My wife and I were cleaning out a closet last weekend and came across some of our daughter Karen’s writing from elementary school. This is a letter that she wrote to President Clinton on May 26, 1994. She was nine years old. My guess is that the teacher had told them that they should write a letter to the President advocating saving a rare species. I know that my wife, a professional editor, did not edit it, because there are missing words and some incorrect grammar.

Dear Mr. Clinton,

I think the snow leopards are becoming extinct, so I’m going to make a project that the whole country can work on. What we would do is build separate buildings for the snow leopard families and put real grass and other plants and make their natural habitat. This will keep the leopards feeling like they’re at home. They won’t have to worry about getting food or being hunted.

Government would not have to pay for it because I think that only people who want to help out should pay. It should be their decision. It won’t be like taxes because taxes you have to pay. This is only if you want to.

We would raise money by having auctions in all fifty states. People who want to support the fund would donate things to the auctions. What we’ll do is hold a conference in California, and a person in every state is invited. I have friends in all fifty states whose parents could come. At the conference, we’ll pick one person from every state who is honest and somebody you can rely on and make them a president of the auction. The auction will go on for a month, and if it’s a success, it will be much longer.

The reason I thought of this plan is that snow leopards are one of the most beautiful animals, and, though they don’t give us food, they help balance nature with their beauty and pride.

Thanks for reading.


Karen G. Henderson

I had no idea at the time that she was writing this. Can you guess which paragraph I liked best?