridget said that was the best answer possible, but they should always be open to building new bridges.
The next day, the headline in the newspaper read: “War is Over – People from All Seven Islands Work Together! Ginormous Octopus Opens Construction Company — Will Build a Network of Bridges” The man with the magical powers saw the newspaper and smiled. From that day on, the sea became a little warmer.
McEntyre Writing Competition 2017
The 2017 edition of the McEntyre Writing Competition is currently underway and the theme is “Secret Places, Hidden Treasures”.
You may compete if you go to school in Westmount (elementary or secondary, grades 1–11), live in Westmount, or are a member of a library in Westmount.
Submit your entry to the Children’s Desk, Westmount Public Library, no later than 9 pm on Friday, April 7, 2017.
To find out how to participate, please visit the Library’s website.
Concours littéraire McEntyre 2017
L’édition 2017 du Concours littéraire McEntyre est en cours et le thème est « Des endroits secrets et des trésors cachés ».
Tous les élèves du primaire (1–6) et du secondaire (1–5) qui fréquentent une école de Westmount, qui habitent à Westmount ou qui sont abonnés à une bibliothèque de Westmount peuvent participer au concours.
Tous les textes doivent parvenir à la Bibliothèque publique de Westmount avant 21h le vendredi 7 avril 2017.
Pour savoir comment participer, veuillez visiter le site web de la Bibliothèque.