1st Place: Writing 4 Kids Contest, November 2022
Tatters was a happy scarecrow, and she was very good at her job. She enjoyed standing up straight in the middle of her pumpkin field all through summer and fall.
She waved at the birds who tried to swoop in and steal her crops, and the sneaky birds would laugh and bob their heads at Tatters as they flew away to search for unguarded snacks.
Tatters liked her quiet life in the field. She loved the sound of the wind as it rustled through the pumpkin vines, and she never grew tired of watching the clouds move across the sky.
Tatters even loved standing in the middle of a thunderstorm, with electricity crackling in the air, and rain soaking through her straw-stuffed clothes. The rain smelled good to her, and it helped the plants grow strong, and it left her straw stuffing feeling fresh and clean.
Tatters loved watching children come into her field to pick out pumpkins for Halloween. But her favorite time of year came after the fall harvest.
The farmer would bring a ladder out to where she stood in the field. "Another good year, Tatters," the farmer would say with a smile. He'd pat her shoulder and brush some dust from her hat. "You ready to get dressed for dinner?" Then he'd unhook her from the post and carry her in his strong arms back to the farmhouse while she smiled in delight.
He'd set her on the pretty white porch and sit down with a stiff brush, a needle and thread, and some odd pieces of fabric cut from old clothes. "Let's see what we can do to patch you up!" he'd say.
First the farmer would open a few buttons in Tatters' shirt, and he'd pull out some of her old stuffing and replace it with sweet-smelling new straw. Tatters would sigh with happiness. She loved spending time with the farmer, especially when he made her feel fresh and new.
When she had all new straw inside, the farmer would give her clothes a good brushing to get the dirt off, and then sew new patches onto her knees and elbows where her shirt and pants had worn thin. "That's much better now, isn't it, Tatters?" the farmer would ask when he had finished. She always smiled brighter to let him know how happy she was.
Then he would pick her up and take her to the porch swing, where he sat her down and laid a blanket across her legs, tucking it in so it wouldn't blow off. "There you go, Tatters. Safe and sound for the winter."
Tatters felt so proud. She had the place of honor on the porch for the whole winter, where she could talk to her friends who came to the bird feeders, and rest whenever she wanted to, all by the warm light from the windows.
A few hours after Tatters had settled in, the farmer's children and grandchildren would arrive at the big farmhouse to celebrate their Thanksgiving with a big family dinner. All of the kids smiled and waved at Tatters as they went inside.
One year, a chipmunk came up on the porch and hopped up onto Tatters' lap, then climbed up her sleeve onto her shoulder. "It's Thanksgiving," the chipmunk said. "What are you thankful for?"
Tatters giggled. "That's the easiest question in the whole world," she told the chipmunk. "Just look at all the beauty in my life. I must be the luckiest scarecrow on this green earth."
"Don't you ever feel lonely?" asked the chipmunk.
Tatters thought for a minute. "Yes, sometimes. But then I look around myself. See, look there."
And the chipmunk looked to where Tatters was pointing. There were a cedar waxwing, a chickadee, a sparrow, and a robin on the bird feeder, enjoying their Thanksgiving dinner. The chipmunk grinned when he saw the birdseed being scattered on the ground under the feeders, and skittered down off to the ground and filled his cheeks with seeds. Then he waved goodbye before rushing home to celebrate Thanksgiving with his family.
When the grandchildren left late that evening, they each stopped to pat Tatters before stepping off the porch. One of the children leaned in close and whispered, "See you at Christmastime, Tatters!"
Tatters loved Thanksgiving the most.
Author's Note: ▼