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TJ Perkins

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Member Since: Sep, 2002

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Books by TJ Perkins
The Crystal Llama
By TJ Perkins
Monday, February 02, 2004

Rated "G" by the Author.

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This story was published in the Ohio State 6th Grade Proficiency Test Preparation Book.

Monica stared at the tiny figure her grandfather held in the palm of his hand. As the light touched it ever so slightly, it sparkled and dazzled before her eyes. "This is a llama," her grandfather told her, "it is carved out of crystal. When a crystal is given to someone dear, it gives the keeper good luck. A llama is a symbol of wealth and prosperity. So, you put the two together and you have yourself a fine good luck piece. Well, at least that's what the local people in Peru say and we know that's only superstition." He paused and smiled at Monica. "Is it for me?" Monica asked, astonished. "Yes, yes, of course. Take it. Take good care of it. It came all the way from Peru. I won't be going back any time soon to get another so, don't lose it," her grandfather said. Monica gingerly took the llama from his hand. It was beautiful. She kissed her grandfather on the cheek and ran excitedly to her room. She set the tiny figure on her windowsill to watch how the sunlight sparkled off its perfectly cut shape. "Humm," she whispered to herself, "I wonder if my llama will bring me luck." Her first year in sixth grade had been kind of rough. It was hard making friends, keeping up on all the new challenges plus, there was that part in the school play she had her heart set on. She felt she needed some luck. The next morning, she went to school secretly carrying the crystal llama in the pocket of her jeans. Suddenly it seemed that everyone started being extra nice to her. She made more friends that day, got A's on all her tests and quizzes and even found her lost calculator. Her face beamed with pride as she patted her pocket then she decided to try out for the part in the play. The next day she tried out for the leading roll in the play and got the part. Weeks went by and everyday was great. She faithfully carried her crystal llama with her. A couple of times she accidentally left the llama home and nothing went right. She felt that as long as she kept the llama with her everything was perfect. The evening of the play had come. Monica was very nervous, but as long as she had her crystal llama everything would be fine. She sat the llama on her dresser when she took a shower and scrambled to get dressed afterwards. Her mother helped with Monica put on her costume and makeup and picked up after her during the frenzied rush. Then they raced down the stairs and were off to the big performance. While sitting in the back seat of her motherís car, Monica recited her lines and movements silently to herself. She didn't want to make any mistakes and look foolish in front of everyone in the audience. The nervous and excited bustle backstage gave Monica a stomachache. She was standing by herself at the stage entrance, but not for very long. "Hi, Monica," said her friend Crystal. "Hi. I'm really scared," Monica revealed, "hope I do okay." "If you do as well tonight as you've done at rehearsal I think everyone will love you," Crystal answered, with a big smile. Monica felt a bit relieved by her words and smiled back. "Good 'ole Crystal," Monica murmured to herself. "Crystal! Oh my! I forgot my llama!" She fumbled around at the pockets in front of her costume and finally came upon a tiny lump. The lights dimmed, the announcer was speaking and she didn't have time to reach into her pocket to be sure the llama was really there. But she felt sure. That lump had to be it. The curtain went up and the show began. Monica graced the stage and spoke every line perfectly. Her movements were timely and fluent. She felt so confident that she forgot about being nervous and let herself become her character. The curtain fell and a roar of applause filled the auditorium. Monica's parents greeted her after the performance. They were so proud of her. Monica felt, deep in her heart, that she couldn't have done it without the help of her lucky llama. She finally reached into her pocket and pulled out, not the llama, but her earrings she had forgotten to put on. She felt a wave of panic. What happened to it? Did she loose it? She couldn't wait to get home and look for her llama. Once they got home Monica raced to her room. She immediately saw the crystal llama sitting on her dresser. She picked it up, held it gently in her hand, and sat on her bed. Just then her mother walked into her room. "I knew you would be looking for that," her mother said. "I thought I had it the whole time. I thought that this was the reason for my doing so well tonight," she said, looking up at her mother helplessly. Her mother sat beside her and put a loving arm around her shoulder. "You did well tonight because it was in you all the time. Your confidence peaked and you shined," she said. "But, ever since Grandpa gave this to me things have been so different, so right," Monica mumbled. "I know it seemed like that and it felt like that, but never put your total trust in an object to bring you luck. You don't need a good luck piece. Have trust and confidence in yourself and a layer of 'luck' will shine around you all the time." With that, her mother kissed her on the forehead and left the room. Monica smiled to herself, placed the crystal llama on her dresser and got ready for bed. The next morning when she left for school, Monica left the crystal llama on her dresser. To her surprise, the day went perfectly. 

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Reviewed by Katherine Harms 1/8/2008
Very cool! How often we think we need support when we really need confidence in the gifts God has given us. I love this story.

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