Lauren wiped the tears from her
cheek with the sleeve of her blouse. "Oh look at the crybaby," Rebecca
shouted, bringing attention to her. "Look at her blouse. Itís practically
rags. It matches her shoes though. Ha ha ha!"
Lauren hung her head low and walked
off the playground, heading back into the school. Every day it was the
same thing. Rebecca embarrassed her in front of all her classmates. She
either brought attention to her clothing, her hair or what she had brought
Rebecca didnít lack for anything.
She was the prettiest girl in the school class. She always wore nice
clothes that looked brand new and matched perfectly. Her hair was always
done nice with ribbons and clasps. She was the best in sports and all the
other girls fought over who would be on Rebeccaís team. Lauren, on the
other hand, wore the same clothes to school each day, she wasnít good in
sports and her hair was cut simple and straight. She didnít live in a
fancy house like Rebecca did. Her father didnít drive an expensive car. In
fact, their family didnít even own a car. Lauren took the bus or walked
As she entered the school building,
she noticed her teacher, Ms. Abernathy, hanging up a sign. Lauren walked
over to it. It was announcing a contest for all the children in her class.
Whoever wrote the best essay about a famous person in British history,
would win a trip to London and attend a tea party with the Queen. Lauren
was so excited. She would love to go to London and have tea with the
Queen. As she stood reading it, Rebecca and her friends walked by, pushed
Lauren out of the way and looked at the sign. She turned to her and said,
"Surely you donít think you would win, do you?" she scoffed. "They
wouldnít let somebody like you have tea with the Queen!"
The other girls started laughing and
Lauren ran up to the classroom. She was very angry with Rebecca and tired
of being made fun of. She decided right then that no matter what Rebecca
or her friends said, she was going to enter that contest and win the trip
to London. The deadline was in two weeks. Sheíd have to work hard, study
and not watch television. Which person should she pick? She thought about
all the famous people she knew from her history books and then a thought
came to her. Last week sheíd gone with her mum to Edinburgh Castle. Sheíd
really enjoyed going into St. Margaretís chapel. "Iíll write about her,"
she smiled, happy with her choice. After school she went to the library.
She checked out several books on Queen Margaret and began writing her
Each day, Rebecca teased her about
the contest, but that made Lauren all the more determined to do her best
At last, the contest was over. Today
Ms. Abernathy was going to announce the winner of the contest. "Boys and
girls, Iíve read all of the entries. There were ten of them. Thanks to all
who wrote an essay. I know it was a lot of work, but we can only have one
winner. So, without further adieu, I will announce the winner. Lauren
Brown, you are the winner. She wrote a fine essay on Queen Margaret of
Lauren jumped up and started to
clap. She couldnít believe it. She won first place! The class gave her a
grand applause, all except for Rebecca, who had a scowl across her face.
Lauren felt so proud and so happy.
When school ended and Lauren was
walking out of the building, heading for home, Rebecca ran up to her.
"Lauren, what are you going to wear to visit the Queen? Perhaps some old
rags and scuffed shoes? You shouldnít have won. I should have. You donít
deserve to have tea with the Queen or even go to London."
It just so happened that Ms.
Abernathy was standing near the door and heard what Rebecca had said.
"Rebecca! You stop that right now and come to my office immediately.
Lauren, please sit on the chair outside the office door. I want to talk to
you after I am finished with Rebecca."
Rebecca was in Ms. Abernathyís
office for a long time. Ms. Abernathy opened the door and called Lauren
in. "Go ahead, Rebecca," she said, scowling at the girl.
Iím sorry for what I said, Lauren.
Iím glad you won. You did the best essay. Ms. Abernathy let me read it. It
was much better than mine," she apologized. "If youíd like, you can borrow
some of my clothes to wear to London."
Lauren was surprised. "Thank you,
Rebecca. I accept your apology, but I have my outfit all picked out that I
am going to wear. Thank you anyway."
"Now, you two try to get along.
Youíre both good writers and you need to set a good example for the other
children in the class," Ms. Abernathy lectured.
"Yes, Ms. Abernathy," Lauren said.
"Thank you, Ms. Abernathy," Rebecca
Rebecca had promised to try to be
nicer to Lauren and Ms. Abernathy was going to hold her to that.
Lauren flew to London with her mum.
What great fun she had having tea with the Queen at her palace. They had
crumpets, tiny chocolate ťclairs, petit fours, cream puffs and tea in
beautiful china with tiny roses on it and silver spoons. Lauren had her
photo taken sitting next to the Queen. She was holding her teacup. She
took a copy of the photo to school when she got back and told the whole
class about her trip.
"Here, I brought this for you,"
Lauren said, handing a present to Rebecca.
"Whatís this?" she asked.
"Open it and see," Lauren smiled.
Rebecca carefully took the beautiful
wrapping and ribbons off the package. "Why, itís a teacup, just like the
one the Queen was holding," she laughed.
"It is the cup she was holding. She
gave it to me, after it was washed, of course. I knew you would like it,
much more than me. I have my photo and lots of memories. I hope you like
it," Lauren smiled.
"I love it. Oh, thank you Lauren.
That was so nice of you! Iím so sorry for being so mean to you. You looked
lovely in your dress," Rebecca said.
From that day on, Rebecca and Lauren
were friends. Laurenís essay was published in the local newspaper and they
did an article on her, including the photo of her having tea with the
Queen. Lauren was happy and continued to do the best she could at
everything she did.