North Leigh C of E Primary School
Short Stories
Be inspired to write something...
It is so nice to read stories, meeting people and things we would usually never meet even if we lived forever. It is even better to write stories which may be sitting in the back of your head, bringing to life that lovely flower that talks, cuddly animal that hates being cuddled or feet that can help you run a mile in two minutes.

Even better is to see writing published - and here is the chance to do something that will mean your short story is read by lots of other people. Who knows, you may even become as famous as J. K. Rowling.

How best to submit your story? Using a word processing programme such as Word, write your story (maximum 500 words). Spell check and make sure the punctuation and grammar are as good as you can get it. Save your story! Then copy and paste into the correct field below. Complete the other fields and press the submit button. We will check the story to make sure it is suitable for publication on this web site and then publish - typically this takes 24 to 48 hours. When your work is published tell all your friends about it!

Send us your short story for publication on this page.

Isla P - Year 4
Wind in the Willows Chapter 3

t was a dull, dark afternoon with angry-looking clouds filling the sky above, when she stepped out of the family warren into the fresh air. The countryside was unusually still, quiet and peaceful – not even the happy sounds of the birds singing and calling out to each other could be heard. As rabbit jumped merrily towards the Wild Wood, which grew closer to her, a feeling of gloominess came over her.

There was nothing obvious to rabbit that was causing her to feel worried and anxious except the unusually startling sounds of the woods. Leaves crunched noisily beneath her paws; the scent of damp log piles bothered her pink nose; sticky tree sap oozed from the trunks of evergreens; these sights and smells were new to rabbit, they fascinated her. Following the narrow trail through the woods, rabbit continued at speed – she didn’t feel safe to stop, even for a minute. The shadows huddled and hunched in the darkness, blurring like ghostly figures.

It was the feeling of being watched that urged rabbit on despite the light of day fading away quicker than she had hoped. Night would soon be on her. The once still woods appeared to come to life around rabbit. Scuttling, whooshing, high-pitched cries and the ongoing rustling and crackling of branches and dead leaves filled the air. The further rabbit went the louder the noises became. She kept telling herself, keep going everything will be fine, you are just imagining things.

The whole woods was alive with life. Rabbit was listening to the many sounds making her panicked and run in different directions – a great sense of confusion and chaos came over her. Her heart trembled, everything was trembling, she kept going, running here and there – she needed to feel safe and warm again. The gnarly tree roots twisted and tangled around Rabbit’s paws causing her to fall forward knocking her hard against the stump of a rotten tree. She shook her head in shock and used all her might to drag herself to a resting place. Rabbit was tired, exhausted from this terrible experience but fortunately she found shelter in a hole beneath a great oak.

As Rabbit rested, catching her breath, calming her nerves and listening cautiously to the unfamiliar sounds around her, the realisation of why Rat was protecting her from entering the woods became obvious – The Terror of the Wild Wood!

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Isla P - Year 4
It’s a Mole’s Life

Mole squeals, earth crumbles,
Digging through the softened ground,
Smooth skin, getting grubby,
Twitching nose ferreting around.

Moves quickly, catching earthworms,
A velvety head springs out the soil,
Delicate whiskers, colour blind,
Land destruction is a toil.

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Tillie R - Year 4
Oxfordshire's Wartime Evacuees

IT was 1940 and the war was still on. Germany was invading Great Britain. London had just been blitzed. The children of London needed to be moved to safety. Pauline lived in a sleepy village with her Mum, Dad and 4 siblings. She had two brothers, Jim and Tony. She also had 2 sisters called Pat and Joan. It was a squash and a squeeze in their small home, but they managed. Her Dad was stationed in Bicester. Her Mum was kept very busy with five children at home. One of the brothers, Jim, at the age of 12, worked voluntarily collecting paper and cardboard. They were a very likeable and good natured family.

The quiet village in oxfordshire was usually beautiful and breathtaking. But not now, World War 2 had changed the feel of the place and the landscape. Now every day feels very hectic and frightening.
Even their house was hectic because the evacuees had to move in with us.

Mr and Mrs Wisewell came from London to live with the Oxfordshire family. The evacuees were welcomed into their home, as if they were family. They arrived with only a gas mask and bag each. Their home in London was destroyed by the Germans, when they blitzed London. They were not living in a lavish area of London. The first thing they noticed about the Oxfordshire village was how green it was. Their home in Poplar was a big street with no gardens.

First of all, it was just Mr and Mrs Wisewell living with the Oxfordshire family. They took up residence in the downstairs front room. But then they invited further guests - their daughter and her young children. Nobody knows how long they would be staying for.

There were already 5 children crammed into the small semi-detached house. Now there were 7 children plus 5 adults. The youngest family member was still in a cot. All of the brothers and sisters had to move into one bedroom, to make way for the daughter and her children to live there. It felt very crowded. As they got to know the additional guests, they became insufferable and unpleasant. They were not the normal characters we were used to seeing in the village before the war started.
There was blackout curtains at every window, to keep out the German plane lights. No lights were allowed in the homes, to prevent them from being bombed. The police patrolled the streets to ensure the lights were off in all homes. For everyone, it was a dark, scary and depressing time, especially for the children.

The evacuee children were very naughty. Recently, they have been lighting fires in the garden. This made the owners of the home tremble, they heard planes in the distance.
As the evacuees where having fun in the garden, smiling and laughing, the family were shivering inside for fear of being bombed. The father of the family had to bike all the way from his workplace, Bicester, to the village, to sort the problem out. This was a 12 mile round trip for him. He thought it was a disgraceful way to act.

The war felt like a lifetime. It had continued for many months. The days felt long and little sleep was achieved.
But something had to be done about the evacuees behaviour. Eventually the evacuees moved next door. The worrying war continued for many months. Thousands of lives were lost. The family had a bit more space in their small home, now the evacuees had moved out.
Eventually, the evacuees moved back to London, although the war continued for a number of years.
To this day, some evacuees still remain in Oxfordshire, choosing to settle there for life.

Short story reviews
Mr Webster
Well done Tillie, a very interesting story about wartime in Oxfordshire. I think what you managed to do really well was show your reader what it felt like at that time. It must have been very disturbing and frightening and with sentences like 'Now every day feels very hectic and frightening' you really brought that across, as did 'The war felt like a lifetime'.
You have used some good vocabulary in your writing. I particularly liked 'It was a squash and a squeeze in their small home', 'beautiful and breathtaking' (good alliteration) and 'insufferable and unpleasant'.
Great job Tillie! Keep up the good work!

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Tillie R - Year 4
Floating Island of Wonder

The sun was setting over the Island. Palm trees were swaying in a gentle breeze and the remains of coconuts lie on the beach. The sand danced around like ballerinas in golden dresses. The island was surrounded by beautiful turquoise water, glistening back at the rusty coloured sun. Not far from the coast line of Southern Thailand, the island quietly went about its day with only a small number of humans enjoying its beauty. But in its awe-inspiring beauty, a dark secret passage way opened up to the feisty black ocean. Nobody ever dared creep toward the spine chilling secret passage way, because for many moons, people believed a blood thirsty creature, who never reared his ugly head to the rest of the Island, lived there.

The people of the Island lived off the land, fruits and other delicious foods were plentiful. Ko Racha Yai floated on the Andaman Sea, the coastline of mainland could be seen on a clear day. Any foods needed from mainland were brought over on a long boat to help the people of Ko Racha Yai. Ko Racha Noi, a meagre Island, next door, sat sinisterly overlooking the people of Ko Racha Yai. A young girl inhabited this island, longing to break free from its strong grip of her.

Every morning, unnervingly, something would happen, that would startle the young girl. She was known as Kankanit, with glossy dark hair, eyes reflecting the excitable ocean. Mystery noises were heard from within the islands dense forest. Kankanit longed to escape, she had built a boat from materials that had washed up on the beach. Although it looked rickety, it held its own. But it had never been truly tested on the oceans magnificent waves. The boat, sitting quietly beachside, was bobbing up and down, awaiting its next adventure. Kankanit jumped aboard her rustic boat. Enthusiastically, she pointed the boat toward Ko Racha Yai. But the strong powers of Ko Racha Noi, clutched the boat, with force. The breathtaking view of Ko racha Yai glistened in the suns rays. Defiantly, Kankanit aims for the island, winning over the powerful force.

Kankanit's boat moored up in the dark secret passage way, hoping better times were ahead. As she entered the beauty of her new island home, the people of Ko Racha Yai greeted her cautiously. The tales of blood thirsty creatures lingered for a while. Over time, the people of Ko Racha Yai realised the girl was charming and pleasant.

Although the myth of blood thirsty creatures living in the dark secret passage way will always be told.

Short story reviews
Mr Webster
Wow Tillie, that is a wonderful story full of description and drama. You have a great opening 'The sun was setting over the Island' that immediately took us to your tropical Island. You have used some lovely vocabulary (feisty, rustic) and have obviously worked very hard to include adverbs (defiantly, unnervingly, enthusiastically). Your simile the 'sand danced around like ballerinas in golden dresses' is gorgeous.
I really feared that Kakanit wouldn’t make it to Ko Racha Yai, but she was determined and escaped. I wonder if there really is a blood thirsty creature on Lo Racha Noi?
Maybe a that's for another story... .

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Tilly M - Year 4
Holiday Disaster

On Monday 7th April, I woke up to see my family huddled around me. I was a bit nervous at first, but when I saw they were smiling from ear to ear I felt a bit more comfortable. My Dad started to open his mouth and said, “Guess what!”
“We are going on holiday today!” My Mum said joyously.
“We packed your bags for you when you were asleep.” My older Sister stated. “We” My Sister said. “Are” My Mum said. “Going” My Dad said. “On HOLIDAY” My Family chorused together. I started to think they had rehearsed this.

Once we were ready, we started to pile up our luggage into the boot, then we got in the car and buckled our seatbelts.

The journey to the airport took a long time. When we got there, we stood in line for AGES!!! Once we had got to the front of the line, they put our suitcases on an escalator that took them onto the plane. We went through security then went to look around the shops.

A few hours later, my Dad checked the time and realised we were late to the gate! We started shoving through the crowds of people to get to gate A. When we finally got there, my Mum realised we were GATE B!!! We had to carry on running and running until we got there and rushed in, we just about made it. That was not the only bad news, our seats were on different areas on the plane! (My Dad messed up when he booked our seats.) My mum was by herself; my Dad was by himself and I was with my sister. There was nothing we could do about it. We sat down and got settled.

About half an hour later, the air crew came along with snacks. My sister was asleep, so I got her some gummy bears, I got a lollipop and some lemonade.

A while later, you will never guess what happened… My Sister was now awake, and I was getting bored, very bored. I was just falling asleep when suddenly a crew member came sprinting down the plane holding a big net, he looked incredibly stressed and anxious, but nobody could work out what he was doing.
Unexpectedly, a loud, booming voice echoed out of the speakers saying, “Everyone, there is a problem! A passenger appears to have smuggled some poisonous snakes aboard the plane and they have escaped and are now roaming the plane!”
As the captain heard screaming, he started to say, “I know you may be panicked but try to stay calm, I am sure we can capture them quickly and all will be ……….”
The captains voice stopped…. a stewardess picked up the microphone – “The Captain has been bitten and has collapsed!” suddenly without the Captain flying the plane, it started to drift downwards.
“Stay calm, we will be getting our parachutes ready momentarily so we all can make a safe escape.” The stewardess ordered the passengers.

A few minutes later, we all were out of our seats and getting ready for the cabin crew to bring the parachutes, then suddenly… The poisonous snake was under our seats! Everyone started hopping about and standing on their seats to avoid being bitten by the snake. The cabin crew came rushing in and gave us the parachutes. They opened the escape door, and everyone leapt out of the plane. We all went soaring down and we landed on a beautiful island full off palm tree and seashells. My Dad realised that we had actually landed on the same island that we were supposed to be flying to on holiday in the first place!

After looking around for a while, we asked someone where the Crystal Cove hotel was which was the hotel we were staying in. We took a long nice walk to our hotel, we checked in then went up to the room for a rest. The hotel room had three bedrooms, two sofas, a MASSIVE fridge, and a balcony with an amazing view.

Over the next week, we had the best holiday EVER! We went to the beach, went surfing, went to the pool and lots more.
When it was time to go home, I said “I'm not going on a plane on the way home, lets take a ferry!”
So instead of us using our plane tickets to get home we brought ferry tickets and we all agreed NEVER to go on a plane again.

Short story reviews
Mr Webster
A lovely, fun story Tilly, well done (although I'm, not sure I would like to go on holiday with your family!!). 'I started to think they had rehearsed this' is a great line. I like the way you've based it on your own experience and used exaggeration to bring the humour. You've chosen your vocabulary well (echoed, momentarily and soaring). Good job!

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Bluebell - Year 4
Lan and the Dragon egg

It was a warm spring afternoon and Lan was cleaning the temples as she usually would. Out of the corner of her eye she noticed a shiny reflection on the wall, when she went over to investigate she realised it was a beautiful golden box! On the box was a key so Lan decided to open the box!

Inside was the most beautiful dragon egg, on the shell it looked as if it had been painted with watercolours. Stunning flower and gold leaf designs looked as if they danced around the egg shell that sat snug inside the heavenly looking box.

Lan knew she must find out who the egg belonged to, so she took a deep breath stood well back and spread her orchid wings and clutched the precious box as she took flight above the city.

In the distance she saw glimmering lights and what looked like lots of shadows moving around. Maybe this place would unlock the mystery of the dragon egg and who it belonged to. As she flew closer she saw it was a cave and was a bit afraid. "I hope we find who you belong to little one" said Lan. As she came closer to the entrance she landed gracefully and was greeted by a strange looking man. He had a long white beard, a tall purple hat and long pointed slippers. He looked very wise and looked into Lan's eyes and said "Lan, well done for bringing the egg safely to your sisters hatching ball". Lan was very surprised and replied "my sister, I don't have a sister?", "why of course you do" replied the strange man. "Who are you?" Lan asked, "I am the wizard of Hong Kong Lan and tonight your sister dragon will hatch and all the dragons of China are here to celebrate with you, so what are you waiting for?".

Lan could not believe it but all of a sudden the egg started to move in the box, she lifted the lid gently and stroked the top of the egg, all of a sudden CRACK, CRACK, CRACK! The egg was hatching and a little head popped out of the top the shell. It started to cry and so Lan quickly comforted the baby dragon. She was pure white with beautiful pink cherry blossoms on her scales. She sat in Lan's hand and instantly was calm. She blew a little smoke love heart up to her. In that moment Lan knew she was her baby dragon sister.

The wizard lead Lan and her sister to the ball and there they danced and celebrated the birth of her lovely sister and Lan knew she not only had a new sister but a best friend forever.

Short story reviews
Mr Webster
Bluebell, I'm so pleased that you continued Lan's story – it's a real treat to read your rich description ('Stunning flower and gold leaf designs looked as if they danced around the egg shell that sat snug inside the heavenly looking box'- wow!) and be transported to your magical Kingdom. Something that I am really pleased about (even if you didn't realise you were doing it!) is that you are using 'show not tell', for example 'she took a deep breath' shows us that it is time for Lan to be brave and do what is right, without you actually telling us – that's very clever! Well done Bluebell, keep up the good work. If you like, Lan and her sister (does she have a name?) could go on another adventure...
A small technical suggestion: Don't forget to start a new line each time a different person speaks – new line/newspeaker/.
Well done Bluebell

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Grace M - Year 4
The story of Heroda

A long, long time ago when the king Ongendus was ruling over Denmark his wife gave birth to a beautiful baby girl. They named her Heroda. Now from the moment she was born Heroda showed that what she loved more than anything else was fighting! By the time she was twelve she could beat every man and woman from the palace including her father!!!!!

She loved nothing more than racing through the woods looking for anyone to fight but most of the time people were so scared of her they just stayed away. This meant she felt lonely and didn't have many friends.

One day her father said “in the night a creature from death itself stalks through the land around our castle snatching anyone in its path. The monsters name is Gekor”! And like most children Heroda didn't believe it but she would wish she had… As I said Heroda did not listen until the fateful day her mother disappeared just like that into thin air. All over the Kingdom word spread about the Queen's disappearance and they started to get suspicious but suspicious as they were they had no proof of Gekor existing.

What her father and mother didn't know is that Heroda has magical powers. She can talk to animals and make anybody do what she wants. This means that she has quite a lot of power over this beast adding to her sword fighting skills. She decided to lie in wait for the beast not realizing what a risk she was making but her mind was set on revenging her mother even if it means DEATH!!!!!!

That night what she saw could not be real. The monster was half man half beast with greeny-yellow pale skin and smelling of rotten eggs and underpants!!!!! Heroda knew what she must do but she was so scared she lost her balance on the windowsill and fell down, down, down. Luckily for her she landed on something soft and squidgy and thought it was poo that had saved her fall but the smell was worse. Then she realized she had landed on Gekors back!!!!!!!

Heroda didn't know what to do so she clung on with what strength she had left inside her. Then after a night watching all the horrible things Gekor did, he finally, after what seemed like ages, stalked back to his lair. Inside his lair it smelled even worse than Gekor did so you can imagine how bad it was. Heroda hadn't noticed a sack and now she saw all the blooded corpses that he tipped onto the floor and sat down heavily beside them and started nosily gulping them down. When he was done he stood up so suddenly that Heroda fell off his back and onto the floor with a thud. Slowly Gekor turned around saw her and let out a deep bellow that shook the whole cavern so much Heroda had to take cover. As soon as the cavern stopped shaking she came out and slammed her sword into the monsters foot - of course it was useless, nothing could pierce the skin on Gekor apart from a spot on his tummy.

Heroda soon realized this, after more attempts that landed her on her backside. She decided not to use her weapons but her magical powers instead. She summoned up all her strength and connected her brain to Gekors (not literally) and told him what to do in a deep booming voice. Gekor clutched his head in pain trying lamely to block out the noise but it was too strong and he fell down dead. Heroda danced happily knowing she had avenged her mother. She then called her animal friend the stag and she rode home. When she got home her father rejoiced knowing he at least had his daughter and they lived happily ever after.

Short story reviews
Mr Webster
Well done Grace, you've understood the main features of Beowulf and created your own legend with a good plot and a lovely sense of humour. Heroda is strong main character, I love the twist that she is a girl and that you recognised the implications of her strength – that she had no friends. You used some good description – I particularly liked the description of Gekor and 'summoned up all her strength'. I think you could have spent a little more time in editing – reading the story out loud to yourself might have shown you where you slipped from the past tense, into the present tense and back again. I've really enjoyed reading your story and am glad that you shared it with us, good job!

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Mia D - Year 4
The Legend of Forteus
Chapter 1

Long long ago there lived a gigantic ogre called Grothar. Grothar lived in a dark cave by the edge of a big mountain in Germany. He was extremely strong and particularly bad tempered. His eyes were a piercing green and his blood-thirsty teeth were long and sharp like daggers to pierce through the bones of many men. And his nose was really big so he could smell things from miles away. When Grothar got angry about something, to make him feel better he would stroll into the village and hunt for people.

Not too far away from Grothar's mountain was a beautiful Bavarian city called Bergensdorf. It had a pretty river flowing through it, a luscious green forest and a magnificent castle where Queen Eadgyth lived. Queen Eadgyth was loved by her people but did not know how to protect her people from Grothar's attacks. One day she had an idea. She held a sword fighting competition to find the best person to take on Grothar. She held the competition in the city square. Everybody in the city surrounded to watch the fighters compete. They fought with swords, bare fists and with jousts. After a long day, the victor was a soldier called Arthur.

That night Arthur was sent out by the queen on his mission to find Grothar and kill him once and for all. He travelled in dark across to the other side of the mountain.

Grothar had a very good sense of smell though. He knew that somebody was coming. He hid behind a bush by the entrance to his cave and waited. When Arthur arrived it was silent. He crept quietly into the dark cave with his sword held high ready to swipe. Suddenly Grothar leapt out from the bush and chopped off Arthur's head killing him instantly with one swipe. Arthur was no more. Grothar dragged the corpse into his cave and quickly devoured it crunching through bones and chewing his bloodied flesh. He left nothing, not even one drop of blood. From above perched on a tree branch, a black crow was watching all of this. It took flight in direction of the queen's castle.

Chapter 2

The Queen was waiting anxiously on her balcony. Suddenly the black crow flew down and landed on the floor beside her. There was a flash of light and then amazingly the crow transformed into a man. “Hello your majesty, my name is Forteus”. The queen jumped back in terror. But quickly realized that Forteus was a force for good. Forteus explained what he had seen and how Grothar had known Arthur was coming. She was impressed by Forteus's ability to change into a crow. “It's not just into a crow that I can change your majesty” said Forteus.

Forteus had the ability to change into any animal that he wished. He was a “Shape Shifter”, able to change into any animal under the moonlight. The Queen begged him to help protect her kingdom from Grothar. She promised Forteus a reward if he could return with the head of Grothar. He accepted graciously.

That evening, Forteus had what could have been his last feast. Forteus knew that he was a mighty warrior and that unlike the others that had tried to defeat Grothar before him, he was the only one that had the ability to shape shift. The Queen was anxious. It had been many years since her kingdom has been free from the evil Grothar and the villagers had lived in fear knowing that Grothar could approach at any time.

It was a clear night. The moon shone bright casting a silver glimmer across the kingdom. There was a mild breeze in the air. Forteus knew that this was dangerous because being a clear night meant that Grothar would see them coming and the breeze would help him smell him coming. He needed a plan.

He bid farewell to the Queen and warned her that if he wasn't back by sunlight that she should assume the worst. He then transformed into a crow again ready for what could be his last battle.

Chapter 3

Forteus flew high and fast. The moonlight guiding him across the city and over the mountains. He saw from afar the cave where Grothar sat by a burning fire. He was chewing on the remains of a wild boar. Forteus, perched on a nearby branch mustering up his courage. All around the cave entrance were bones. It was a horrible gory sight. He flew again closer within meters of Grothar. He was ready to strike!

Grothar stood up and took a step towards his cave. He stopped suddenly and smelt the air. Something was wrong. Forteus , flew down to the ground and there was a flash of light! BOOM! A mist of smoke faded and instead of a crow, now stood a gigantic ferocious wolf. Forteus charged at Grothar knocking him to the rocky ground. Grothar punched away in defence and Forteus tore his sharp claws down into Grothar's arm. Blood flowed down his body but Grothar was strong. He stood tall again and held Forteus the wolf tight against a large boulder. Forteus was not finished though. He summoned his magical powers again. BOOM! There was another big flash and where stood a wolf now appeared a huge python! He slithered out of Grothar's reach, around his leg and up his body. He circled around Grothar's neck preventing him from moving. He struggled but the more he moved the tighter Forteus gripped around his neck. His breathing slowed and the he knew the end was near! Dawn was fast approaching and Forteus knew that his time was running out and he had to act quickly. Grothar was clearly stronger than he had anticipated and he knew that he had met his match.

The sun began to rise and daylight pouring in and with each ray of light, Forteus's grip loosened. Suddenly, Forteus was once again his human form. Grothar smiled, his mouth white and teeth ready to pounce. Forteus knew that he was now weak but he was not prepared to go without fighting to the bitter end. Suddenly, from the corner of his eye, he spotted Grothar's axe. He grabbed it quickly, moving fast and before Grothar knew what was happening Forteus pushed him to the ground and was towering above him. Forteus swung fast and chopped off Grothar's head in one swoop. The deed was done.

Chapter 4

The next morning, Forteus arrived at the Queen's magnificent palace with Grothar's head in hand. Crowds of people gathered at the gates. Forteus appeared on the balcony next to Queen Eadgyth and held Grothar's head high for everyone to see. There was a loud cheer that could be heard throughout the entire City. The queen was very grateful for his work. She announced to the kingdom that every year they will hold a grand party in the city's square to celebrate his bravery. They said that everyone was invited and should dress up as either a black crow, a wolf or a snake.

Even to this day, many hundreds of years on, the legend of Forteus lives on and will never be forgotten.

The End

Short story reviews
Mr Webster
Mia, you've written a great legend, based on Beowulf, but with your own twist (I love the magic element). I enjoyed all the descriptive language that you used (blood-thirsty teeth, waited anxiously, gigantic ferocious wolf, tight against a boulder) and the way you brought urgency into the story with 'dawn was fast approaching'. You must have edited your first draft quite carefully. Well done, a great job, keep up the good work.

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Mia D - Year 4
The Indian Boy

Chapter 1

This is a story about a heroic boy called Jai who is 11 years old. Jai lives in a small village in India called Bara. There are about 100 people in his village, a lot of whom do not have any houses or food.

Jai lives in a hut made from shopping bags sewn together. He lives with his mother, father, grand-father and aunt and uncle. He also has a three year old sister called Priya. His father is a farmer and often works 12 hours a day on the local farm. His mother has to do all of the cooking and cleaning for all of the village.

Although Jai and his family do not have much food and don't have any toys, they appear to be happy.

Every day, Jai wakes up at 5am and walks 3 kilometres to the nearest village to get water and carry two buckets of water back for his family. He would then have to walk 10 kilometres to get to school. They don't have any pens or paper so instead they use chalk to write on pieces of slate. Jai has a number of friends at his school, Ramu, Seeta, Hari and Ahmed. At break times they enjoy playing a game called Kancha. The game is played with round glass marbles and the motive is to collect as many marbles as possible by shooting and striking other marbles with the ones you have. This is Jai's favourite game and he often wins.

School generally finishes at 1pm and every day Jai would walk back to his village, have his lunch and then help his father our on the farm. His mother would usually make break on the open fire with some vegetables. Food was scarce so they had to make a little go a long way.

Chapter 2

One misty morning Jai was getting ready for school. He didn't have to wear a uniform and put on his orange t shirt and grey shorts. His t shirt was quite muddy but Jai didn't seem to care. He had few clothes and quite often had to wear the same clothes continuously. This was the way of village life as he was used to. Jai's mother packed his lunch and said that she could only give him an apple as they had no more food at the moment. His feet were hurting from carrying the buckets of water that morning and the sole of his sandals were coming apart but he loved going to school and seeing his friends so nothing was going to stop him.

He was walking on his way to school taking the usual muddy back roads when he heard someone crying. He looked around but all he could see at first were the clay huts crouching over the path and a lady in her sari washing her clothes in a bucket of water. He thought he must have imagined the crying and therefore carried on walking. He then heard the crying again and this time it became louder. He ran towards the sound and behind a nearby tree, spotted a girl crouching on the floor. When he asked why she was crying, she informed him that she couldn't find her mother and father and that she was very hungry.
The girl told him that her name was Geeta and that she was ten years old. She had been for a walk with her parents in the woods when she had seen a beautiful white peacock witch are very rare and so she had followed it. Before she knew it, she had found herself all alone, lost and hungry.

Jai took pity on the girl and decided that he would help her. She was famished and really hungry. Jai only had the apple that his mother had given him for his lunch. So, he decided to give his apple to Geeta. He could see that she needed it more than he did.

Geeta felt so much better. She was then able to retrace her steps and Jai helped her until she knew the exact way to get back to her house. By this time, he was very late for school and had to run all of the way, even though his feet were still hurting and he no longer had any food for his lunch.

Chapter 3

A week later, Jai's meeting with Geeta was a distant memory.

One day when Jai was helping his mother cooking, there was a big commotion outside their hut. Jai went to investigate. All of the villagers had gathered around their hut and at the front of them was Geeta. At first, Jai thought he was imagining things and that his eyes were playing tricks on him. Then his mother appeared by his side and she took, looked puzzled. Geeta came forward and spoke softly and said that there was someone that she wanted Jai to meet.

The villagers moved back and made way for the most beautiful golden carriage embellished in multi-coloured sparkling diamonds. The door to the carriage opened and out of it stepped the Maharaja and Maharani of India.

Geeta introduced them as her parents. They thanked Jai for helping their daughter the week before. Their servants then came forward laden with trays full of fruits, vegetables and gold coin. There were fruits that Jai had never been able to purchase before like strawberries ad raspberries that were bright red and juicy. Jai couldn't believe it. The Maharaja and Maharani told Jai that these were gifts by way of their gratitude for helping Geeta.

Jai burst into tears with joy. He couldn't believe what was happening. This day changed his life forever. He shared all of the fruits and vegetables with the local villagers and used the money to have a school built in the village and a water system. All of the villagers were also able to re-build their houses out of bricks.

Who knew that just by helping a lost girl, Jai's life would change forever.

The end.

Short story reviews
Mr Webster
Mia, what a wonderful tale, it really transports you to Bara. You've got some amazing insights into life in a poor Indian village. Some great vocabulary too - commotion, embellished and gratitude.
The moral of the story is also a good one for today - we should be helping even the most humble people, like Jai did, even in if were not expecting a reward, although that might come in one way or another.
Have you helped someone recently? You could tell us about it on the Young Leaders' Award page!

Ms Seccull
Wow Mia! This story really had the feel of a traditional Indian Tale - with it's magical white peacock and a poor girl who turns out to be a princess. I liked the contrast in descriptions at the beginning and end of the story.

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Bluebell S - Year 4
Long ago in the ancient city of Luoyang in China lived a young girl named Lan.

Lan spent her days polishing the floors of the old temples in the city and dreamt of saving the world one day.

One morning when Lan left to go to work in the temple a thunder storm hit the city, the buildings began to crumble and people were shouting and screaming and taking shelter. All of a sudden a thick black cloud appeared in front of Lan, out of the cloud came an evil witch.
The witch had long sharp fingers and her eyes were the colour of the cloud she had emerged from.

She spoke to Lan and hissed "finally we meet orchid dragon, I will destroy you and your city and you shall never see the light of day again". Lan was surprised and as she took a step back her feet turned into claws and when she looked at her hands they were turning into wings! They weren't just any wings they were beautifully coloured like an orchid, deep purple and pure white. She was magnificent! Lan was frightened but then she remembered that she's always wanted to save the world one day and maybe this was her chance.

Without thinking she blew flames at the witch and the dark cloud disappeared along with the witch. The people of the city came out of hiding and they bowed to the orchid dragon and thanked her for her courage and her kindness.

Lan did save the world, or at least her city and she will never be just a girl who polishes floors because she found the brave dragon within.

Short story reviews
Mr Webster
Bluebell, what a lovely story! Not only have you got lots of the features of a legend in there, but also some beautiful description and your main characters finds out new things about herself. I particularly liked: 'her eyes were the colour of the cloud she had emerged from', 'she was magnificent!' and 'she found the brave dragon within'. Lovely writing. Great job!
I wonder whether Lan has any more exciting adventures or battles that you could tell us about?

Ms Seccull
I loved this story Bluebell - it shows real imagination. I liked the oriental setting and the hero's tranformation into a dragon and the way you described the witch's eyes.

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Isla P - Year 4
Chapter 1

Long, long ago when powerful creatures still lived on the land and in the depths of the seas a beautiful Queen called Merribella ruled over the Danes. She spent her days sitting on her throne, hosting banquets and meeting with the important people of her country to resolve any problems that arose.

Taking her daily afternoon nap, Queen Merribella was awoken suddenly. The room was shaking like a frantic earthquake. CRASH! The most precious painting she owned (the one of her parents) shattered onto the floor smashing into hundreds of pieces. Saddened, the Queen rushed over to it sobbing. "My beautiful painting. It is ruined." she shouted in horror. The room continued to shake; her heart was pounding with fear. She called for her maids, but no one came. It stopped. The shaking stopped. Queen Merribella pulled herself off the floor to her feet. She was bewildered as to what had caused the shaking.

Several days later everything seemed to be back to normal, but still nobody understood what exactly had caused the grounds to move. Maybe it was an earthquake the Queen thought to herself. Her guards and officers certainly could explain this peculiar incident. Not everything was normal though. Families had reported children going missing. Disappearing into the unknown. This worried the Queen as her only son Casper was just a young boy. Even more than ever she wanted to protect him. Days continued to pass, and more and more children were going missing. Nobody had any answers. Nobody could explain. Families were sad and wanted their children to return.

Queen Merribella called her team of guards and officers together for an urgent meeting. "We have to do something. We must stop whatever or whoever that is breaking our families and stealing our children." She spoke firmly but her voice was shaking with fear. It was agreed that officers and guards from across the Danelands would pull together and guard the streets day and night until the mystery was resolved. Some would guard the villages. Some the towns. Some down by the harbour where the large long ships were docked.

Chapter 2

That night there was a strange feeling in the air. Ten of the Queen's finest guards and officers were patrolling around the port. The ships bobbed gently in the water. The moon was bright in the sky. A dark mist started to fill the night sky above the water. The waves were becoming faster and stronger. Before long. The boats were rocking frantically in the port. One of the guards shouted to his men. "Everyone look over there. What is it? Can you see what I can?" In the distance a great shadow smothered the ocean. What was it they thought to themselves? The shadow moved closer and closer to the shore – the guards were alarmed by the sight of this unusual thing… a creature… a monster from the depths. They all turned and ran to share their news with the Queen. They really didn't want to stick around to be harmed by this ‘thing'.

Whispers and rumours spread across the land quickly of an unusual creature from the depths. Children were still going missing and everyone feared for their lives – including the Queen. She did not want any more harm to come to her people, and especially not her son Prince Caspar. Something must be done and fast to stop this creature. BANG! BANG! BANG! It was the door to the castle. The Queen wasn't expecting anyone, so she sent her chief officer to go and see who it was. A tall strong-looking man stood in the doorway dressed in full armour with round shield and large glistening sword in hand.

"Who are you?" the Officer demanded to know.
"I am Fearon, leader of the Geats. I have heard the stories of a creature from the depths of the sea. It is known by the name of Fenrir. I have come to kill the monster."
"Go home," the officer insisted, raising his spear. "No one can defeat this evil creature."

Fearon pushed the officer's spear to one side and said, "I am prepared to die. I must at least try. No more children can go missing. This must end today."

Chapter 3

Fearon grasped his large sword and headed to the port with the Queen's strongest officers and guards. Queen Merribella was afraid to follow so she stayed behind, protecting her son. As Fearon approached the waters edge he whispered to himself, "You can do this. It is so dark out there, but you can do this." The Queen's men stood behind Fearon afraid. "The darkness you can see is the monster Fenrir. I SHALL defeat him!"

Fearon dived into the water, swimming deeper and deeper into the darkness of the sea. The water got darker, blocking the light from above. He did not give up. Fearon kept swimming further and further down. Just as the last glimmer of light from the moon disappeared something grabbed hold of him pulling him further down at speed. Fearon was face to face with Fenrir. Fenrir's eyes glared with hatred and evilness. "You will never stop me Fearon. This is the end for you!"

Fearon managed to tear himself free from Fenrir's firm grip. "This is the end of you… not me." His sword swung back like a bolt of lightening through the sky and pushed down towards Fenrir. He missed. The battled together for what seemed like hours. Fearon's needed air and soon. Summoning the last of his strength, Fearon hurled himself across the rocks and swung his sword for what would be the last time…

Far above, the Queen's officers and guards, and Fearon's men were waiting and watching in silence – all fearing he was dead. Just then, the water bubbled and frothed. Everyone staggered back in fright. Fearon appeared, gripping the head of Fenrir in is hand like a trophy. "The monster is dead he declared."

Fearon, the Geats and the Queen's men marched back to break the news to the Queen. They were cheering and chanting. Queen Merribella was so very grateful to Fearon not only for his bravery and courageousness, but for saving the future lives of all the children in the land. To reward him, she crowned him King of the Geats. The Nordic seas were a calm and a safe place once again.

Short story reviews
Mr Webster
Isla, you have a written a great legend in the style of Beowulf, using lots of the key features of a legend, exactly the sort of thing I was after, well done. Your use of short sentences to build tension and the way you started with everything still and calm (in Chapter 2) and built the drama up were particularly effective.
Vocabulary wise I thought 'bewildered', 'a great shadow smothered the ocean' and 'summoning the last of his strength' were fabulous. The whole story showed good imagination.

Ms Seccull
A gripping story Isla. I loved the way you built the tension in your writing, leading to - 'Just as the last glimmer of light from the moon disappeared something grabbed hold of him pulling him further down at speed.' - you couldn't resist reading to the end!

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