Wednesday, April 15, 2015

The California Missions

Mission Report
By Heather Ye
Note: Click on the pictures to enlarge them

Chapter One

Missions were an important part of America’s history. They had a huge impact on America today.
Missions were formed by the Spanish in 1769 to colonize the territory of Alta California, and to convert Native Americans to the Catholic religion. At that time, they didn't know what to do with the missions though. There were a few suggestions for the purpose of the missions, but it was hard sailing from Spain to Alta California with the rough waves and the powerful waves to sail against. Spain also had other priorities. What caught Spain's attention was that the Russians started going farther down the west coast of North America from Alaska. The Russians were spotted near present day San Francisco in the 1760s.
Spain sent some settlers to the missions, but not very many wanted to go into the wilderness. The Spanish had good results in using the missions to claim other parts of North America.
The Franciscan padres saw this as an opportunity to convert the Native Americans to Catholic Faith. Most of the Native Americans were forced to go to the missions to be baptized, and others either came by choice or curiosity. Once they were baptized, they followed their traditions and lived in the missions. They thought that they could transform the Native Americans into “good people” before  they died.
Father Junipero Serra formed the missions. Father Serra was a Spanish Franciscan friar and a Catholic priest. Father Serra’s goal was to Christianize the Native Americans. He was born on November 24, 1713, on a Spanish island of Mallorca, which is in the Mediterranean Ocean. His parents, Margarita Ferrer, Antonio Serra, sent him to a Franciscan school. In 1749, he traveled with his fellow Franciscans, who intended to work at a mission near Mexico City. Father Serra took went to Vera Cruz by ship. Despite his ill condition from the voyage, he insisted on walking all the way to Mexico City, which was over two hundred miles away.
Photo from Google Images

For about fifteen years, Father Serra worked in Mexico with the same tasks as he had in Spain, but he also took in the missionary work. In 1767, the Spanish emperor had missions built in both Baja California and Alta California.  
Father Serra spent the rest of his life as the leader of the Franciscans and working at the missions in Alta California, but he was in a bad condition. He was over fifty years old, and he was alarmingly thin, suffering from asthma, and badly injured in one of his legs, determined Father Serra continued to found missions. He also is famous for his punishment caused by shame: wearing shirts with pointed wires jabbing in at his body, whipping himself until he was bleeding, and holding a lit candle to his chest, scarring his body.
Father Junipero Serra died on August 28, 1784, at the age of seventy, and is buried at  Mission San Carlos Borroméo in the church. Near the end of his life, he told his friend and confessor, Father Francisco Palou: “I desire you to bury me in the church, quite close to Father Juan Crespi for the present; and when the stone church is built, they may put me where they want.”
There were twenty-one missions built in all from 1769 to 1823 in Alta California, mostly near the coast from San Diego to north of San Francisco. The chain of missions stretched for over five hundred miles. The first mission was Mission San Diego de Alcalá, founded on July 16, 1769, by Father Serra. The last mission to be was Mission San Francisco Solano, founded on July 4, 1823. There was also an extra nine missions in Baja California.
In order, the missions go from: Mission San Diego, Mission San Carlos Borroméo, Mission San Antonio, Mission San Gabriel Arcángel, Mission San Luis Obispo, Mission San Francisco, Mission San Juan Capistrano, Mission Santa Clara, Mission San Buenaventura, Mission Santa Barbara, Mission La Purisima Concepcion, Mission Santa Cruz, Mission Nuestra Senora, Mission San Jose, Mission Juan Bautista, Mission San Miguel Arcángel, Mission San Fernando Rey, Mission San Luis Rey, Mission Santa Ines, Mission San Rafael Arcángel, and Mission San Francisco Solano. The missions go from southern Alta California to northern Alta California.

Photo from Google Images

The missions had to have fresh water, good soil for growing crops, land for livestock, and Native California villages.
All of the missions had bells. The bells were usually hung in a bell tower or a companario. In some missions, they kept their bells in a bell wall.
Bells were used to call people to church at dawn. They were also used to notify people of the time and day, and to control daily life at the missions. In the mission period, nobody had watches. These mission bells started the day. Bells were also rung at midday to indicate a meal, and also at dusk to show that work was over.
In the early missions, the bells were sent by ship with other supplies from New Spain, also known as Mexico. They were seen as necessary. Even when the mission wasn’t built yet, they would hang a bell at the top of a pole.
The missions had a big effect on America. It changed the lives of most of the Native Americans. Once they were in the missions, most weren’t allowed to practice their own religions and had to follow the Catholic religion. Some of the Native Americans tried to run away, but they were caught. They adjusted to the mission life. Everyday at the mission was very uniform, the people ate meals at scheduled times, the Native Americans learned a new language (Spanish), and they would work for the rest of the day until the bell rings to call them back to their homes.
After the Mexican War of Independence, in 1833, the missions were secularized and sold by the Mexican Government. The mission land was either sold or given away. The Mexico’s leaders wanted to make Alta California’s economy stronger. Half of the mission land went to people who would start farms and ranches. That would bring trades to California. The other half was supposed to go to California Indians, but as usual, they were treated unfairly and very little California Indians got land. Most of the land grants went to Californios and new settlers. Even if the California Indians got land, they couldn’t understand Spanish and didn’t know what the people were saying.
When the mission land had been sold or given away, the buildings crumbled. It wasn’t until the 1900s when the missions were repaired. Even so, Alta California had changed. Father Serra had converted thousands of Native Americans and introduced agriculture to California. Unfortunately, the Native Americans were not able to continue their own religion.
Missions changed many lives of people and brought new ways of life to California. It would not be the same if missions had not been formed.

Chapter Two
Mission San Juan Capistrano

Photo from Google Images

Mission San Juan Capistrano, “Jewel of the Missions”, was the seventh mission. It was first planned on October 30th, 1775, by Father Fermín Lasuén. It was quickly abandoned because there was news that there was a revolt on San Diego. The padres and soldiers decided to leave San Juan Capistrano and to go to San Diego to help them. The mission building crumpled during an earthquake. It was finally re-founded on November 1, 1776, when Father Serra led a party of people to San Juan Capistrano.
The Great Stone Church only stood six years until on December 8, 1812, when the earthquake shook most of Southern California. The church bell tower fell into the church, killing a few people. When the shaking finally stopped, about forty people had died and the church was in ruins. It was never rebuilt.
It took a long time to build Mission San Juan Capistrano. For the first two years, there was not enough water in the area to drink or water the growing crops. They decided to move near the an Acagchemem tribe where the water supply was large. But the friars and soldiers still needed help building the mission. They decided to be cunning and led the Indians by attracting them with food and jewels. The Indians were also curious at the tools that the Spanish were using. Eventually, some of the Acagchemem joined the missions and helped build it.
Some of the Acagchemem and the Spanish people gathered the materials in the area.  They chopped down trees and cut the trees into planks.
Like the six missions before Mission San Juan Capistrano, it was to expand the boundaries for Spain, and to spread Christianity among the Native Americans here, to “save their souls”.
The tribe that was near Mission San Juan Capistrano was mainly Acagchemem tribe. When the Spanish arrived, they called the Native Americans the Juaneño. This tribe did not have a written history, but historians have been able to learn their way of life through artifacts and stories that have been passed down from generation to generation.
Like many other Native American tribes in Alta California, the Acagchemem lived in a small village, most of them near a source of water. They made their homes in a cone shape using a wooden build with reeds and brush on top of it. The outer parts were put on by layers, like a roof on a house, to keep the inside dry. These huts were called kiitcas.
The Acagchemem tribe’s life had a lot to do with nature. Their religion, clothing, food, homes, and weapons were all made or had nature to do with it. This was a good thing; when they needed to survive by on their own, they know what they need to get from their environment.
Though the Acagchemem were very attached to their way of life, the Spanish wanted them to follow Spain’s ways. The tribe’s lifestyle was changed forever when Mission San Juan Capistrano was founded. The missions baptized the Native Americans and taught them how to make adobe bricks for the walls.
Mission San Juan Capistrano was named after a 14th century theologian, Saint John of Capistrano. He was a Franciscan friar as well as a Catholic priest.
This mission is famous for the return of the swallows. The miracle of the swallows happens on March 19th, St. Joseph's Day, at Mission San Juan Capistrano. As these little birds fly all the way to Mission San Juan Capistrano every year, the village of San Juan Capistrano is alive with people that have come from around the world to witness the migration. When they arrive at Mission San Juan Capistrano at early dawn, they start rebuilding the mud nests that hang on to the remains of the Great Stone Church.
After spending a summer in the sheltered walls of the old mission, the swallows leave to South America, about 6,000 miles, returning next spring. On the Day of San Juan, October 3rd, they leave after circling the mission as if they were saying goodbye.
Mission San Juan Capistrano is built along the coast of California, on the coast, in present-day San Juan Capistrano, Orange County, Southern California. The founders noted that it was important to build it here because of the water source, three streams and the Trabuco Creek. The sea routes were very important, and that is why Mission San Juan Capistrano is built near the ocean. Some people come to the missions by ship.
The population in Mission San Juan Capistrano grew steadily. In 1797, there were 1,000 neophytes. The highest the population ever went was in 1812, where there were 1,361 people. When Mission San Juan Capistrano was secularized in 1833, there was still 861 neophytes.
If you walk in through the courtyard you would see a fountain in the courtyard. In front of you, there are the storerooms. To the left are the the workshops and to the right is the Serra Church. If you turn around, you would be facing the kitchens. When you go in the Serra Church from the courtyard, in front of you would be the cemetery. If you go all the way back to the entrance of the mission, on one side of the kitchen, is the soldiers’ quarters, and on the other side of the kitchen is the friars’ quarters. The bell wall is on the right of the friars’ quarters, and the Great Stone Church is on the right of the bell wall.
Photo from Google Images
Mission San Juan Capistrano, with its beautiful architecture with the Great Stone Church in a heap on the ground, is probably one of the most scenic missions.

Chapter Three
A Day in the Missions

October 12, 1793

I woke up with a start, the bells ringing loudly. Another day at the mission. The routine for the missions was always the same for me: wake up, eat breakfast, work, eat lunch, work some more, eat dinner, and sleep, all at certain times and places. I wasn’t used to this schedule when I first joined the missions. Life for California Indians was very free, and that was what I wanted and enjoyed.
As I slipped out of bed, I thought about how I once tried to escape the missions. How clever the missionaries were to lure me into the missions with beads, and how foolish I was to fall into the trap! I live in a dormitory-like building called a monjerío. Unmarried women and girls over the age of eight lived here. Outside of the building was the only exit and entrance of the monjerío, the courtyard. An older woman, a matron, would guard the monjerío, either from harm or to prevent them from escaping. A couple of other girls tried to escape with me. We somehow all got past the matron, but some other guards caught us and we were led back to the mission and given a punishment.
I walked out of the building and into the kitchen where I took a bowl for a serving of food. I was still not used to eating this kind of food. It was very different from what I used to eat with my tribe. I looked longingly at the potatoes, beans, onions, peppers, squash, and some fruit on the counter, and wished I was eating freshly hunted and cooked venison, along with some blackberries and acorn meal. Even though I did eat beans and squash before, I didn’t like the rest of the food. But when the lady piled some food in my bowl, I ate it all anyway. There’s no point starving yourself when you have a full day of work ahead of you.
I finished my food quickly and waited until the bell rung again. It was time for work. I returned my bowl and headed outside. I walked into a room where the weaving loom was, and saw a pile of wool and some fresh string in a pile on the table. I was a weaver. It was very important work - we made our clothing, rugs, and blankets from weaving. We usually used wool from sheep. The men sheared the sheep every spring. I work at the loom, but some other people use hand carders to clean out the wool and make them into string. If I finished my work early, I usually help them or make some grass baskets. When we joined the missions, we continued making these baskets. Even the missionaries agreed that they were useful.

Photo from Google Images
There was no one there yet. Most people are a few minutes late. I took the wool, placed them into a grass basket, and set up the string onto the loom. Because all of the stuff is where it’s supposed to be, I began weaving. A few other people come in to help me. Smiling as my friend sat next to me to weave with me, we exchanged a few little quiet conversations. We aren’t supposed to talk while doing work, but since no one really comes in to check what we’re doing, I guess it’s alright to talk a little, as long as we’re still doing our work just as fast and good. Some other people positioned themselves at a loom, while others sit at the table and start combing the wool.
I worked at my loom until the bell rung again, summoning us to the kitchen for lunch. I walked back into the kitchen, grabbed my bowl, and scooped a serving of lunch. I eat all of my bread, apples, and potatoes. My fingers were a little sore from working at the loom for hours. I flexed my fingers before returning the bowl back on the counter with a loud clang. I watched people hurrying to places through the empty doorway before stalking back to my room where my loom was. After a while, the bell rang, and people poured out of the kitchen and separating into different rooms to continue their work.
I found that some people are already working. I quickly sat down and arranged the string on the loom. Threading the yarn in and out of the holes in the loom, I started wondering what my brother might be doing. I rarely get to see him once I joined the missions, since he’s not a weaver. What might he be doing right now? Feeding the animals? Shearing the sheep? Making soap and candles? Building houses out of adobe? I had no idea.
Interrupting my thoughts, my neighbor tapped on my shoulder. “Need more string?” she asked. It was one of the people who clean the wool. In her hand was a large bundle of yarn. I shook my head. Nodding to indicate she understood, she moved on, asking everyone if they needed more string. I looked down at my loom and concentrated on weaving.
When the bells rung again, my hands were aching. All of the people that I worked with slowly turned their heads away from the loom and stood up. I wandered outside and into the kitchen. I got my bowl and sat down. Without bothering to look what was in my bowl, I started eating it with my fingers. Finishing it quickly, I hurry back to my room, the sky darkening, but still continuing my work. My thoughts made me behind schedule.
I finish working on the loom and sat on the floor to weave some baskets. My fingers fly across the dry grass, pulling and stringing. The bell rung for us to go to sleep, but I kept on working on the basket.
When I was finally done, I sneaked out of the empty room and silently tiptoed back to my room. The guard was not there yet, so I crawl inside my room and drop into bed. The world faded away as I wearily fell asleep….
Startled, I woke up, the sounds of bells ringing in my head. Outside of my room, people were already hustling to places. The sounds of shouts, voices, and bells all woke me up. At first, I thought this was strange. Why would these people wake up so early? But then I reminded myself that this was nothing strange. Just another day at the mission.

Chapter Four
The Importance of the Missions

The missions bought many things to California and had a certain importance in its history. First, they bought Catholicism to America. By converting the Native Americans, they were spreading their religion to California. Although many Native Americans wished to be left alone and to continue their own religion, it was a new lifestyle for all of them.
Secondly, the missions bought many trades such as hides and tallow. When the missions were secularized, the land was given to many people who have cattle, and they became ranchos. The land given away were called land grants. This trade, the hides and tallow from the cows, lured many ships, which brought money to the missions,  another two reason why the missions were important. There were also many other trades that the missions brought by being secularized and turning it into something else. All someone had to do to claim the land was to draw a picture of it.
Twice a year at the ranchos, they held rodeos to round up the cows and brand the calves. When the rodeo was over, the fiestas started, which was another thing the missions started. These were often celebrated after people came to California. After the ships came, or people came by land, it also meant people were settling in California. This raised the population of California greatly.
Also, when the missions were founded, the presidios and pueblos were built. The pueblos were small towns near the missions, which became larger towns today. The missions were often a large part of a city. The pueblos and missions also required presidios, which protected both of them.
There were some hardships that formed because of the missions though. For example, they completely changed some Native Americans lives. When they were baptized, they were no longer allowed to go back to their tribe, forced to go by their tradition.
The Spanish also brought along diseases that killed many of the natives, nearly wiping out numerous tribes. They killed about ninety percent of the native’s population. Although they didn’t intentionally bring the diseases to use as a weapon, it greatly affected their people.
The journey to Alta California was hard and tiring for the explorers. Even if they did survive the brutal trip, they were taking over the Native Americans land. By building the missions, they were stealing their land without permission.
If they succeeded in getting the land (which they almost always did), there was the building of the missions to think of. Because they had to toss so many goods and supplies out in the tiresome expedition, they had to find new building materials in their surroundings. Since they weren’t really familiar to the plants and elements around them, who would they ask? The Native Americans. The buildings were hard to build because they first had to make a sturdy brick made of earth, straw, and manure. Then they had to be dried before it could be solid.
The Native Americans were not pleased by this arrangement. They often planned revolts, which included setting fire to buildings, killing the missionary people, and other attacks of this sort.

Photo from Google Images

As the missions had to be protected by presidios, the soldiers at the presidios had a hard time. They had a big job - protecting the missions and pueblos. It was the soldiers’ job to defend the other people from the revolts and predators.
Apart from the Native Americans not being happy about the missions, they were also sad that they had to be separated from their families. Some people had to be separated from their family because they were forced into the missions, but if they were lucky enough to be with their family, they were separated in the missions.
It was hard work, working at the missions all day. People’s fingers grew sore, they were exhausted from harvesting the plants, they walked all day trying to find a dim-witted and curious tribe to lure back to the missions, they were stiff and tired from hauling bricks to the builders, and other jobs.
For instance, Mission San Juan Capistrano, the seventh mission, is still being used today. The people who work there use great effort trying to preserve the mission itself. Some people go to the church regularly. Others may go there to visit the museum. Mission San Juan Capistrano is open to all people. It is both a historic landmark and a museum.
One place worth visiting is the Great Stone Church. Although it has never been rebuilt after the earthquake, it’s interesting to see the wreckage. Many people gather at Mission San Juan Capistrano every spring to see the swallows that make a temporary home at the Great Stone Church. Mission San Juan Capistrano is known for many things today and the swallows that wing their way back here with the crowds cheering them on will never be forgotten.

All in all, the missions brought many traditions and although it didn’t work out for the Native Americans who were here long before the Spanish, California might have been completely different if the missions weren’t here.



Wednesday, October 22, 2014

The Origin Of Halloween :: Where It All Started

Original Post by: Keira

Since this month is October, Halloween month, I decided to write a post about the origin of Halloween. 

Halloween, also known as All Hallows' Eve and All Saints Eve, is on the last day of the Celtic calendar, more commonly known as October 31st. This is the night before the festival of Samhain, which occurred on November 1st.

The word Halloween means "hallowed evening" or "holy evening". It originates from a Scottish term for All Hallows' Eve (the evening before All Hallows' Day.) Over time, the word All Hallows' Eve formed into the word we now know today, which is Halloween.

The Celts marked this day as the end of the harvest season to the beginning of winter. They also believed that this day was a gateway to the world of the dead. On this night, people thought that the dead returned as ghosts, so they left food and wine on their doorsteps, to keep roaming spirits at bay. They wore masks when they left their house, so they would be mistaken for fellow ghosts. 


On All Souls Day, November 2nd, the poor would go doorstep to doorstep, begging for food. They most commonly received soul cakes, as long as they promised to pray for people's dead relatives. This was called souling. In the medieval Halloween tradition of guising, young people would dress up in costume and accept offerings such as wine, gold, and food in exchange for singing, reciting poetry, and telling jokes. Later, in 19th century America, Irish and Scottish people revised these old traditions, and the result was trick-or-treating. At first, trick-or-treating was much more about the tricks than the treats. It wasn't until the 1950's that the custom took on the family-friendly vibe that it has today.


Now, let's talk about the witch, an iconic Halloween character. Usually, witches are dressed in all black with a pointy hat and green skin. Occasionally, witches have a wart on their nose or are seen with a black cat, bat, or spider. They are also known for their use of flying on brooms over a full moon. Though witches are not just a Halloween symbol. They have a long and interesting history.
Witchcraft has existed across the globe, including in Asian, African, and Native American societies. Long before the study of science, witches were blamed for storms, accidents, disease, and other bad things that happened. In medieval Europe, anywhere between 100,000 and 200,000 people were arrested for suspicion of witchcraft. About half of them were executed (killed). The accused witches were not just women, but men and children too.
Even after the witch hunts, western culture remained fascinated with witches. The fairytales of the Brothers Grimm and Hans Christian Anderson later inspired L. Frank Baum to create his famous story, The Wizard of Oz, which featured the most famous witch in pop culture, The Wicked Witch of the West. L. Frank Baum didn't intend on making the witch's skin green, but that is how she appeared in the Technicolor film in 1939, and the image stuck. And what about the tall black pointy hats? Upper-class people in the 15th century wore similar hats, and the style later spread to commoners, usually the ones who were accused of witchcraft. The broom, a common household tool was used then for crop fertility, later became a well known symbol of witches, who were said to use their brooms to hide their wands in during the witch hunts. People also believed that witches rubbed a special oil on their brooms to make them fly across the sky and perform magic in the air.

The Pumpkin

The jack-o-lantern was named after a tale about a man named Jack. Here is the story: " ...the jack-o'-lantern actually took its name from a roguish Irishman known asStingy Jack, who tricked the Devil into promising him that he wouldn't go to hell for his many, many sins. When Jack died, however, he found to his dismay that he had also been barred from heaven, so he went down below, banged on the gates of hell, and demanded his due from the Devil. Wouldn't you know it, though the latter did keep his promise to save Jack from going to hell, he did so by dooming him to wander the earth for all eternity with only an ember of hellfire to light his way. Thenceforth, according to the legend, Stingy Jack was known by the name of Jack O' Lantern." I don't have much more history about the pumpkin, so I must stop here for the pumpkin.

The Colors Orange and Black

Have you ever wondered why our Halloween colors are orange and black? Well, here is the answer. The color orange was taken from harvest season for the Celtics. This is one of the most prominent colors in the fall colors. Black was taken from death, which is usually represented by a very dark color. These two colors combined have a very symbolic meaning.
That is what I have wrote on the origin of Halloween, and I hope you found it very interesting!
What was the part that you found most interesting?
Do you have any information on the origin of Halloween?
What are you dressing up as for Halloween?

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

NaTIOnaL! puncTuaTIOn, DAy?




Friday, July 4, 2014

Happy Birthday, America!

Idea from Mrs. Yollis
Facts from Mrs. Yollis and Wikipedia

America's birthday is on July 4th which is Independence Day in America! 

On July 4th, 1776, the Declaration of Independence was adopted by the Continental Congress in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. This document was declared America's independence from the Kingdom of Great Britain.

Photo from Mrs. Yollis

Independence Day is commonly celebrated with fireworks, parades, barbecues, carnivals, fairs, picnics, concerts, baseball games, family reunions, political speeches, and ceremonies.

Most of the times, I celebrate July 4th with a nice barbecue with some of my relatives and the fireworks from a school with my neighbors. This year, I did not have another barbecue, but I did watch fireworks from the nearby high school. Instead of having a barbecue, this year, I celebrated by going to a splash party and got a sparkly dog tattoo. It was all very fun and exciting! There were stands that you could win prizes and I got three of them. I also went to the Ronald Regan Library. There were a plethora of games and prizes, just like the pool party! We had to walk a long way up a hill, but it was totally worth it.

I did not get any photo of the fireworks because I could not get a quick shot of the fireworks. Nether did my mom because the fireworks were appearing and disappearing every time we tried to get a shot. 

Here are some ways to respect the flag:

  • Do not wear a flag, wear the colors
  • Never step on a flag or leave it on the floor
  • Pledge to the flag every day with your right hand over your heart. Here are the words:

"I pledge of  allegiance to the Flag of the United states of America, and to the Republic for which it stands, one Nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all."

  • The flag should never be hung upside down unless there is a signal of dire distress in instances of extreme danger to life or propriety.  
  • Do not use a flag as a target.

*     *     *     *     *     *     *

What did you do on July 4th?

*     *     *     *     *     *     *

Monday, June 23, 2014

To: Mrs. Yollis - - - From: Heather


mail icon
*Opening Mail Noises*

Dear Mrs. Yollis,

Whenever I walk to school, I think of you. That’s because there’s a hole-ish dent-ish curve in the ground, and it’s kind of shaped in a heart. Obviously, I couldn’t take a pickaxe or a drill and mine it out! I don't have a photo of it since I don't bring cameras to school. I can’t mail this, and because you always read blogs, an idea popped into my mind. I thought, “Aha! I can’t mail this, but I do have a blog! What is there to waste when I have earned a blog?”

So, on this post, I just wanted to thank you for two years of educational learning. I can never thank you enough! You are the one who introduced me to the real world, taught me cyber safety, showed me how to type, shaped me into an at least okay student, gave me an opportunity to do something else than a boring old worksheet for homework, and also pushing me in a polite way to read more. Before, I would just holler out answers, never read, always write messy even if I could write neater, and never write.

By the way, congratulations on winning the Bammy Awards! Everybody is fond of you!

Your now former student,

✉  ✉  ✉  ✉  ✉  ✉  ✉  ✉  ✉  ✉  ✉  ✉  

Once again, thank you for your education! It'll really affect my life!

♥     ♥     ♥

A Story :: The Crazy Cursed Cursor! --- Part I

The Crazy Cursed Cursor
Author: Heather

Once upon a time, there was a delightful little class. Mrs. Yollis and her twenty-eight students were happily reading Mrs. Yollis’ new blog post.

“Today, I just found out that you can change the cursor size. First, you go to this. Then you do…” Mrs. Yollis explained. “... And finally, you move this line. I’m going to make this the largest!” announced Mrs. Yollis proudly. The cursor was about the size of Mrs. Yollis’ hand! “Yes! This is the exact size I was looking for!”

She was using it perfectly when the class was finished reading the post. Suddenly, it the cursor hovered over Firefox! Then it clicked on Camtasia! After, there was a giant crack through the middle of the computer screen!

“Maybe-” Heather was interrupted with BOOM and a BANG! The computer was blown up! The cursor jumped out of the computer. At first, it started shaking Keira’s hand. Then it went to Chloe’s desk and took out a big fat permanent marker. It opened the cap and drew a unhappy face, mad eyebrows, and tiny eyes.

Illustrated by Mrs. Yollis

Mrs. Yollis rushed outside. On her way, she bumped into Buck! Buck happily trotted into the room. The cursor hopped to the paper towels and got some soap. He started wiping his face off! He took the marker and drew clenched teeth, big and ugly eyes, and no eyebrows. He took Buck and started flipping him in the air!

“Oh!” yelled Mrs. Yollis angrily. “You give me my Buck back!” The cursor bounced to Mrs. Yollis, picked her up, and put her next to Mr. Bones. He took the desks and started spinning them around and around.

“He has magic powers!” Heather whispered to Keira quickly. “The computer probably taught the cursor how to contain viruses!”

Keira loudly replied, “I remember Cooper telling me that we have to call (123)-456-7890 for free equipment!”

“Shhh!” Heather shushed. “We don’t want that cursor to hear us! Wait! He’s about to zap Mrs. Yollis and Mr. Bones! Keira, you go try and unbundle them! I’ll try calling this untrustworthy phone number!”

“It’s not not trustworthy! Olivia, not Oliver, gave it to me!” Keira reminded Heather as she ran to Mrs. Yollis. Heather grabbed her giant iPhone that was about the size of her desk and started dialing (123)-456-7890. Instantly, somebody answered. It sounded like a bee.

“Okay. You stop buzzing in my ear. This is a real emergency. This cursor busted out of our teacher’s computer-” Heather was interrupted rudely.

“So. You’re saying that you want free equipment for two people? Also, can I see your class? I heard that you just added a new gadget that lets the other person see you.” The squeaky voice demanded.

Heather sighed. “Okay fine. If you’re that…” Heather’s voice trailed off as she clicked the ‘mirror’ button. Heather saw that the rat shoved some equipment in her face as he hung up impolitely. She took the suits and ran to hand on to Keira. The second Heather touched the suits, it zipped her up!

“Here, Keira! Have this! Hurry!” rushed Heather. Now, she joined Keira to help her defeat the evil cursed cursor. On the safety suit, it had a zapper. Right when Mr. Bones and Mrs. Yollis were going to get sprayed with infection, Heather and Keira zapped the cursor. The cursor cried, more in shock than pain, while he ran away. The hot zap wasn’t enough to scare the cursor away though.

Keira looked outside and shrieked, “You know the staffs that always pass our classroom? Well… They’re infected by Hi-Quality-Shooting-Spray-Infection-For-Ten-Billion-Hours.”

Heather gasped, and it was followed by a burst of different noises in the classroom. All of the computers turned into real life and once they open and closed, you could see their ninety-nine trillion sharp teeth! “Classmates! Go hop on top of the roof! Here’s some low quality jumping drinks! Even if it’s low quality, I’ll have to do for now! Here! Chloe, you go on the roof first!”

Chloe successfully got on top of the roof, and THAT was followed by a crowd of jumping people! What a sight that was!

Just then, the mob of staffs that are called: Billy Bob Joe, French Fried Fred, Damascus Doom Dino, Karate Krazy Kate, and Juicy Jumping-Jack Judo. They were a very powerful army of infected people. One of the computers announced, “I like bittin’ people heads off!” Another one claimed, “I enjoy crunchin’ on their limbs.” And the last one proudly told everyone, “And I like destroyin’ your precious base!” They started stacking up on one another. Billy Bob Joe was on the bottom, then went French Fried Fred, and last, Karate Krazy Kate helped the chomping computers up, careful not to have her finger bitten off by these vicious animals. Damascus Doom Dino and Juicy Jumping-Jack Judo stayed on the bottom just in case anyone would try jumping off.

Heather  hesitated. Keira handed her a mini bomb that could be used over and over. “Here use this to try and blow them up. After their a little wounded, we’ll hop on down there, careful for the cursed cursor and the chomping… Well… Actually let’s destroy the computers. We’ll replace them after. As I was saying, after their a little wounded, we’ll hop on down there careful for only the cursed cursor, throw away our suits, and then give them disinfection soup. They’ll turn back into regular old staffs. And we’ll also wash their minds a little so that there will be no rumors about this madness.”

Heather did as what Keira told her to do, and she soon realized that the cheap suit did actually protect her pretty well. She bombed her way down, and threw it at the staffs too. Accidentally, she threw on at the cursor, but that was totally fine with her.

“Come on down here Keira!” She shouted, cupping her mouth. The staffs were laying on the ground. Mrs. Yollis was relaxing on her pink and blue bean bags, letting her students do all of the work. “So, Mrs. Yollis. Do you have our soup ready?”

“What soup? I have regular chicken noodle soup thought,” Mrs. Yollis offered. “Oh and plus, I’ll be glad to help… Unless you don’t need me.”

“No thanks. We’ll manage it. Oh and also, that’ll do. We’ll just put some medicine inside,” Heather suggested. “May I please have the bowl of soup?” Mrs. Yollis handed her the soup and Heather gave it to Keira. Heather grabbed the pills and stirred it inside with the soup. Then she got a funnel and placed on in everybody’s mouths. Keira dropped one mind erasing pill in each one of their mouths as they swallowed the pill whole. After the pill, Keira helped Heather to pour the soup in each of the funnels. It took up a lot of soup, but it was enough.

♨     ♨     ♨     ♨     ♨     ♨     ♨   

After some time, all of the staffs were up and ready to go. They stood up and walked away, like nothing bad happened. Then Buck trotted to Mrs. Yollis again, but this time more angrily. It seemed like he wanted to tell Mrs. Yollis something.

“Woofity Woof Woof! Bark! Arf!” Buck yapped. Mrs. Yollis seemed to understand Buck’s foreign language.

“OKAY, CLASS!” Mrs. Yollis directed. “We’re now going to-” Mrs. Yollis was cut off by a growing noise. It was near… Or it WAS the crazy cursor. It was growing bigger and bigger. Now, it was about the size of the classroom, except even taller!


“Uh oh,” muttered Heather. “We better do something, Keira. Do you have any ideas?”
“Think, think, think,” Keira said to herself. “Well… I don’t know if this is the best idea, but I think we should take ladders, and we can climb to your house, since your house is just above the school. Then we’ll get some materials, and we can craft a robot with aluminum, iron, and metal. We’ll wreck your old laptop and take out the disk and put it in our robot. What do you think, Heather?”

Heather stared out into space. “I guess so, if that’s the only idea you have. Let’s go!” Heather ordered suddenly. They busted into the storage room, took out an unstable wooden ladder, and started climbing. When they finally reached Heather’s house, Keira took a mallet and started smashing Heather’s discarded laptop. Heather took her father’s key that was in his drawer, went to the garage, and unlocked another drawer with a bunch of materials.

“KEIRA! CAN YOU COME DOWN  HERE TO HELP ME?” shouted Heather. Keira came down a second later with the chip. Together, they built a weird looking robot. Heather and Keira were some typists (which means that they could type very well), so they added a keyboard from her brother’s, Aaron’s, computer. Whatever you typed in there, it would send it to the disk, and the robot would obediently do it. It also had a teleportation skill, so it could teleport to you whenever you are too far away from it. It also had more powers.

Today, Keira was wearing a plain light blue T-shirt, and Heather was also wearing a light blue T-shirt, but it had the words, “I MADE IT TO THE TOP” with a picture of Half Dome and some facts around it. So, Heather typed:

Follow the person with a light blue T-shirt and has the words, “I MADE IT TO THE TOP” printed on it.

Then Heather added, “Keira, if you want the robot to follow you, type your T-shirt design in it, but before, tell me. That way, I won’t wonder where the robot went.”

“Sure!” Keira agreed. Heather climbed down the ladder, with Keira following. The robot couldn’t climb down anything, so once Heather was on the ground next to Mrs. Yollis, the robot teleported down.

“Heather!” Keira addressed. “I’m going to type in, “Use your Anti-Virus powers to shoot that cursor with an ugly face on it.” Okay?”

“Okay. Just be careful. The keys are a little hard to press, and don’t make a mistake. Also, check it after you’re done,” Heather hinted.

Keira’s message originally turned out to be:

Us your Anti-irus poers to shot that cursor wih an ugl face on it

But Keira checked it and fixed it to be:

Use your Anti-Virus powers to shoot that cursor with an ugly face on it.

The cursor did what it was told to do, and the cursor slowly wiped off its face. Then it shrunk into a regular sized cursor. Heather and Keira quickly dashed into the classroom to see the cursor fix the computer screen and hop back in the computer. After, it closed all of the windows that it opened, and then it was back to normal.



In the future, Heather and Keira made sure that the cursor wouldn’t budge ever again. Mrs. Yollis awarded them for great leadership with one gold plate for each with diamond words in it. As an award from all of the dogs, each one of them gave the kids one big kiss(or lick)! After that, anybody who needed help with technology would call Heather, Keira, Mrs. Yollis, and all of the dogs for help. As usual, Heather and Keira would make sure that the problem wouldn’t happen again, and now the whole wide world would have no more major problems with technology…

Or did they?

What do you think about my story?

Can you make up another story about the same cursor?

Part II --- Coming up!