Heights Elementary Cupcake Wars
by Gail Kamer
“Whaaaa”, echoed through the lunchroom.
All eyes were focused on the screaming coming from the back table. Shawna was crying at the top of her lungs.
“Someone took my cupcake!” she sniffed. Scrambling to help her were her three best friends in the whole, wide world.
“Let me look in your lunchbox,” suggested Carlos, shaking Shawna’s lunchbox upside.
“Your mom just probably forgot,” surmised Tamika.
“No way, I was in the kitchen when she packed my lunch,” declared Shawna. “Every Monday, she packs a cupcake,and it’s not in there.”
Mitchell demanded, “Who would have been able to get into your lunchbox?”
“That new boy was assigned the cubby next to yours. What’s his name? Suppose he took your cupcake?” wondered Tamika.
“I don’t know, but he ate all the erasers off the pencils in the community pencil can today,” answered Shawna. “Teacher was not a happy camper.”
“Why,” demanded Carlos, “would he eat erasers?”
“Who knows,” said Shawna.
“Maybe he has a nervous condition,” Mitchell stated.
“Here,” offered Mitchell, “my mom put three pieces of candy in my lunchbox. You can have one.”
During lunch the following day, the four friends met up at their favorite cafeteria table as usual. Mitchell and Carlos’ class always arrived first, so they always saved seats for the two girls.
“I’m telling,” Marilee sneered as she walked by, “you can’t save seats. It’s against the rules.”
Mitchell and Carlos stuck their tongues out at Marilee, when she walked to another table.
Running up, Shawna announced, “You won’t believe what Charles did today. Oh, yeah, I learned the new kid’s name is Charles. The teacher said his name like a million times this morning.”
“What did Charles do today?” questioned Carlos.
“The teacher told me to pass out the snacks, which I did”. Charles told her that I didn’t give him any but I DID! Because there weren’t any on his napkin, the teacher made me give him more.”
“If you gave him his snack,” asked Mitchell, “how come there weren’t any on his napkin?”
“And how come no one saw him hide them or eat them,” Carlos responded.
Shawna shrugged her shoulders.
Each day that week there was a story about something Charles had done.
“Noooooo”, echoed loudly throughout the lunchroom on the following Monday. “My cupcake is missing again!” cried Shawna.
“Someone is taking the cupcakes”, surmised Tamika, “your mom would not forget again.”
“Uh huh, but who?” pointed out Mitchell.
“My cupcake is always gone by lunch so someone is getting into my lunchbox before then,” concluded Shawna.
Tamika replied, “I bet it is Charles. His cubby is right next to yours.”
“He is always in trouble, that’s for sure,” added Shawna. I need a plan of action to catch the thief.”
“This is war, just like on that cupcake war show that my mom watches. Only we are going to save your cupcakes,” Carlos concluded.
“Yeah, we are going to declare war and make a plan of attack,” responded Mitchell.
“I’m not going to fight anyone,” Shawna informed him.
“No one is going to fight,” revealed Carlos. “We are going to declare a Cupcake War to keep your cupcakes from being taken. We are just going to develop a war plan.”
“So what is our plan?” asked Tamika.
“Shawna, next Monday instead of putting your lunchbox in your cubby,” Carlos suggested, “you keep it under your desk. The cupcake will be safe as long as it is with you.”
Tamika agreed, “That sounds easy.”
On Monday, Shawna sneaked her lunchbox under her desk.
‘Bam, bam’ interrupted the whole class. Accidentally, Shawna kicked the lunchbox when she went to reading centers.
“Put your lunchbox in the cubby NOW,” warned her teacher.
Cupcake War Plan B was created at lunch because today’s cupcake was missing.
“Next Monday, Shawna, whenever the class leaves for a restroom break, you hide behind the door after everyone leaves. You will be able to see whoever gets it,” reflected Carlos.
The following Monday when the class left for a restroom break, Shawna hid behind the door. She heard Marilee out in the hall, “Miss Hattie, Shawna is hiding behind the door in the room”. Shawna’s teacher made her come out of the room. At lunch, the cupcake was missing again. Cupcake War Plan C was designed.
Carlos stated, “None of our battle plans have worked so far.”
“A burglar alarm on the lunchbox is what we need,” added Tamika. “As soon as the thief opens the lid, we’ll be able to hear it.”
“Great idea! I know just the thing!” said Shawna, but she wouldn’t tell her friends what she was going to do. She didn’t want to chance anyone overhearing.
Sunday night, Shawna told her mother about The Cupcake War Plan C and the idea that she had. Her mother agreed to help her. They packed Shawna’s lunchbox and rigged up Shawna’s secret burglar alarm.
The next morning, Shawna could barely keep her mind on her work. She kept waiting for the lunchbox alarm to go off. It was 10 o’clock and time for the morning restroom break. Shawna thought the thief would surely show up now. As her class lined up in front of the restroom for their turn Shawna kept giving people cuts, so she could stay in the hallway in order to listen for the alarm. Suddenly, she heard, “Happy birthday to you….Happy birthday to you….,” booming from her classroom!
Yelling, “I caught him, I won the cupcake war!” she ran to her room. Marilee stood with the singing lunchbox in her hand.
Hearing the noise, the teacher arrived in the room right after Shawna. “What is going on?” she asked.
Shawna shared how she had decided to declare war on the thief by placing a burglar alarm on her lunchbox. She explained how she had taken the music box from a birthday card and taped it under the lid. Just like her card sang when opened, so did the lunchbox lid. The teacher sent Marilee to the counselor, where she confessed that she had been sneaking back into the room and putting Shawna’s cupcake into her own lunchbox.
Later that day, at lunch, Carlos, Tamika, Shawna and Mitchell discussed the solution of the Cupcake War.
“Marilee is going to meet with the counselor so she can get help with her problem,” said Mitchell.
“I am going to have mom put an extra cupcake in my lunchbox for Marilee every Monday,” said Shawna. “Now that the war is over, we can be friends. I’m glad our war plan worked, because everyone won in the end.”