Thursday, January 26, 2012

I was a First Grade Plagiarist!

Young Writer
image courtesy

Can a child of six or seven be a sinner? You betcha, not all, but some are.

I know I was !!

Our local newspaper had a weekly children’s section with a segment called Aunt Elsie’s page. Children were invited to send in their drawings of a certain size, their poems and stories. A prize was offered for the best work and honorable mention was given if you did not receive a prize.

Although I can draw I must admit that I am not a talented artist, and my artwork did not get published, but my name was entered on the honor roll.

Mother suggested that I try to write a story or a poem and that sounded like something I could do. However I was lazy and I had another plan.

Our First Grade reader at school had a lovely short poem in the front of our book, and I made a decision to copy the poem and send it to “Aunt Elsie.”

Off went the poem in the mail and a few days later I received a letter telling me that the poem would be printed and no prize but to keep trying again and perhaps a prize next time.

The day came when the poem was published and Mother was so proud, but there was a black cloud hanging over my head. I felt so guilty, because the work was not really mine since I had stolen it, and I knew that I had sinned.

The next morning my friend stopped by to walk to school with me, and mother proud as she was - - she just had to show my friend the poem. “Did you see Hazel’s Poem on the Aunt Elsie page?” mother asked my friend.

My friend took one look and without hesitation she made the stinging statement, “Isn’t that the poem that is in our reader book at school?”

I could not look at my mother, but I knew that when I came home for lunch at noon that I would receive a big talking to or worse. I didn’t need to wait until noon, because uncalled for the tears began to flow and I told mother that I was sorry, and that I would never steal a poem again.

Being of a tender heart, my mother said, “Well I am glad you are sorry and also happy that you did not get a prize for it, or we would have needed to return it.”

I began to write short stories about my cat and our chickens, and many were published and I did receive some nice prizes. I can remember a vinyl covered pencil box full of colored pencils, some paints, and a photo album, but the glory was to be published.

Mother’s favorite Scripture verse for me was always; “Be sure your sin will find you out!”

And you know that is so true - - for it always did!

This post has been linked to Joan’s Grace CafĂ©
Linking up with Tracy at Winsome Wednesday
Also linked to Michelle’s Thought Provoking Thursday


  1. As I often say, "Been there, done that." Maybe not the exactly described event, but truly, in my case, a life of lying and cheating. Even after all these years of salvation I have to sometimes be careful that the lying doesn't just pop out of my mouth b/c the situation is stressful. I'd sure rather keep it in than apologize for it later.

    Thanks for sharing.

    1. Yes we all have been in that boat of lies and manipulation of the truth at times. That wasn't my first or last experience at being deceitful, but with age and God's help I am doing better.

  2. Oh my...and how you have become a writer .. God knew way back then... Cleaned you up early :-) Love, Vicki K

  3. Hazel:

    Interesting the poem didn't win a prize, but your own writings did. And today, many are enjoying your writings through this blog.


  4. Oh my heart is breaking! How hard those kind of lessons are to learn! I love your wisdom and spirit Hazel. This is a great story and you are one of a kind my friend.


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