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Volume 1: Issue 2

By: McKenna, age 11, MO

In the blazing hot Georgia heat, you could barely hear the banging of a hammer on a large oak tree named Rings.

“HEY! What are you doing?!” Thomas belted angrily.

“Mama told me to hang up these trespassing signs, what does it look like?” The girl chimed mischievously.

“But this is MY tree. If anything, you’re the one trespassing!” Thomas thundered.

The girl sighed and said, annoyed, “Fine, whatever. Have your stupid tree! I’ll go find another.”

The crickets were chirping as loud as they possibly could, and the night sky looked as if it were flooded with moonlight and fog. Everything was covered with darkness, when all of a sudden . . . the large oak dropped one of its bright red autumn leaves. Thomas was left thinking of his tree that silent night.

“I love you, Rings,” Thomas pondered.

Then one of Rings’s leaves blew in. It was her way of communicating. The chickens were clucking loudly as the bright morning sun made everything glow.

“Thomas! Go grab your stuff from that tree of yours,” Thomas’s dad demanded.

“What—why?” Thomas gulped with a heavy heart.

Thomas ran through the golden wheat, and with each step he took, the wheat slapped his leg; it hurt but he was worried about his best friend. Finally, the endless slapping had stopped. His leg was as red as a tomato. Now it was just grass. The grass was bright green and had not been mowed in for what seemed like forever. The cows grazed as if they were in slo-mo, and the horses whined as Thomas walked by; they were all startled by the mechanic chainsaw’s sound.

“Wait! What are you doing to Rings!?” Thomas shouted at his neighbor.

“You blind or somein’, son? I’m cuttin’ down this here tree, so watch out!” His neighbor grunted.

“No!” Thomas screamed so loudly that some of his neighbors mistook him as a mountain lion.

A tear of Thomas’s dropped on the stump, he looked around wondering if anybody was there. No one was there—not one person, animal, or thing. The large oak’s trunk lay there, looking dead. Thomas ran over and hugged the dead tree and sobbed on the trunk.

The trunk of Rings was gone; they used it all for firewood, and all that was left was her stump. Thomas had no friends except Rings. Rings was his one and only, and now she was gone. No Rings, treehouse, or friends. Thomas was all alone now with nothing to do, so he counted her rings. Seventy-two years. She was stuck, motionless for seventy-two years.

“Well . . . at least you finally earned your name, and on the bright side, we’re still together,” Thomas whispered with tears in his bright green eyes.

One of Rings’s bright red leaves fell from where she used to stand. It was a sign that not only will her spirit always be with him, but she would always be there for him and love him with all her sappy heart. His bright green eyes once again filled with tears and fell onto the stump.

With each tear he shed came another leaf.


Dear McKenna,


You have shared a real and emotionally-raw story with your readers! Your description of friendship pulls at our heart-strings and makes us realize what true, devoted friendship looks like. Not only have you painted a vivid picture with your colorful descriptions, but you’ve narrated a plot that is beautifully transparent. I love how your story ends with a beckon of hope, thus indicating that true friendship is never really lost . . . there is always the ghost of memories and companionship lingering in the midst of our present circumstances. Your writing is remarkable, and I encourage you to continue with your natural inclination toward plot development that you’ve so wonderfully cultivated at such a young age. Who knows! Maybe one day, I’ll be reading a New York Times bestseller of yours!


—T.E. Price, Author of Love’s True Colors and Take Flight, heading to Austrialia

Created for girls ages 10–14 to encourage and inspire each other as they write the feature articles.

Created for girls ages 10–14 to encourage and inspire each other as they write the feature articles.