Every year, Urbana Elementary School (UES) participates in the Young Authors’ Contest sponsored by the Maryland Reading Association Counsel. Out of 32 UES student entries, seven were selected as finalists, which will go on to the county level and then on to the state competition. Included in the seven UES finalists are Hasita Madduri and Christopher Pondoc.
Hasita, in fourth grade, placed as a finalist in the short story genre with her piece titled, “The Cow and the Tiger.” Christopher wrote a poem titled, “Dream Big, Work Harder,” which grabbed a finalist position in poetry.
“They are highly exemplary pieces,” said Stephanie Hausler, UES literary specialist, who selected the finalists. “I look at the pieces and see, did they have all the elements of a story and was it all thought out and planned?”
Hasita, a beautiful girl with a sweet temperament, explained the thought she put behind her story.
“In the Indian culture there are a lot of stories with unknown authors. They are stories with morals that teach you something, so that inspired me to write it,” she said, adding that while she was born in the United States, her family is from Hyderabad, India.
Christopher, an energetic, motivated fifth grader, said his poem “came to him.”
“Everybody wants success,” Christopher said with energy in his voice. “This poem is expressing what you need to have to be successful.”
When asked about their future goals, both students have set their sights high.
“I want to be a basketball player or follow my Dad’s occupation and be a computer programmer,” Christopher said, adding that computer programming “helps me to express my ideas and it also helps other people, too.”
Hasita, who enjoys teaching her twin siblings — who turn 5 this month — to play games, such as chess, said she sees a future for herself with caring for children.
“I want to be a doctor. I like helping people,” she said. “I like babies, and I am good at handling them.”
In his spare time, Christopher plays basketball for the Ballenger Creek U12 club team. Hasita said she enjoys time with her siblings as well as doing crafts.
Both Christopher and Hasita’s pieces are currently being judged at the county level, Hausler said. If they are selected, they will move on to the state level.
“The Cow and the Tiger”
By Hasita Madduri
Once upon a time there was a farmer that had a barn with many cows. Every morning the farmer would let the cow out for grazing; the cows would go far into the woods so they can get fresh grass. One day one of the cows went too far into the woods and lost track of time. To her surprise, she ran into a hungry Tiger hoping to catch prey. The Cow got very scared because the tiger was about to eat her, but finally decided to speak up for her life.
She said to the hungry Tiger, “Please leave me alone; I did nothing wrong.” But that did not help, the tiger tried to attack the cow but he missed it to the Cow’s luck. He was getting ready to attack again when the Cow pleaded, “Oh your highness! I have a hungry newborn calf that has to be fed at this time. May I please go feed it, say my goodbyes and come back to be your meal?”
The Tiger laughed “Ha ha ha, are you trying to fool me? I will not let this chance of eating such [a] stuffed cow go away.”
Then the Cow said humbly, “I’m sure you have children back at your home and you understand the importance of feeding them in a timely manner. I promise I will be back in no time, please let me go, please!”
The Cow worked very hard to convince the Tiger, and finally succeeded. Without wasting any time the Cow went back to its stable, fed her Calf for the last time, put her to sleep and gave her a goodbye kiss with a heavy heart.
Meanwhile the Tiger was busy making lunch plans and waiting for what seemed like hours to him. On the back of his mind, he started to think that the Cow lied about everything she said. But he had been keeping track of time that would be up in 10 … 9 … 8 … 7 … 6 … 5 … 4 … 3 … 2 … 1 seconds. Just then he saw the Cow walking back into the woods. The Tiger was very impressed by how the Cow kept her promise.
“Thank you for letting me feed my baby. Am I late?” she asked softly.
“No, just in time,” the Tiger said with his deep voice, that was followed up by, “I’m very impressed by your honesty, at one point I thought you lied to me.”
“I am a mother dear Tiger and mothers don’t lie,” said the Cow.
“Dream Big, Work Harder”
By Christopher Pondoc
When somebody thinks or sleeps,
they could envision or dream of anything.
Fame, glory, greatness, recognition.
But when you come back to reality,
the vision is gone.
Some people just dream and do nothing,
waiting for their prayers to be answered,
but the achievers don’t just want a vision or a dream,
but a reality and an amazing memory.
It’s when you realize that something has to be done
In order to achieve it!
It’s when you go from uncertainty to a fresh, new start.
It’s what happens when instead of saying, “I can’t do it!”
to “I must do it!”
Realizing a vision or a dream is
a mixture of hard work, discipline, determination, drive, and loyalty.
When that mixture gels,
and is up and running, and finally working,
you will then see your vision come to a reality.
When do you think people first realize
that they have become successful or achieve their dreams?
Looking at their money? Seeing their fancy cars and mansions?
Buying and wearing expensive jewelry and clothes?
NO! You’re WRONG!
It is when you do something to make a difference on other people’s lives.
Remember, everybody can dream and have a vision of greatness
But it’s up to you to make it happen…
Life is too short to waste all the opportunities presented to us…
Take risks, have faith
Dream BIG, but work HARDER!