This story developed from a college entrance exam I was helping my cousin write. The prompt was to write a short story or poem using the words purple, panda, petunia, popcorn, and panic. It was originally 250 words, but I've expanded it. This is truly a children's story, so don't expect too much from it. (:

Happy reading!

Penny Panda tightened the purple polka dot bow in her hair as she walked into the school. Today was the first football game of the year, and Penny's first game as a cheerleader. She'd been so excited to get to school wearing her new uniform she'd almost forgotten to put on her bow. Luckily she'd remembered to grab it right as she was walking out the door.

She walked into the gym to drop her bag with all her cheer stuff in the locker room, smiling when she saw her poster taped up on the wall. She'd spent all of yesterday afternoon finishing her painting of the school mascot, Poppy Popcorn. It would look great at the pep rally this afternoon.

"Hey there, Penny."

Penny's smile fell when she saw that she wasn't the only one in the gym. Petunia Pig was sitting on the front row of the bleachers, her best friend Priscilla Platypus sitting next to her. Penny was surprised to see that Petunia was wearing a plain purple bow instead of the polka dot one. Priscilla wasn't wearing a bow at all.

"Hi guys!" Penny said, walking over to them, her smile back in place. "Petunia, aren't we supposed to be wearing the polka dot bow?"

"No, Coach said to wear the solid one," Petunia said, rolling her eyes. Priscilla looked down at her webbed feet uncomfortably.

"Are you sure?" Penny asked, becoming worried. She didn't want to get a demerit for wearing the wrong bow, especially on the day of the first football game.

"Of course I'm sure," Petunia said, her snout in the air. "I guess you weren't paying enough attention to what Coach was saying yesterday."

"But I know she said to wear the polka dot bow," Penny said, really starting to panic. "What did you hear, Priscilla?"

Priscilla glanced over at Petunia before quickly looking away. "I don't know," she said quietly.

"Good morning, ladies."

The three cheerleaders turned to see their cheer coach, Miss Panther, walking through the door. Penny nervously smoothed down her skirt, waiting for Miss Panther to notice she was wearing the wrong bow.

Petunia made sure she didn't have to wait very long. "Miss Panther, Penny is wearing the wrong bow," she said, pointing at Penny's head.

Miss Panther looked at Penny's bow. "No she isn't."

Petunia's eyes got big and she started turning red, quickly taking off her solid purple bow. Penny couldn't help but sigh in relief, though she did feel a little bad about Petunia.

Priscilla unclenched her fist, revealing the purple polka dot bow she'd been holding all along. She tied it back in her hair, giving Penny a shy smile. Penny smiled back happily, glad that she had found a new friend in Priscilla.