今年的Reflection作文比賽題目是Believe, Dream, Inspire，女兒七年級，這是她的學區得獎作文。
Ruby looked doubtfully at the little ledge that was supposed to hold her weight. It looked small and weak - just weak enough that a dragon hatchling standing on it would plunge into the ocean waiting below.
She looked downwards, at the steep plunging cliffs that were home to her family of dragons. How had her parents made it seem so easy to just jump off a cliff and trust that they wouldn't crash into the ground? She shifted her weight to her haunches. A gentle breeze blew through the sky.
It was one of her siblings, Saffron, soaring by smugly on blue bat-like wings. He growled fiercely. Then Saffron flew off in a fancy loop-de-loop. Of all of the hatchlings in her family, only Ruby still hadn't learned to fly. She just didn't have the trust to try flying. She had wings, yes, and all of her developing wing muscles were more than strong enough to try it. But Ruby just didn't have the belief that the wind would be enough to stop her from plummeting into the ground.
Ruby leaned forwards, trying to will herself to have the courage to jump off the cliff and spread out her wings…but she couldn't.
"DINNERTIME!" a deep throaty voice boomed. Almost immediately, a miniature swarm of hatchlings flew by.
Ruby sighed and slowly climbed down the cliff face, into the cave that she lived in.
Mom and Dad had returned from hunting. All dragons were carnivores and hunting was an essential party of their life, almost as important as flying. Today Ruby's parents had caught several big deer and had divided them up into sections for each dragon.
Ruby leaned forward eagerly. Deer was her favorite. Mom, who was large as a hill, tossed a section to Saffron, who immediately dived into his dinner and gobbled up the deer. His tail curled up in pleasure. Ruby grinned mischievously. She snuck up to Saffron and then bit him in the tail.
It was a light bite, but enough to make him yelp like a just-hatched dragon. Saffron flew up and tried to bite her back. Ruby dodged it and stuck out her tongue.
"RUBY, THAT'S ENOUGH! COME HERE RIGHT NOW." Her dad roared.
Ruby seemed to wilt under the force of her dad's voice and meekly walked over. She hoped that she wouldn't get punished too severely.
In a much quieter tone, Dad said, "Ruby, what are we going to do with you?"
What? Where was the scolding, the yelling, the stomping that Ruby had been expecting?
"You won't fly, Ruby. It's been a week and you still refuse to try flying. You should be able to fly," Dad said.
Not this again. Ruby mumbled, "I'll try. Really, I will."
Dad looked at her. His tail wrapped around Ruby, and she felt bad for the lie. For a moment, Ruby was afraid that he would accuse her of not telling the truth. But he only sighed.
"Ruby, you don't know what you're missing. Flying… all you have to do is believe."
At this, Ruby sighed. She knew that Dad was only trying to make her feel better. But Ruby just didn't have the belief that she could jump into the sky and just start flying.
It had all been because of a long-ago accident, one that still haunted Ruby. She and Saffron had been playing tag on the cliffs. They'd been the size of a raven at the time. Ruby was being chased, and she was getting tired. She eventually slowed down, almost being tagged by Saffron. Then, she was so exhausted that she'd plopped herself down on the ground to rest-just as Saffron barreled into her. The impact knocked Ruby off of the cliffs and down open space. Ruby's wings flapped uselessly, but they were too small to hold her up. The only reason why she had survived was that she'd been caught by Dad.
Ruby's eyelids slowly drooped. She fell asleep.
The next day, Ruby woke up to the sound of tentative sound of birds chirping. She looked around warily. All of her family members were sleeping. Then she walked off into the clifftops.
Ruby walked onto a wide shelf of rock. It was the closest that she'd ever been to flying. There was a little point of rock sticking out diagonally, unsupported by the rock. Ruby had never dared to go on that small outcrop, and as far as she knew, none of her family members ever had.
Today, though, she felt particularly daring after hearing Dad talk about flying. Ruby strutted up to the rock and put a tentative paw on it.
Trying to be brave, Ruby put another paw on it. She slowly, cautiously moved to the top. The wind whistled as it blew around her, and she wished that she hadn't decided to climb it. It felt as if the wind was trying its best to blow her off.
Still, Ruby felt at home, despite the wind. Or was it because of it? She snarled out a challenge to the open sea. Then, she unfolded her wings.
Ruby knew that this was a one-time chance to try flying. If she backed out of it now, she wouldn't be able to face the shame of being such a coward.
The ocean waves crashed noisily over the bottom of the cliff. If Ruby jumped of the cliff and couldn't fly, well… this time Dad wouldn't be able to save her.
Ultimately, it was about having the belief that she could do it. But Ruby didn't have it. She couldn't even decide if she should risk trying to fly or not.
The wind decided for her.
Ruby was knocked off her precarious perch, blown up into the sky by the wind. For a moment, she plunged downwards. Then Ruby spread her wings open and glided through the sky. She tried flapping, amazed by how instinctive it felt. This was true flying. Ruby didn't have to think about it –it was an integral part of her, one that she'd just discovered.
And now, Ruby circled back into the cave, ready to surprise her parents and Saffron.