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Adventures

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2017 winners aged 8-12

amani, aged 10

I open the door, the blades whirling above me. My ski boots hit the crispy snow with a thump. I feel the energy of anticipation sizzle through my veins. Stomping, I open the cage and take out my snowboard. I find it hard to stay still. Closing the straps snuggly on my jittering feet, I penguin walk slowly to the slope. My heart skips a beat; I fear plummeting forward. I turn to the pilot to give him a thumbs up - with a split second of doubt in my mind. Swiftly I dashed over the peak. This could be it! One mistake… Skidding with purpose, I gain a good speed as I slide down the perilous snow mountain. Pivoting on my snowboard: cutting through the snow waves. In the distance, I notice a rock caved in snow, could I jump over it? I skied closer. The mound grew bigger. Only ten meters away I notice it is a bulk of snow so I hastily career round it. It was a near miss. I glide over a piece of wood. It snags. I lean forward to sustain my balance. Losing control, I steer myself to the left; then to the right. Coming closer, I see a snow leopard wildly pressing its serrated tusks into the flesh of a baby arctic fox. I glide past it fleetingly. It sees me. It clasps the fox in its teeth possessively and chases after me. Three other snow leopards appear from the trees. I raced rapidly. Tossing a glove for them to feed on, I zoom away. I see tons of trees in front of me. I dodge them, they scratch me. My coat gets caught on a branch, I quickly wrench it back. I gape at the steep road ahead. I tilt to the left and skid extremely quickly. There’s snow on my goggles, I scarcely see colours. My snowboard begins to incline gradually upwards. Am I facing a slope? I am propelled into a front somersault and land exquisitely. Leaning slightly, my board balances on its back edge and I circle my arms to maintain balance. I hear the helicopter whirling above me; I slow down gliding on flat snow and come to a halt. I lift my goggles from my fatigued eyes and salute to the helicopter. It lowers as I loosen the straps of my snowboard. I get a hug of relief from the pilot -my uncle- as he opens the door. I climb in the helicopter and look out the window. I take one last woeful look at the mountain and there I see the bewildered snow leopards. It's Mount Everest for me next…

Max o, aged 10

Winner: Non-Fiction

This is a non-fiction adventure story. I know that this is fact not fiction as it really happened to my mum and dad. My dad is a policeman so it is ILLEGAL for him to lie about anything. Before I was born my mum and dad travelled around the world. They wanted to see temples, strange animals and eat spicy food. My mum is a great adventurer as she always packs snacks and plasters and everything you need to survive in the wild. My dad is strong and funny so he can get out of tricky situations.

It was Christmas time and my mum and dad were in Thailand. Thailand is always sunny and people live on the beach so mum and dad had a hot Christmas. Father Christmas couldn’t find them as their hut didn’t have a chimney. Mum had been running in the jungle with monkeys and dad did swimming in the sea with sharks. Dad met a jellyfish and had to fight it off – he still has battle scars on his leg which are epic. On the day after Christmas day mum and dad had breakfast on the beach. The beach was so big they couldn’t see the sea. It was weird! No-one could see the sea it had disappeared like a magic show. People could walk for miles and see fish on the floor – which is not normal.

Suddenly they saw something in the distance and it was a small wave but it was coming fast towards them. Before they knew it the wave was massive and scaring everyone. The wave was breaking houses, boats, trees and all the animals were running away really fast too. Mum and dad had to swim and climb and jump as fast as they could escape. There was a lady that hurt her leg and dad had to pull her out of the road that had become a river. Everyone was wet and worried about their friends and their homes. Dad helped and mum helped. Because they were great adventurers they were brave and strong so they could help people that were babies or old or hurt. When we are older we are going to visit Thailand to see the island with the giant wave and see how nature and people have mended the island and have made it a happy place again.

The end.

rosie james, Aged 10

Winner: Best Use of Language

No one knows what happens in The Cave. No one wants to know. No one except me. I trundled down the coastal path, towards the blackened, shadowy mouth of The Cave. I entered, and suddenly, I was blind. I fumbled in my pockets for a torch, but it must have fallen out as I jumped from the sea wall onto the white sand. I thought about running back to get it, but the sun had already begun to rise. I stepped forward, fully immersing myself in the shadows. I took another step, and another, the long fingers of coldness closing around my neck. Fear and curiosity clouded my thoughts as I advanced deeper into the abyss. But then… then, did I see a pinprick of light at the end of this tunnel? I quickened my pace, eager to uncover the mysteries that folded over The Cave. The pinprick grew larger and brighter, and I walked faster and faster until I was scrambling to the light. As I drew closer, the light was revealed to be coming from an alcove, and it was an otherworldly silvery blue. I stepped forward in bewilderment. I slowly crept towards the large opening, feeling as though I needed to be as silent as possible. I stood in the entrance- and gasped. There was a human figure, dressed in aristocratic clothing, sat wrapped in a silken cloak. The only strange thing was…was… he looked like a…a…ghost. He was bathed in that spectral, hypnotic light. I must have been hyperventilating or something, because the man looked up. He had a puzzled expression on his deathly face.

“Who’re you?” he asked his voice was alien, but gruff.

“Well,” I began, alarmingly aware of his ethereal, frigid gaze resting on me, “My name is Sam Smith and I am an Adventurer.”

“Ah,” said the spectre, “and what year is this?”

“2017, sir.”

"Hmm, it appears I have been sitting here for much longer than I intended.”

“Why?”

“I, Master Smith, am the notorious Blackbeard!”

I stood there, flabbergasted. Now I knew! The pirate's expression suddenly changed as though he had just remembered something.

"Now, I don't suppose you've seen the cabin boy have you? I've got a bone to pick with him."

"No, what's his name?"

"Sam Smith. Wait a second…come 'ere ya scurvy sea dawg!" He stood up, brandishing his cutlass. I'm not a cabin boy. He must be mistaken. I scrambled back to the tunnel, tripping over loose rocks. Blackbeard was pacing forward, testing out his ghoulish form. He leapt towards me. I scurried down the passages, waiting for daylight to blind me. I risked a glance over my shoulder, only to see… nothing? I looked ahead, and daylight buffeted me. I ran forward, diving onto the sand. What happened? An adventure.

rosie l, aged 10

overall fiction winner

Once there were three orangutans called Ting, Tang and baby Tong who lived in the Primates house in the zoo. They had a tyre-swing, ropes and a playground just like the one the visiting small, non-furry primates played on. The orangutans were very happy there, but had heard stories of ‘The Wild’ from other animals and it sounded like orangutan heaven - the trees, the freedom, the bananas… They were determined to escape to ‘The Wild’, but they didn’t know where to start. Ting and Tang thought about smashing the big glass window with the tyre swing, but in the end it was little Tong who had the idea to just open the door. It wasn’t locked! They all walked outside. It was two hours past closing time, and everywhere was silent. The orangutans crept around, trying to find the exit.

‘We must nearly be there!’ Ting panted, but Tong pointed out that the Primates’ house was just to their left and that they had been going round in circles! Tang sighed and they trooped off to the visitor centre to get a map. Soon they reached the exit and Tong leapt onto the road just as a car approached.

‘Tong!’ Ting and Tang shouted simultaneously, and they dashed out to fetch him back, but the car was driving straight towards them, its menacing headlights shining in their faces, rooting them to the spot. The car was about to hit them when…

‘JUMP!’ yelled Tong. Ting and Tang were too scared to think twice. They closed their eyes and jumped… When they opened their eyes they were sitting on the roof of a large four-wheel-drive, zooming along the road. Ting sighed with relief.

‘Well done, Tong!’ Tong smiled modestly while thinking about how amazingly brilliant and smart he was. The car drove for hours, finally stopping at a grand hill-top house around midnight. The orangutans knew they needed to leave before they were discovered, so they scampered into the woodlands nearby.

‘Let’s follow Tong as he’s always right,’ Tang murmured sleepily, so they set off after the small orangutan.

After a while Tong grew tired. It was nearly morning and he was only little. He stumbled drowsily along. Soon his eyes shut and he tumbled over, fast asleep and Ting gently picked him up. Tang had an idea - he tied some woodland vines together and lassooed them as far as he could see, then zip-wired all the way to the end of the forest at the bottom of the hill. Ting followed clutching Tong and it was so much fun! They ended up in a small village by the sea. In the harbour was a boat with writing painted on the side. It read ‘Premium bananas all the way from Indonesia - The Wild.’ Tang spotted the words ‘The Wild’ and grinned. The orangutans snuck on board and hid. A few days later they arrived in ‘The Wild’ and had all the bananas they could eat!

thomas, aged 10

winner: best character 

Ringo the beetle was feeling sad. All his friends could fly and today they had flown off to have wonderful adventures in the sky! Whilst he was left grounded, with nothing to do, and no one to play with. He climbed further up the tree to see Oliver the Wise Old Owl and offered to help him make the beds in his nest as Ringo was very skilled at finding the most comfortable leaves.

"Why are you on your own today, Ringo?" Asked Oliver the Owl,

"You are a very helpful young beetle, you must have lots of friends?” Ringo explained, sadly, that he was the only beetle in the tree who couldn't fly.

Oliver was laughing gently as he told Ringo, "Don't worry young beetle! I will grant you a magic wish as a thank you for your help today. But remember! Use your wish wisely!"

Ringo closed his eyes, and wished! Suddenly he feet very odd. His back was warm and very itchy. There was an unexpected “POP” noise! The next thing he knew he could feel a strange draught on his back as beautiful wings emerged and slowly began to flap. He was very happy. He was flying. Finally, he could go on adventures like his friends! He twirled. He twisted. He looped the loop. Then... SNAP!!! A bird's beak slammed shut and he found himself inside the belly of Barry the Belchwarbler! Ringo was distraught! He sniffed, he snuffled, and a lone tear ran down his cheek. He couldn't think of any way out of this mess. Why did he ever think adventures in the sky would be a good idea? Just then, he heard a voice he recognised behind him.

"Hello, Ringo!" said his friend George. "Don't worry, I've unfortunately been here before. But it's easy to get out of the belly of a Belchwarbler. Follow me." And George started to fly around and around, gently tickling the tonsils of Barry the Belchwarbler.

Suddenly, everything started to get very wriggly inside Barry. When…. "BURRRPP!!!"... And George and Ringo flew out faster than their wings could fly. Ringo was so happy to be back in his home tree! He crawled straight up to see Oliver the Wise Old Owl to ask him to reverse his spell.

"I did warn you to be careful what you wished for" said Oliver, whilst shaking his wise old head. “Having adventures isn’t about following the crowd, Ringo. Never be scared to be your own beetle!" Then he smiled, spun his head around full circle, and winked at Ringo. Ringo's back felt itchy… And warm… Until……He felt his troublesome wings disappear!

Today, Ringo is very happy to go on adventures on six legs rather than two wings! Sometimes, his best friend George, invites him for a quick spin in the sky on his back, though he always checks first to see if Barry the Belchwarbler is flying that day!