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Rated: E · Short Story · Children's · #1293623
A girl wants a sword... 2nd Place in the Bedtime and fairytale contest.
There once was a girl named Annabelle Rose Grayson. She had seven siblings; all of them boys. Her mother was always busy in the house. With eight males and one little girl it always was a mess. Plus there seemed to forever be a mound of laundry. Her dad spent his days outside, working the land.

Annabelle was one of the youngest, with only one brother younger than her. His name was Gabe. They were close since the others were much older than they were.

As each of the boys reached a certain age they began to help out with the outside work. At age five they started taking care of the hens, gathering eggs and simple tasks like that. By the age of ten, the boys were doing a lot of the heavy work outside. It was then that each boy was given a wooden sword, a symbol of their strength and coming of age.

Annabelle, however, did not get to do any of the outside work. Instead, she was stuck inside helping with the cleaning and cooking. She loved spending time with her mom, but what she really wanted to do was work outside.

When she was six, Annabelle asked her dad if she could help with the hens, but her dad said no.

"That's boys work," he explained. "Girls stay inside cleaning and cooking. You do not want to be outside; you will get dirty."

That was something her father always told her. Girls should be clean and pretty. Being dirty was for boys. Yet, this did not stop Annabelle from wanting to be outside. She was not the only one unhappy with her place in the family. Gabe struggled as well.

Gabe was different than the other boys. He could take care of the hens okay, but that was the only outside work that he was any good at. Gabe was too weak to cut firewood, the ax was far too heavy for him. The big animals, cows and sheep, scared him to the point where he would almost cry.

Since they had several boys in the family, Gabe was allowed to work inside with their mom and Annabelle.

The day before Annabelle's tenth birthday, she was excited. Tomorrow was going to be a grand day; it was the age that each Grayson child received their sword.

She awoke the next morning earlier than usual. The house was quiet as everyone else still lay in their beds, asleep. Annabelle waited in bed, impatiently, until the others woke from their slumbers.

Finally, after what felt like days, they all gathered in the living room for the opening of the presents.

Annabelle tore through the three small ones, saving the large rectangle box for last. She got a necklace from her brothers, a ring from her mom, and a special picture from Gabe. At last, she pulled the box towards her in anticipation.

As she pulled the lid off the box her heart sank and she began to cry. In the box was a small broom.

"What's wrong my little rose bud?" her father asked.

Through the tears she managed to say, "I didn't want a broom. I am ten... Where's my sword?"

"Don't be silly," was her father's response. He was not going to put up the issue anymore. "You are a girl and need to start acting like one. Swords are for boys and boys only."

Annabelle ran to her room and spent the whole day in bed, crying.

From that day on, she never smiled. No matter what Gabe did to try and make her happy, it did not work. Annabelle realized her life would be spent inside and nothing could change that for her. She would never get a sword.

Months passed by, and not much changed at the Grayson house. The boys kept to their chores outside, except for Gabe who stayed inside. Father was not happy with it, but Mom insisted and so he was able to continue helping her and Annabelle.

A few weeks after Gabe's tenth birthday, when Annabelle was eleven, he told her that he had a surprise.

At first Annabelle didn't care. She tried to ignore him by mopping the kitchen floor but Gabe persisted. Finally, she agreed to go if only to get him to stop bothering her.

In the room that they shared was a very poorly wrapped box resting on top of her bed. Written on the paper was her name and a small drawing of a rose.

"Hurry, open it," he said.

Annabelle pulled off the paper and slowly lifted the lid. In the box was a sword, the one Gabe had been given, and there were roses etched in the handle.

"Oh, Gabe" She couldn't speak as tears started to fall.

They hugged and afterwards Annabelle reached over and pulled a drawing kit from her desk drawer. Her father had given it to her to try and make up for not giving her a sword. She knew Gabe wanted it, but her dad didn't like him drawing because it was a girl's past time. She gave the kit to Gabe.

Both were happy, and Annabelle smiled.

{word count: 863}
© Copyright 2007 Dawn Embers (elfmage7 at Writing.Com). All rights reserved.
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