Ingram's "The Teller's Tale" poem receives gold in Scholastics

Lampeter-Strasburg Cassidy Ingram recently won two gold metals in the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards competition.

The Scholastic Art & Writing Awards have celebrated 80 years as a unique presence in our nation's classrooms by identifying and documenting the outstanding achievements of young artists and writers in the visual and literary arts.

Her entry, "The Teller's Tale," will now move onto nationals. Ingram's poem is also in contention for the "American Voices" competition. "America Voices" is a regional competition from which only five pieces from Lancaster County were chosen.

Here's a copy of one of Ingram's winning submission entitled, "The Teller's Tale."

The Teller’s Tale
 
I’ve often asked if it was right
 To tell the teller’s tale 
But that’s a question I have asked
Too much, to no avail
 
For whether it is wrong or right,
I’ll tell it to you now
For now is time for other things
For who and why and how 
 
You see, back in the ancient days
There lived a wise old man
And this he said to passersby:
“I’ll tell you what I can.”
 
For this is how he earned his keep:
A penny for a tale
And any time a soul would stop
To listen, was a sale
 
He’d spin a web, a twisted vine 
Of stories from the years
But things he found worth more than gold
Were open hearts and ears
 
For ‘twas a joy to tell a tale
To sing a storied song
For to the wise old teller man
No tale was less than strong
 
And one fine day, I kid you not
I found the teller man
And as you’d guess, he said to me:
“I’ll tell you what I can.”
 
He told me tales of far-off lands
And sailors on the sea
And by the time his tale was done
Deep sleep was teasing me
 
And since I knew the custom, then
I reached into my bag
To find a small gold piece, or two
To pay him for his rag
 
But up, like so, he held his hand
And said, “Son, I am old
And I have not a use for things
That glitter such as gold.”
 
“There is one payment, that I ask,”
He said with tired voice
“And that is that you take my place,
Of course, yours is the choice.”
 
“For I am only one old man,
One teller on the street,
And it is not for me to say
Which fate it is, you’ll meet.”
 
I paused a moment, just to think
Of what he had proposed,
And then I nodded with a smile.
At this, the old man rose
 
Across his face, there spread a smile
I smile which now I share
And ‘ere I could bid him farewell
He vanished into air
 
You don’t believe me? Don’t deny
I see it in your face
But does this not explain how you 
Have found me in this place?
 
For here I’ve sat for years and years
A-telling teller’s tales
And here I’ve sat a-spinning stories
Making teller’s sales
 
And now, this time I ask of you
The question one must face
And yes, the choice is up to you
Will you, now take my place?

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