Third Grade - Second Place

Bamboo Wondered Why
   by Carly Becker

There once was a panda bear and she was very different, though her family loved her just the same. Her name is Bamboo and she is very excited because tomorrow is her first day of school. She gives her Mom and Dad a hug and kiss and goes to bed. It’s 6:30 a.m. and Bamboo’s alarm clock just went off. She scurries out of bed, eats breakfast, brushes her teeth, and combs her fur. Next she packs her lunch of oranges, bananas, and strawberries. Bamboo grabs her backpack, says goodbye to her parents, and skips to school. Bamboo walks into her classroom and sits in the first desk in the first row. She put her new school supplies in her cubby and sat back down just as the bell rang.

The teacher is a lion named Miss Claw. She asked the class to introduce themselves. Some of the classmates giggled as she said quietly “I am Bamboo.” Steve Snake blurted out “What kind of animal are you?” Bamboo said she was a panda bear. “I’ve never heard of an orange and yellow panda bear!” hissed Steve.

Bamboo wondered why. Miss Claw apologized and scolded Steve for asking such a rude question. They started learning their abc’s and numbers. Soon it was time for gym. While they were doing stretches, Lucy Leopard said to Ron Rhino “what’s that panda bear doing in Africa? She’s supposed to live in China.” Bamboo wondered why.

Back in the classroom, Miss Claw helped them learn colors and shapes. The bell rang for lunch. Bamboo looked forward to eating her delicious lunch. She was happy to see some of her classmates sitting at the table with her. When she opened her lunch box Larry Lion roared “panda bears eat bamboo, they don’t eat fruit!”

Bamboo wondered why. A giraffe sat in the swing next to Bamboo. “Hi, I’m Gigi. Would you be my friend?” Bamboo was surprised and told her what happened. Gigi explained that it’s OK to be different. The important thing is having a good heart. Bamboo learned a lesson that day. Bamboo understood why.