A third-grade teacher gave a creative writing assignment to her class.
“I’m going to tell you the beginning of a story, and your task is to write a creative and imaginative ending. There was once an ant and a grasshopper. The ant worked hard all summer, storing up food for the winter. The grasshopper played all summer and did no work. Winter came and the grasshopper, starving to death, went to the ant’s house. ‘Mr. Ant, my family and I have no food, and we will not last through the winter. You have plenty for your family and enough for us. Would you share?’ Now write the ending.”
One of the little girls, Lisa, shot her hand into the air. “Yes, Lisa,” responded the teacher.
“Can I draw a picture instead of writing the ending?”
“Yes Lisa,” she replied, “You may draw a picture, but you must also write the ending.”
The bigger question: How would you write the ending of the story? Better yet: How are you writing the ending of the story?
The papers came streaming in. As always, a few papers proffered this sad ending: “So the ant said, ‘No, Mr. Grasshopper! There’s only enough food for me and my family. You don’t deserve any food. You should have worked in the summer.’ And the grasshopper died.” Most of the papers came in with the traditional ending. I call it the Veggie Tales ‘God likes it when we share’ ending. “So the ant shared his food with the grasshopper and they all lived happily ever after.” But there was one more paper. Remember Lisa, the girl who wanted to draw a picture? When her paper came in, the teacher, visibly disturbed, proceeded to call her mother. She recounted the assignment saying, “In my fifteen years of teaching this class and giving this assignment, I have never seen this ending.” Here’s how Lisa finished the story:
“So the ant gave all his food to the grasshopper. And the ant died.”
And underneath the ending she had drawn a picture of three crosses.