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Children's Stories
by Margo Fallis
The Ballerina

All of her life, Emily wanted to be a ballerina. She started ballet classes when she was six years old and every day would practice. On Saturdays she went to ballet school and her teach taught her all the things she needed to learn to be the best ballerina in the world. Emily only needed to practice.

For three years Emily practiced. Day in and day out she stood in front of the mirror in her tights and leotard and did bends and lifted her leg as high as she could.

The day she turned ten years old, she had a birthday party. One of her friends, Annie, didn't like ballet. She played soccer. "Emily, why do you do ballet? It's stupid. It's much more fun to play soccer. Why don't you quit ballet and come and join my team?"

Emily's other friends all played soccer with Annie and they all said the same thing. That night Emily went to her mom and dad and told them she didn't want to do ballet any more, but wanted to join the soccer team.

Emily's mom looked surprised. "I thought you loved ballet."

"I do, but I want to do the same things my friends do. Can I please join the soccer team?" Emily whined.

Her mom and dad looked at each other. Her dad said, "You can do whatever your want, Emily. It's your choice."

Emily hugged her parents and went to bed. The next day she told her friends that she was going to join their soccer team. They were excited and told Emily to meet them at the park after school. Emily could hardly wait for the bell to ring. When it did, she ran to the park and met her friends there. The coach gave her a uniform with the team name on it. Emily ran all over the field, hitting the ball with her head and kicking it.

That night Emily's mom came in to tuck Emily in bed. "Did you enjoy soccer today, Emily?"

"Not really, Mom. All you do is kick balls and bounce them off your head. I don't think I want to play soccer any more." Emily's gaze met her mom's.

"I didn't think you'd like it, but I wanted you to try. You don't need to go again. You do what makes you happy." Her mom gave Emily a kiss and tucked the blankets around her.

The next day at school Emily told her friends she didn't want to play soccer any more, but wanted to be a ballet dancer. Annie thought Emily was stupid, but didn't say anything.

Emily went back to practicing every day and when she grew up she joined the ballet company and performed every day on stage. She was the best ballerina in the world, just like she wanted to be.

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