For the Busy Business-Parent

Whimsical Bedtime Stories for Children of All Ages



“I can’t do it.” Misty whispered to her best friend, Allie. “I’ve already come in last twice!"

Instead of a swimsuit, Allie had shown up at the swim meet with her left arm in a hot pink cast.

“I can’t swim for six weeks. You’ve been practicing with me. You can do it.”

They both glanced at the rival team whooping it up after the third straight win.

Misty groaned.

Allie encouraged her. “You’ll do fine. Remember, it’s better to have someone than no one at all. Think of yourself as an event filler.”

“A what?”

Allie laughed. “You’ll be saving us a spot.”

Misty shrugged. The whistle blew. It was time for her to line up.

She shivered, clinging to the edge of the pool, waiting for the race to start.

The pool loomed far out ahead of her.

Stealing a glance, she met her team’s gaze. All eyes were focused on her.

Allie raised her pink cast and smiled encouragingly.

The shrill of the whistle rang out. Stretching her arms high over her head, Misty took one more gulp of air before belly flopping into the cold water.

Oh, she thought. Now I’ll come in last for sure.

Struggling, she pulled her arms and hands in front of her as she dipped up and down in the water. Then she pushed her hands down, pushing against the water to raise herself up. She gulped in air mixed with sprays of water. Then she plunged back into the water, wielding her arms like twin windmills.

Each time her head came above the water, she could hear the roar of the crowd, and then as she went back down, sounds became muffled.

Her goggles kept the water from her eyes, but they weren’t much for seeing through. She couldn’t see the end of the pool. She could only hear the muffled chant, “Stroke! Stroke!” each time her head came up above the water.

She could see the blur of Allie’s pink cast and recognized her shout. Not looking to the left or right, Misty kept stroking, kicking, getting closer with each pull of her muscled arms.

Suddenly, Allie’s face appeared before her. “Turn! Turn!” she screamed.

Misty’s hands pushed hard against the rough edge of the pool. She bunched her knees up to make the turn. Then she shoved her feet off the wall and shot out like a missile. She gained speed.

She could hear the frantic screams of the crowd as she kept rising and falling, arms twirling faster and faster.

All she could see was the black line on the bottom of the pool.

Her breath came harder and faster. She had to keep going.

Stroke! Stroke! She said to herself.

The edge came up fast, and she slapped the wall.

She pulled off her goggles and searched for the board with the times.

She could see Allie rounding the corner of the pool, coming towards her with a big smile.

“You did it!" Allie shouted.

"You came in second! YOU are a butterfly swimmer, TOO.”


The Butterfly Swimmer
Sheila Renfro

The Butterfly Swimmer - Copyright 2015 - All Rights Reserved

 About the Author:

Sheila Renfro is Clinical Scientist by day and at night she loves to write for children. Sheila and her husband have three grown children themselves. They have adopted a 100 lb. Burmese Mountain dog that thinks he's a lap dog. They also have a fish pond that their dog loves to chase frogs and lizards around, and their fish have multiplied! Do write to Sheila Renfro and tell her how much you enjoyed her story! You can also ask her to write some more stories!

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