Monday, 26 August 2013

The Best First Prize

I love a harvest fair, and I love small town fairs the best.  They are closest to what fairs used to be:  A place where the agricultural community meets to learn, to trade, to do a little bragging about their skills, to visit with their neighbours, and to encourage kids to carry the traditions forward into the next generation.

I went to just such a fair this weekend, in Cobble Hill.

As I do at any fair, I headed first to the exhibit hall. For me, it's like an cornucopia, filled with bounty. Here can be found the prize winning vegetables, the jars of canning, the beautiful pies, the hand stitched quilts, and the flower arrangements; treasures every one. 

I especially like the classes in each exhibit that are open to young children.  It's great to see them making their best attempts, and to witness their pride in winning a ribbon.

At a small fair with a great many entry classes and a small population from which to draw exhibitors, chances of winning are good.  A child who places something in each of two or three different classes will likely find a ribbon awarded to at least one of their entries.

Which leads me to the story of my very favourite entry at this year's fair:

This was the first-prize-winning zucchini animal by a child under the age of six.

It was the only entry in its class.  

I came upon it at the very same time the proud young sculptor discovered he'd received a blue ribbon.  He is two years old, and told me all about how he'd made his zucchini creature, taking particular pride in his placement of the blueberries.  

When he had finished telling me about it, I thanked him for showing me how he'd made his project. I congratulated him on his ribbon, and pointed out that a blue ribbon meant he'd won first prize.  

His reply?

"I know!  And it's the very BEST first prize!"

And you know what? 

He was absolutely right.  :)