for a while I just sit there, in the cooling shade of my favorite tree. everything is perfect. perfect as can be, under my favorite tree that loves and adores the company of me. soon I tire just sitting there, and so I start to climb up its smooth, brown bark...up into the branches so high. I start to slip, but it catches me, and lets me know I'm safe...even when the wind pushes me, and when I look out at the sky up high because its my favorite tree, that loves and adores me.

"favorite tree" sprite04

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Dominican Republic

by hbnannah
Grade: 7
State: Michigan


        Oh no, not again. The coast of the Dominican Republic seems to be revolving, my stomach is experiencing the turbulence of a jetliner in a thunderstorm.  As the Caribbean Sea rocks back and forth, my stomach couldn't take it anymore! I threw up... again. I over heard my dad ordering my brother, "Pull! Zach, it's a barracuda! Pull! You're so close! Oh, I can see it's teeth!"
    The man working on the ship reeled the beaming, purplish green, vicious, aggressive animal out of the water. The barracuda's teeth were 5 inch razors threatening to tear apart anything that got in its way.  "Great catch, Mon! Don't catch these monsters very often! He's a keeper, Mon!" exclaimed the Haitian deck hand. The devilish fish tossed itself with such force, acting as if he flopped hard enough, he would escape. Thwack! The deck hand came from behind and hammered the large fish with such force to kill him.
    Swish, we let out another cast behind the bellowing boat motor hoping to catch another fish. "Mom! I can't take it! I hate throwing up! Make it stop!" I cried as I threw my head over the edge of the boat and vomited. 
    "Just keep your eyes on the land and your stomach will settle," said my mom. I took her advice but it didn't work, nothing seemed to work. My stomach was as wild as the sea itself.   I started thinking about the tranquil pool we had left behind at our resort.  As we left to go on this excursion at 6:00 am this morning, the pool water was illuminated with shadows of opportunity in the daybreak.  If only I could blink my eyes and be surrounded by the serenity of the pool and not the fury of the sea.
    As I hung my head over the edge of the boat, I saw something petite soar out of the water! "What was that?" I wondered. "A flying fish?" I answered my own question. They soared out of the water with such grace and poise, as graceful as a ballet dancer floating across the floor. They went up and down, in and out of the water. They would glide and dip back into the ocean that was glistening like a mine filled with aquamarine gemstones. 
    Erek! Something was on the line! My dad bolted to the pole! The line was amplifying further as the monstrous boat roared faster and faster. Out of the water jumped a fish as enormous as a mid-evil dragon! On its back was a sail like a mast on a ship!  Its scales were as black as coal. Down into the water it plunged, disappearing into the blue sea. It fought the hook that was burrowed in its cheek. It dove, struggled, pulled vigorously, and resisted. The animal was doing whatever it could to escape its destiny, for it knew that if it was dragged into the boat, it would be killed. I ran and grabbed the end of the pole that wasn't already hidden in Dad and Zach's grasp.  The monster catapulted out of the water and was engulfed back into the sea.  Closer and closer, we reeled the beast towards the boat.  Nearer and nearer, we pulled the monster towards its death.  Feet away from the motor, the fish jumped!  It jumped straight into the boat! I dove for the ice cooler in which the fish were kept, the farthest point away from the tumbling beast! I let out a loud, shrill, terrified shriek! The animal was so insanely large it was impossible to think it was even a fish! I held onto the cooler like it was a shield that would protect me from the sword located on the fish's snout.
    "Gahh!" the Haitian deck hand let out a grunt of exertion before he swung the club straight into the monster's skull. It was dead.  The excitement had come to a halting stop. The monsters eyes rolled back in its head, bloodshot. Its scales were darker than a midnight sky but at a different angle, they looked purple, a dark indigo. The animal was majestic in its own haunting way. It had a length of a massive 6' 7'' and an unbelievable weight of 326 pounds! This animal must have been seen as the ruler of the sea, the animal that every sea creature feared. The monster was so superior and intimidating compared to what now seemed like a skimpy barracuda. 
    There is a life lesson to this story. Never give up and persevere because the prize will always be greater than the struggle.