2010 – 5th Grade 3rd Place Winner

Gabrielle Mientiek, Texas.

Is the Pen Mightier than the Sword?

The Story of the Pen and the Sword

“Why do people talk about the pen and the sword?” my granddaughter curiously.
“Well,” I replied scratching my head thoughtfully, “It’s was so long ago, it’s hard to remember.”
“Grandfather, please!” she begged.
“Oh, all right!” I said pretending to give in. So I started:

It was a blustery night at the Cochachan Factory. Only the night workers were there, finishing up a large order of ballpoint pens. The only sound was the whirring of the machines in the factory and the slight breeze from the small window the workers had opened.

“Okay, we’re done with this order,” one of them shouted to another.

“Let’s send it in,” he answered. So they picked up the crate of black pens and walked out shutting the doors behind them. but they had not realized that they had left a lone ballpoint on the metal counters.

The pen jumped up the moment the doors were closed. he scurried towards the open window, glad that he had not been condemned to writing someone else’s words. The thought disgusted him.

But he scurried over to the open window (that the workers had once again forgotten to close) and slid out to the cool night air. Feeling the wind on his cap, he hurried to the nearby town.

As morning dawned, he took the time to look at the sunny village he had stopped to rest in. he seemed to be in the middle of the village square. He crossed the red and gray cobblestone street to see that the town was covered in red and gold ribbons and oil lamps. There were small kiosks open selling things like swords, saddles, armor, and dusty bottles of foamy beer. Horses saddled in metal plates and other types of armor whinnied loudly and struggled against the restraining ropes and chains hanging from their necks. This certainly was not the town he had imagined from what the workers from the Cochachan Factory had spoken of!

Then, he saw the sign that explained it all. In large black letters, there was an elaborate banner that said: The Medieval Festival

Just as the pen had read the banner, the festival began! People sprang around reading signs, trying food, and sight-seeing. The pen decided to do some him self. Being careful not to be stepped on, he hurried into the nearest shop with an open door. he wasn’t quite interested in violence, like the weapons displayed in the shop, but it was the only door open.

He saw maces and spears. He saw daggers and axes. But the most intriguing of all was the single horrible sword, glinting in the sunlight. It seemed to jeer at him as he backed away almost knocking into a reporter who was writing a story on medieval weapons.

The sword glared at him just asking for a fight. The pen refused shaking his head vigorously.

“Come on. You know you want to!” the sword chided.

“No!” cried the pen. He would not fight. It was against all of his instincts.

“You are a chicken! Anyone noble would take up the invite and fight their lives away!” the sword reasoned.

“I fight with words, not action and violence!”

“Oh, yeah! I’m real scared now!” he taunted, “Anyone brave would fight!” He put force on the word.

“You would waste your energy trying to fight,” the pen argued.

“No, I’ll have you killed in no time! No time, no pain,” the sword cried.

“Anyone smart would not fight an unneeded battle!” the pen reasoned.

“It’s not a fight! It’s a duel! A challenge! A battle!” the sword smirked.

“You are not a very bright sword, are you? Maybe it’s all that polish that’s dimming you,” the pen snapped.

“You are just waiting for a fight, aren’t you?” the sword frowned.

“There’s no need.”

“There’s no need,” the sword mimicked.

“Anyone thoughtful and wise would refuse an unnecessary fight!” the pen argued. The sword did not know how to argue without violence. He had never been one with words.

The pen smiled. He saw he had won. And so did the people of the village. So for centuries onward, the people of the small town spoke of the pen and the sword.

“Does that answer your question?” I asked hoping that I had explained it well enough.

“Yup! And my English homework!” she laughed as she skipped out of the room.

“Oh, Kristen!” I said chasing her out of the room.


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