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2011 Summer Short Story Contest Winner

3rd Place Winner
Summerlyn Turner
8th Grade
Los Angeles Baptist Middle/High School
Reseda, California



Calliope was a very curious caterpillar who lived on the leaves of a huge cherry tree. She admired the beauty and poise of the butterflies that lived there in the garden and wanted to grow up to be just like them. So, one day she asked her mother what she needed to do to become a beautiful butterfly.


Her mother told her that butterflies emerged from hard work, preparation and discipline.


“What kind of hard work?” Calliope asked.


“Well, you have to do your homework every day,” her mother replied.


“I can to that!” Calliope agreed.


“And, you must eat well and get plenty of rest to maintain a healthy mind and body,” said her mother.


“No problem!” Calliope exclaimed. “How do I prepare?”


“You’ve already begun, but most of the preparation and discipline takes place during incubation,” her mother explained.


“What’s incubation?” Calliope asked.


“Come with me Calliope.”


Calliope followed her mother as they climbed slowly toward the trunk of the tree. Her mother stopped and pointed to a branch high above. Callipe pushed her glasses up on her face to make sure she got a clear view of what her mother was showing her.


“Do you see that little cocoon up there? That is a chrysalis, and there is a little caterpillar inside preparing for her next stage in life. That process is called incubation, and this is something she must do all on her own. When she was younger, like you are now, she had her mother to help her and guide her to make sure that she was doing all the things that will prepare her for the chrysalis stage. She still must do her homework and study and eat healthy and rest, but now she must be self-reliant and remember to do all of this on her own. She must remember the values that her mother taught her, and use that knowledge as well as patience and discipline to prepare to become a beautiful butterfly.”


“How did she get in the cocoon?” Calliope asked.


“Well, the hard work that she did when she was younger prepared her to know what to do to create the chrysalis and the positive values such as patience, integrity and perseverance that she obtained prepared her for the work that she has to do while she is in the chrysalis,” explained her mother.


“One day, when she is ready, she will emerge as a beautiful poised butterfly, just as you will do someday.”