Critique: A TEAM FOR ZIA (6-8yrs PB)

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  • #346660


    Critique away! Thank you in advance : )

    A Team for Zia

    Zia the Zebra loved her stripes. One frosty day in February, as she was prancing past the school buildings on her way to recess, she caught her reflection in the school’s large windows.

    Feeling a bit silly, she stopped to admire her stripes in the glass.

    Zia turned this way and that, enjoying the way the sun rippled off her stripes.

    The black stripes were as dark as midnight.

    The white stripes shimmered in the sun.

    And together, they made a pattern as unique as a snowflake. A pattern that made her as special on the outside as she was on the inside.

    The problem was, Zia went to school with horses instead of other zebras. Horses do not have stripes. They have spots and dapples and snips and blazes…but they do not have black and white stripes.

    This was fine most of the time. Zia loved her horse friends. Running through the pasture at recess they would kick up their back legs, bow their heads as if dancing, and then buck and twist in the air .

    It was great fun, and Zia even enjoyed racing them. Although she usually wasn’t as fast as her horse friends, she had a lot of energy and could often outlast them in long races.

    Team sports were different though. At Shetland Academy, everyone was divided up into teams based on the color of their hair. Lights on one side, darks on the other.

    Zia Longed to play on a soccer team with her friends. She would secretly imagine what life would be like without her stripes, and how much easier it would be for her to fit in.

    Zia didn’t like to create problems or call attention to herself, so when she had to play she usually offered to be the referee in order to avoid a sticky situation.

    That day as Zia trotted up to a group of her classmates, her friend Amber Arab called out, “Hey Zia, why don’t you play WITH us for once!?! I’ve seen the way you can kick that soccer ball, but you never want to play with us!”

    Zia’s eyes widened. Her nostrils flared with fear and she snorted out a puff of frosty air.

    “Uh, that’s ok, I hurt one of my hind ankles yesterday and I think I’ll just give it a rest today.” She looked sideways out of her dark eyes to see if Amber Arab would accept this rather poor excuse.

    Amber tossed her head and kicked the soccer ball toward Zia. “Oh come on…it’ll be fun! You can be on my team!”

    Hearing Amber and Zia, the nearby horses turned their heads to listen.

    “But Amber, you’re a white horse and…and…well, I’m not. I’m not dark either. I’m…both!” And Zia hung her head in shame and embarrassment.

    The other horses became restless, their tails flicking out behind them as they pranced in place.

    Amber looked at Zia. Zia looked at Amber. Small puffs of dust rose slowly as they stamped their feet impatiently.

    Finally a large brown horse named Wesley Warmblood trotted over and spoke to them.

    “Listen, we all want to play soccer here. Just because we’ve always done it by hair color doesn’t mean we can’t mix it up for once! We only do it that way so we can tell who is on each team…so let’s get creative and figure out a new way!”

    He stretched his long neck toward Zia’s attentive ears and whispered, “Between you and me, Zia, I used to wish I had a blaze on my face. Pablo Percheron used to hope for a fuller mane and tail. Some things you just can’t change!”

    “Let’s grab some paint from the art room and figure this out!” And he trotted off quickly, breaking into a run as a he neared the school buildings.

    A few minutes later he returned with a can of dark spray paint grasped in his mouth. Within minutes all the white horses proudly sported black stripes on their sides and flanks.

    They finished out their recess in a flurry of kicking hooves, flashing stripes, and loud whinnies of encouragement as several horses, and one zebra, played an exciting game of soccer.

    Washing their paint off at the end of recess, the white horses stomped their hooves in happiness and congratulated Zia on an especially tricky goal she’d made.

    The brown horses argued over who would get to wear the paint next time, while Zia held her head high, proud of her two-tone hair and happy she had such good friends.

  • #655159


    I moved this to children’s as it shouldn’t have been posted in FAQ. You might want to enter spaces between paragraphs to make it easier to read.

  • #655160


    Oops! Sorry about that…thank you and I will do that (re: spaces).

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