May 222 pm – 4:30 pm
May 222:30pm – 3:30pm
The time when syrener–that is, lilacs–bloom is as much beloved in Sweden as in Minnesota. It tends to happen a little later in Sweden–late May or early June.
Jag tycker att doften av syren är världens ljuvligaste. I think the scent of lilacs is the sweetest scent in the world.
I had such a wonderful time at ASI that I became a member! Thank you for the excellent programming you bring to our Twin Cities community!— ASI Member
I had such a wonderful time at ASI that I became a member! Thank you for the excellent programming you bring to our Twin Cities community!
A trip to Minneapolis isn't complete without a visit to ASI— CNN
A trip to Minneapolis isn't complete without a visit to ASI
2600 Park Ave
Earlier this year, young writers ages 3–18 were invited to submit original stories to ASI that featured dragons or were inspired by ASI’s exhibition Paper Dialogues: The Dragon and Our Stories. One winning story was selected from each of four categories.
The competition was fierce, and many creative and exceptional stories were submitted for consideration. Find the winning stories below.
Preschool category (age 3–5):
Thorwald the Greedy Dragon
By Reegan Carl, age 5, with Grandma Chris Cairl
Reegan, CJ and Charlie were eating knäckebröd in their playhouse. They were laughing and gasping for air. The group calmed down and Reegan spread the secret treasures from the pouch on the table.
Thorvald the little dumpy dragon was lurking outside the window peering in. He was very lonely and wanted to be part of their play. He was sad that they were laughing and he wasn’t. He thought their treasures would make him happy.
The treasures on the table were a dala horse meaning courage, a crystal stone for pureness and honesty, and a gold pocket watch owned by great grandmother Linnea who sailed to America long ago.
The children carefully hid the pouch under the blankets in the folk trunk. They stood by their ideals of the treasures.
As Thorvald was peering in the window, he was getting jealous of their friendship. With the pouch, life would be better.
Dragons can take a form of a human. He kept his squeaky voice as a dragon to charm his friends in his human form. Thinking of the pouch made him make a purring, cat noise, a ring of fire circled his body. Out of the ring came the boy.
Thorvald rang the doorbell, came in, and told them that his family went missing on a boat and he had nowhere to sleep. The children were sad and said he could sleep in the playhouse. They teased Thorvald about his squeaky voice. It was starting to get dark and time for the children to go home. They unlocked the folk trunk and took out blankets for Thorvald. They told Thorvald they would see him tomorrow.
They left and Thorvald opened the trunk and found the pouch. He thought the kids were dummar ungar (dumb kids) for trusting him. He opened the pocked watch and the face quickly blurred and an older woman’s face appeared pointing her finger at Thorvald and spoke in English with a Swedish accent.
Linnea shouted, “Thorvald, be a shareful dragon. You are the great son of Fafnir, a dragon who stole treasures from his father for himself. He eventually was killed because of his selfish greet. Wealth is not to be hoarded but shared by the group.”
Thorvald said thank you and quickly snapped the watch closed.
Thorvald put the treasure back in the trunk and pretended he never saw the pouch. He decided to tell the truth and tell the children he really was a dragon.
The next morning, the children returned and he told them the truth and they said they didn’t care because they liked him for who he was, squeaky voice and all.
Elementary School category (age 6–10):
Wruff the Dog Dragon!
By Lucas Fortman, age 9
Once there was a dragon named Wruff. When he hatched, he was part dog part dragon, because he loves dogs so much! His parents were Beauty, the jewelry dragon, and Buff, the strong dragon.
The parents were bewildered when Wruff hatched. Beauty thought that Wruff would be handsome and polite, like her. And Buff thought he would be strong, like him. Wruff had a dog face, with scales and tufts of fur across his body. He could also smell and hear and talk like a dog. But Wruff’s parents weren’t happy about Wruff.
When Wruff was 3 weeks old, he got his first friend, and it was a dog. The dog’s name was Eric. Eric and Wruff played and played and played. They went to the same classes in the same school. Every day, Wruff and Eric played for hours. Soon, Eric called his other friends to play with him and Wruff. Together, they looked like a tsunami!
One day, Wruff’s parents couldn’t take it anymore. Beauty and Buff kicked Wruff out of the house! Wruff was in shock for a month!
But Wruff had to move on. He was 13 now. He made his home in Dragon Bed Creek. North of the area there was an open area where Wruff and the dogs played.
Wruff wanted to explore more areas and to find a mate. So Wruff and the dogs went further north. Soon, they found a little home, but something was living in it. Then a dragon head stuck out!
“Who are you?” she asked. “Oh, Wruff,” Wruff replied. Wruff had found his soul mate.
Soon, the mystery dragon said her name was Penney. Penney and Wruff had 8 dragonets, who were quick little devils. Wruff knew he had found the perfect family
Middle School Category (age 11–13):
The Way the Earth Was
By Hazel Alexander, age 13
The dragon soared over the white building, flicking his pale blue tail. There were huge posters on its walls advertising the launch to Mars. He blinked slowly, sadly. The humans on this planet used to be respectful, he thought. Used to care for the planet and use resources wisely. But now they were cutting trees, melting ice that used to be his home. He had lived there with his partner, now gone from all the pollution in the atmosphere. He remembered how they had flown together, carefree and joyous, dancing in the crisp, cold air of the north. He remembered their last days, fighting to stay alive, fighting to stay together. But the unrelenting poison in the air continued, flowing in a steady stream from their cars and planes and boats. Now almost everywhere he went, he could catch the scent of gasoline. He knew why they were leaving, of course. This planet was almost dead and so the humans continued on their path of destruction, heading elsewhere to spread filth and disease.
A silent, ebony tear dripped out of his eye, a remnant of the oil pervading the air. Dragons used to be protectors of the humans. We loved them as family, but they forgot us as they created their inventions and projects and advancements. There is no place for us anymore and this planet will remain our graveyard until the death of the sun. A flame shot out of the rocket, a sleek, black cone of metal rising from the earth. Humanity had abandoned its birth planet, streaking out among the stars, leaving nothing behind. Smoke stung his eyes and he blinked. In that moment, the ship soared up through the atmosphere; and when he looked again, there was nothing there. He felt his heartbeat slow, lifeforce waning as the last human accelerated, flying away from ancient protectors and brown, dead earth. He mustered the last of his energy and flew north, curling around the grave of his lover. And so the last dragon died, soul shining at last into the sky, dry bones the only remnant left of the great Stormseeker, oldest of all the wyrms.
High School category (age 14–18):
By Anna Christensen, age 14
There once lived a little girl named Annabelle in the years of the Renaissance. Annabelle was known to be the most winsome and sweet little girl in her small village known as Camelot. But she was haunted by something. All of her life she felt forced into perfection because she always had a figure looming over her shoulder. She knew it as “the dragon”. It was a handsome creature straight from the higher-ups with the flashiest of scales and the perfect smile to charm lesser creatures into its unyielding and firm grip, and it owned Annabelle. Annabelle refused to fall for the fake charm. She was a clever girl and once the dragon realized that he could no longer control this young maiden he was furious.
But little Annabelle with her long blonde hair and her petite but strong frame knew that this man would rupture eventually. She was prepared for what was to come. So, Annabelle devised a plan. She would just have to slay the dragon before more harm could come to her village. Meanwhile, the dragon with all of his forthcoming rage was hurting all of the other little children in Camelot. He would tempt them into his cave with hopes of a cup of tea and a conversation knowing he was an important man. They all would leave with a part of their soul devoured by the dragon’s grasp. Two days later Annabelle was ready to carry out her plan. She had been on the run staying with her fellow villagers over the past few days so that the dragon could not find her. He was looking day and night so she had to always be ready. She had barely slept a wink! Her plan was simple, and she was prepared.
Annabelle arrived at the cave and entered without knocking to give herself a ready advantage. She entered her home without making any noise and crept in to find the dragon. She held the sword next to her; before unsheathing it to be prepared. When she came upon the dragon the girl announced her presence in a loud voice, “Hear yea you monster and come stand before me and face me with what little honor you retain.” The dragon got up to his full length before the girl with an evil smirk and spoke, “Ah, young one you finally face me. Well, you have made a grave mistake-’’ But before the dragon could say anything else the child wielded the sword and stabbed him right in the heart, or what she thought was the heart, it was solid as a rock. The dragon fell into a solid gray pile. Annabelle tried to pull out the sword using all of her strength to pull but it would not budge. His heart and his full body became just rock with no feelings, cold. And that is how the sword in the stone came to be.
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