Midge Noble / Second Chances
Author of SHEBA, Home Is Where Your Heart Is and ICE CUBE AWARD, Learning To Be Cool Under Pressure      

SHEBA, Home Is Where Your Heart Is


 Sheba hit the iced packed road and skidded into a snow bank. She lay still so the man would not notice her. She watched as he drove down the road and out of sight. Sheba perked up her pointed ears, listening, until the truck engine was a distant hum. Only then did she become aware of her body and began checking for injuries. Her back felt stiff from the fall, but did not feel broken. Her jet black fur was covered in snow. Her chin felt tender, but her teeth did not feel loose. Sheba winced in pain each time she drew a breath. She saw some cuts and scrapes on her legs and on her chest. The caramel color of her chest looked crimson because of the blood. The snow began to fall harder now and the wind started to blow. Sheba shivered as the wind whipped through her fur. Sheba thought, I'll freeze to death if I do not find shelter for the night. Her injuries also made her more vulnerable. Hungry wild animals sometimes came down off the mountain in search of food during the winter months. Sheba pushed her body into a standing position. She yelped as she put her full weight on her legs. Her back paw had been injured too. Sheba put some pressure on the paw and realized she could not go far. Sheba felt the heavy wet snow covering her fur. She decided to dig a hole in the snow bank for the night. Sheba dug through the crusty top layer of snow. At first, her paws made only scratches on the surface. Then, she began feeling the soft snow underneath. Sheba was almost blown over by the wind as she struggled to find good footing on the ice. Finally, she finished her snow den. If I can live through this snow storm, Sheba thought, I have a chance. Sheba crawled into the hole. As she did, she heard the low rumble of the truck coming back down the road. Oh no, thought Sheba. He's coming back to get me. Sheba stayed curled up as far back in the hole as possible. She could feel the earth shake as the truck rolled past her den. It slowed down as it passed her and Sheba held her breath as the truck went on by. She didn't relax until the sound of the truck was completely gone. Sheba closed her eyes, hoping to be alive in the morning to open them.

ICE CUBE AWARD, Learning To Be Cool Under Pressure

My name is Dani, and I live in Ice Town.  Everything is made of ice, which is really cool... unless you have an anger problem, like I do. When I get angry,I get hot, and then, things start to melt. This is not a good thing in Ice Town.  Staying cool when things don't go my way is hard, but I had to learn to control my anger or my family was going to be in big trouble.  This is my story.

"Dani," Mom said, pulling into the grocery store parking lot, "we have to pick up some juice for your sister this morning before church.  Stay right with me or we'll be late."

"Can I get some Crunch Blasters?" Dani asked.

"No, Dani," Mom said, "we're only getting juice."

Following mom into the store, Dani quickly darted down the candy aisle.  Mom headed for the juice aisle.

"Dani, go put those Crunch Blasters back on the shelf," Mom said as she came to the candy aisle and found Dani. "I told you we aren't buying any candy today.  I'm going to check out.  Hurry or we'll be late for church. Remember to stay cool. You know what happens when you don't."

"I want it!" Dani said, already feeling the heat coming up in her cheeks. Crunch Blasters were her favorite candy in the whole world.

"No," Mom said with a stern face.  

Dani knew she meant it.  The heat on Dani's face became red-hot, her tummy got tight, and her palms started to sweat.  She looked down at her feet and they were in a puddle of water. 

"Oh slosh, my gosh," Dani said, running back down the candy isle-slosh, slosh, slosh.  The puddles were getting deeper with each step.

Dani threw the candy back on the shelf and headed back toward the front of the store.

"Mom, let's go!" Dani shouted, running toward her.

"Dani, what's wrong?" Mom asked.

"Hurry," Dani yelled, pulling Mom and the cart out of the store.  The clerk slid behind them with his mop.

"Dani," Mom said, shaking her head as she closed the trunk, "we will talk about this after church.  Get in the car."