It was dressing-up day in school soon, and Daisy and Mummy were talking about Daisy's costume.
"What would you like to go as?" asked Mummy. She held up a beautiful dress. "A princess?"
Daisy shook her head.
"A police officer?"
"A chef? A star? A crocodile?"
"No, Mummy," said Daisy. "I want to be a pencil sharpener!"
Mummy, Daddy and Daisy worked on the costume until it was just perfect. Daisy couldn't wait to wear it.
Finally, dressing-up day came, and everyone went to school in their costumes. There were knights, fairies, superheroes, mermaids, robots, lions, princesses and kings – but only one pencil sharpener.
Daisy had a wonderful time until one of the lions, Lisa, told her that she didn't like her costume.
"Why are you a pencil sharpener?" she asked Daisy. "Pencil sharpeners are boring. They don't do anything."
"Yes!" Henry the knight agreed. "They're useless."
"Princesses, knights and animals are so much more interesting!" cried one of the zebras.
"And more fun!" said a princess. "They save the world, they can sing, and they're brave and smart."
Daisy turned around and quietly walked away. She loved being a pencil sharpener and she wished her friends loved her costume as much as she did.
After lunchtime the children were asked to draw pictures of themselves in their costumes. But when they reached for their colouring pencils they noticed that all the leads were either broken or too blunt to use.
"Miss, Miss! We need pencil sharpeners, please!" they cried.
"Is that so?" said Miss Fowler. "I thought I heard you say you didn't like pencil sharpeners."
"But we can't write our names, or draw or colour, without sharp pencils!" cried Lisa the lion.
"That's right," agreed Miss Fowler. "You can't. And that's exactly why pencil sharpeners are so important."
Miss Fowler turned to Daisy. "Would you like to help sharpen our pencils?"
"Yes please," Daisy replied with a huge smile.
"You know," Miss Fowler continued, "without a sharp pencil, people couldn't write books for you to read. Without a sharp pencil, there would be no birthday or Christmas cards. And if your daddy or mummy can't write a shopping list, they might forget to buy your milk for breakfast."
"Pencil sharpeners are the best!" cried Lisa, and the children started to cheer.
Before home time, the class had to decide who should win the trophy for the best costume. They each wrote down the costume they liked most, and put their folded piece of paper in a cowboy hat.
Miss Fowler pulled out the first bit of paper. It said ‘pencil sharpener' on it, and so did the second bit of paper, and the third bit of paper. In fact, all of them said the same, except for Daisy's!
She'd voted for the king with the big belly.
"Congratulations, Daisy!" said Miss Fowler. "You've won!"
That night, Daisy wanted to sleep with the trophy in her bed.
"Mummy, Daddy, can I be a pencil sharpener again next year?" she asked sleepily.
"Of course," said Mummy. Daddy chuckled to himself.
"Good. Lisa wants to be one too. And Henry. And Emily and Jack and..."
Then Daisy yawned and drifted off to sleep. It was hard work being a pencil sharpener!
Illustrations by Jess Pauwells