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  Brad's Teacher Writing (September, 2002)


The following is a teacher example of a Folktale for the exercise, The Folktale. Students should note the way the story is punctuated and paragraphed. Follow this example for your own first draft.

The Refusal

 There is a man, who had a daughter and a son, who wished his two children and he had a more harmonious time together.

 Now, he was a loving man, a man who was a good father, but he often became angry with his children, his temper getting the better of him.

 One day, his daughter came to him.

 “I need to buy a new shirt, to make myself pretty for school,” she said to her father.

 “Why, I bought you a shirt only a month ago!” her father roared.

 With that, she stormed away, and slammed the door to her room.

The father, calling after her, shouted, “You can stay in your room, young lady, until you are ready to apologize for yourself.”

 Many hours later, she came to him again, and apologized, but her words were still bitter and cold.

 Later on that same day, his son came to see him about money for a concert he wanted to see.

 “Can I have ten bucks, Dad?” he asked.

 “Don’t you have a job, son?” the father answered, in return.

 “Yes, but you always get things for my sister. It’s my turn now!”

 This time, the father, remembering he had refused the sister earlier, said, “But, not today, so the answer is no. Earn your own money!”

 The son, unlike his sister, only mumbled something under his breath and walked slowly away.

 The next day, the father had errands to do, so off he went to the shopping mall, shopping list in hand. It would be a productive day, he thought to himself.

 In the first store, he loaded his cart high with goods. He planned to put them in his trunk, before finishing his shopping that day. Things had gone well: it had taken only twenty minutes.

 At the cash, the line was long, but moved along well until the father found himself at the register. The sullen clerk lazily scanned his items, one by one, in no rush it seemed to him. When it came time to pay, the father pulled out his credit card and handed to the clerk.

 “I’m sorry, sir, but your card has been refused,” the clerk said, rather too loudly.

 Now, it just happened that the father had no cash with him that day, and his debit card had gone through the wash and broken in two pieces.

 “What do you mean, refused?”

 “Just what I said, sir, now you can pay by cash or debit if you wish.”

 “Isn’t there something you can do?” the father pleaded, as the customers behind him shifted impatiently, “I haven’t the cash on me right now.”

 “No. Now if you would please step aside, so I can serve the other customers?”

 The father, crimson now, left the store hurriedly. The full weight of his humiliation on him, he climbed into his car and left the lot, having accomplished none of his tasks for the day.

 The next day, his daughter told him that she was having picture day at the school the following day. To her surprise, the father held out a crisp twenty dollar bill.

 “Take this, honey, and buy a nice blouse for your big day!”

 She smiled happily, hugged him, and skipped away.

 “Thanks Dad!” she called out over her shoulder.

 Later on, her brother was surprised, too, to find a few dollars on his study desk. He shook his head. I wonder, he thought, just what had happened to his father that day.

 —First Draft, Written on September 30, 2002. (584 words; 30 paragraphs)





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