Best of Wadadli Pen: Sands and Butterflies

by Devra Thomas

Artwork: First place winner, art challenge, Wadadli Pen 2011.
Fiction: First place winner, 18 to 35 category and overall competition winner, Wadadli Pen 2011. 

Sands and Butterflies by Hudle Jennings

“Mommy, how many sand on the beach?” Kyle asked from the back seat of the car.

I adjusted the rear view mirror to observe my six-year-old. The hat on her head did nothing to hide her uncombed hair and curious expression.  “No se,” I responded in Spanish.


“There are too many to count, sweetheart.  So, are you ready for the beach?” I asked.

“Don’t forget to pick up Haley, mommy! She said she is going to help me count the sand.”

I thought to myself, this is going to be a long day. Kyle is a free spirit with a wild imagination. I remembered the day her teacher called to let me know that Kyle brought her teddy bear to school and insisted that he get a desk and table right next to her.

“Mommy, daddy say you can’t drive.”

I smiled as I made a mental note to settle that score with Tom.

“He said you drive slow.”

“The word is slowly, Kyle. Not slow.”

“Mommy, look cane!” She pointed as we approached a stop with a vendor selling cane and coconut water.

“Two bags, please,” I shouted as we approached the vendor. He smiled as he handed me the bags.

“Mommy, what happened to his teeth?” Kyle asked softly as we drove off.

I passed a cane to her without responding. We spent the next few minutes of the drive in silence.

“We are coming close to Haley’s house, sweetheart.”

“Yeah,” she said with a smile, “Haley’s daddy said their road is a pond. What is a pond, mommy?”

“Well, it’s just a body of water; almost like the beach,” I answered.

Haley lived on the way to the beach and as we entered her road I immediately understood why Haley’s dad said what he did. The road was filled with numerous potholes.

“Where is the pond?” Kyle asked as she looked all around her.

“Well,” I started uncertainly, “the pond is all dry right now because we haven’t had any rain for a while.”

She opened her mouth to respond but then saw Haley running towards the car.

“Kyle, you want to see my bath suit?” Haley said as she entered the car.

We drove away from the house as slowly as we approached it. The car was filled with the excited chatter of two six-year-olds who could have easily passed for twins. I was forgotten.

“We are here!” I said a few minutes later.

“Yeah!” they both shouted.

The small beach was filled with tourists and a few vendors selling souvenirs.

“Mommy,” Kyle whispered, “they are all white.”

I looked at her with understanding and decided to take the bull by the horn. I led them back to the car.

“Kyle, remember those butterflies we saw in the garden yesterday?”

“Yes.” She answered.

“What colours were they?” I asked her.

“Yellow and blue and...” she said.

“Were they not all butterflies?” I interrupted her.

“Yes, mommy and they were pretty.”

“Well, we are like those butterflies Kyle. We have many different colours but we are all God’s people and we are all beautiful!”

“Mommy, can we go out now?” They had heard enough.

“Let’s go count some sand,” I said.

“No, Mommy,” Kyle said as she held Haley’s hand and ran ahead of me, “we are going to count butterflies.”

But there are no butterflies here, I said to myself.

I laughed out loud as I heard her said: “one white, two white, one pink…”  I had to catch up fast.  It was time for another chat.


Devra Thomas (35 years old) is from All Saints Road, Antigua. Formerly a bilingual client services associate at Stanford International Bank, she now works “in the employ of my 18 month old daughter as ‘mommy-in-charge.’” She has worked with youth at St. Peter’s Anglican Church, the Boys Training School and the Sunshine Home for Girls. An avid reader, Devra favours stories with a moral: “I must finish my reading a bit wiser – with a sense of accomplishment and fulfillment.” She is a passionate writer whose writing, she says, reflects her Christian faith. She looks forward to expanding beyond her personal writing to honing her skills and writing pieces that will inspire and educate the public, particularly youth.

Hudle Jennings is an aspiring graphic artist from Antigua.

Copyright of the winning Wadadli Youth Pen Prize stories and/or art work featured on this site belongs to the creators of the individual works. Anansesem's editors played no part in the Wadadli Pen judging process. Anansesem's editors have not edited or adjusted the stories or artwork in any way.

Share on Google Plus

About Anansesem

Anansesem is an online magazine of Caribbean children's and young adult literature by adults and children. We strive to bring you the best in news, reviews and creative content from the world of Caribbean children's publishing.
    Blogger Comment
    Facebook Comment


Post a Comment


This Month's Books