The 100 Children

By: Sameeksha Singh


There once was a couple who longed for some kids or a child

Though the wife knew that having them would be wild

She knew that they would play and fight

She was very right...


When the time came

Parents they became

The doctor counted them all

(Of course they weren't very tall)

"My, you have 100 CHILDREN!" the doctor said

While the mother put them all to bed


The parents were so very happy for they had more than one child

But the mother had been right—


Are very wild


Sameeksha is a 7-year-old from Seattle, Washington.

You, with the Lion's Roar

By: Rachna Shah


I may never have been skydiving or crowd surfing, but I have seen both horrific and beautiful things in my day. Vivid images that will haunt me and scar my retinas for eternity...

...because where I come from, grocery shopping is a dangerous sport.

If you ever wish to witness unadulterated insanity, you should go to a local grocery store and linger around the fresh fruits and vegetables. It is a frenzy where the winner takes all (technically inaccurate, but trivialities will have to wait).

When an employee comes by with fresh boxes of okra, you do not want to be left out. The poor soul barely has enough time to unload the goods before the angry hordes descend upon the okra like a plague of locusts. Look out for those insane beady-eyed mothers and grandmothers glaring at the employee, craning their necks over the carts to see what fresh groceries have yet to be unloaded in all of their yummy goodness.

It happens in stages. First, the initial sighting. The unsuspecting employee naively heads over to the display area. As he begins to unload the new produce, he notices a slow but steady increase in his audience. Their well-trained Vulcan senses are activated, and they look so hungry that they might just end up devouring the employee if he does not move out of the way fast enough. Because, you see, behind the worker waits pounds and pounds of fresh okra, straight from wherever okra comes from. The shining beacon of crisp okra gleams in its newness. The worker unloads the goods as quickly as humanly possible and flees the scene, often entrapped by the okra-hunters.

Then begins the madness. Having gotten rid of the worker, the plague descends. If you are fortunate enough to have found a good picking spot, you find yourself engulfed in a mad sea of frenzied activity. It is too late for second thoughts and doubts saying, "Is this really how I wanted to spend my Saturday?" No, you pick for dear life. Pick or you die. Pick or you will get shoved into the corner, along with that stray, bruised okra.

You begin to envy those with years of okra picking experience, those who casually fling back okra that is not perfect in every way and accumulate all of the good okra in their bags. You become despondent, wondering if you will even be able to pick a pound before the throes have disassembled the entire store. But then your agility miraculously improves. Suddenly, your own bags become heavy, full with the fruits of your labor. You no longer feel the pricks piercing your fingertips. You pick okra with both hands, and with all of the other hands reaching around you, you feel like the lord of the okra.

Eventually the group of okra reapers disperses, leaving behind the remnant carcasses for those not as daring. The scavengers war with each other, while the spectators watch in disgust.

And you? You walk away with the spoils, the "best okra of all," grinning shamelessly. You are a glowing pool of inextinguishable light, the triumphant victor of all mankind...

...and then the new batch of Manila mangos comes in.

Ad infinitum.


Rachna is a 16-year-old from Barrington, Illinois.

Of Those Who Know

By: Julia Fowlie

Her fingers combed through her brown bob, tugging and pulling at any loose strands.

The mirror that took up half the bathroom’s wall allowed Sophia clearly to see the clump of hair that was removed, leaving a bald patch in its place.

Still, the routine was no longer shocking. Instead, Sophia stood quietly, her eyes glazed over, staring at the mirror’s reflection. The hair weighed heavily in her hand, laying limp, but she continued to tightly hold onto it.

A radio played faintly in the background, classical music flowing from its speakers. The pitter pattering of feet was approaching and the bathroom door, slightly ajar, suddenly pushed wide open. Her little girl stood in close proximity, her pigtails swinging.

“Mommy, let’s play!”

Sophia looked down at the tiny girl and smiled. She crouched down and stroked Mia’s head with her free hand.

The soft silky locks drew Sophia back to her balding appearence. She furrowed her brows, remembering the new clients scheduled to visit tomorrow afternoon. Her employment was riding on a good first impression.

As always, hiding her condition was a priority and, despite protests from Eric and Mia, Sophia was against drawing attention to herself. She recalled the uncomfortable faces of previous clients upon their discovery of her secret. Unwelcoming questions often followed.

It was her shame, her vulnerability, the reason she felt pitifully weak at times. All those weekly hospital visits, sitting anxiously in the cold, white waiting room. Alone. She could still hear the sound of hair clippers buzzing to life.

“Mommy, please!” Mia whined. She was pulling at Sophia’s hand now, giddy with anticipation. “I wanna play hide and seek!”

“Then we’ll play hide and seek. You go hide first while I count to one hundred.” Like a rubber band, the tiny body flew out of the room, pigtails whipping behind her.

Remaining crouched, Sophia thought of Mia. The tiny girl had forced her way into the heart of their small family and Sophia couldn’t stand the idea of her daughter inheriting the same condition. Mia, whose permanent smile was all she ever wore, need not know the despair and anxiety that Sophia endured. It took her a long time to understand the true meaning of beauty.

“Mommy are you counting?”

The voice echoed in the hallway. Sophia knew the game wouldn’t start without her. Mia was waiting. She needed her mother. That was all it took for Sophia to stand. She walked over to the garbage and tossed the strands of hair that she clutched in her fist. Exhaling slowly, she steals one final glance at the mirror. “Ready or not, here I come.”


Julia is a 17-year-old from Burlington, Ontario, Canada.

Sky Wars

By: Saanvi Hitlamani


The night battles the day.

The day to the afternoon.

Then the winner is night.

A whole day is wars for the sky.

Sun and moon are the leaders.

They battle for the sky.

Two teams they have.

Emperors are the sun’s team.

Kings are the moon’s team.

Emperors bring fun.

Kings bring sleep.


Saanvi is a 6-year-old from Cupertino, California.