We are delighted to announce the winners of our Short Story Challenge – we had so many fantastic entries, our judges loved reading each and every one, so thank you to everyone who took part!
1st: Cupcake and Rocky – Ruby-Dee
2nd: Shelly the Break-dancing Tortoise – Frankie-May
3rd: Rescued Rex – Lily
1st: The Legend of the Brave Tawny Owl – Massimiliano
2nd: The Adventures of Captain Udder-Cow – Logan
3rd: The Enchanted Forest – Daisy
Our judges were also so charmed by the illustrations in one story that an additional prize was created and a Special Commendation for Illustration goes to;
Pugs and Peas – Oscar Alam
Here are our two winning entries;
CUPCAKE AND ROCKY
As a puppy, Rocky lived with his sister Cupcake (Cuppy for short) and his owner Peggy. Rocky and Cuppy loved curling up on the sofa with Peggy and getting lots of love. Cuppy and Rocky were Stafordshire Bull Terriers, Cuppy was white with brown/caramel coloured patches and Rocky was pure chocolate brown. Rocky had a little smile whenever you stroked him behind his ear! Or at least he did…Cuppy was a very happy puppy with a bubbly personality and an adorable, sweet, honest face, anyone who saw her in the street would ask to pet her and because she was such a friendly dog, Peggy would always say yes.
Peggy was a sweet old lady, bless her. She always tried her best to look after the two boisterous pups, but sometimes they were just so naughty!
One day Peggy had a huge accident. She immediately had to go to the closest hospital and to A&E. She fell down the stairs of her small house. In that moment, Rocky and Cuppy came to her and started licking her face ferociously. After examining Peggy’s face, Rocky knew something wasn’t quite right. Rocky barked until finally someone peered through the window and called the ambulance. The kind lady’s name was Callie, whose name will be mentioned again….
Peggy stayed in hospital for a few weeks until the hospital suggested that she lived in a care home near the hospital. Peggy thought it was a good idea, as she would have better care and a new friendly community. But, if she wanted to live there, she would not be able to keep her beloved doggies, Cupcake and Rocky. Peggy was very torn; she loved her dogs so much but being in a care home would be a better idea as she would feel safer. Peggy told the nurse that she would think about it, maybe call her daughter to check it’s the right thing for her to do.
The next sunny July morning, Peggy told the nurse to reserve a house for her. She knew it was the right decision all along, she just couldn’t bear the thought of letting Cupcake and Rocky go, but she had to. The nurse said she would take Peggy to the kennels (the dogs were being kept in the kennels) to say goodbye. At about midday, Peggy got into a wheelchair and the nurse took her to her dogs. Rocky and Cupcake were so excited that their master was back but they were confused as to why she was crying. Peggy left and the dogs were taken to a wonderful haven for animals called Ferne. They were scared at first but soon got used to seeing everyone.
One of the volunteer’s names was Callie, the lady who helped Peggy, Callie became so attached to the dogs that she adopted them both!
THE LEGEND OF A BRAVE TAWNY OWL
Once upon a time, in a very remote part of Norfolk, dusk was falling rapidly.
The tourists and the walkers had gone home for the day and were probably in front of their dinner by now. The sky was turning pink and yellow and the marshes were getting stomped on by lots of muntjac families. The trees were rustling in the wind as if they were talking to each other. The tide was washing away the white sand like a hoover and it was washing away the colourful toys left behind by naughty families on holiday.
Everything was silent and a little bit eerie…except for a faint TWIT TWOOOOOOOOOOO that was coming from the trees. If you had looked up carefully, you would have seen a group of tawny owls sitting on the branches. Their eyes were shining in the dark like two gold coins; their feathers were reddish-brown and their heads were cute and round.
All the owls were trying to spot their dinner: their favourite food was mice. But one owl wasn’t.
His name was Whatsino, he was a round, dinky and shaggy owl. He was a little bit different. He dreamt about becoming a legendary owl.
He did not know what to do to become legendary.
He tried to become a legendary explorer. After some great effort, he got to India. But the other owls were not impressed and boasted that they had got to the South Pole.
He tried to become a legendary singer. But tawny owls are great singers so he had too much competition!
Then he tried to become a legendary runner but his thick, stumpy legs made him do the splits in the mud! He had to be saved twice. The other owls teased him all night!
Little Whatsino was thoroughly disheartened.
For five nights, he sat on a branch staring at the ragged, barren landscape of the marshes. On the sixth day, at dusk, a terrified robin spotted him and shouted: “ Whatsino, Whatsino, we are under attack! Blaaccccckkkk Shuuuuuck has chosen us for his dinner!”
Whatsino shivered. He had heard of Black Shuck. He was a huge ghostly black dog with flashing red eyes. Not many had seen him but every animal, big and small, was terrified of him. The wretched hound apparently loved to prowl the coast in search of prey. Every now and then someone would disappear.
Briskly, Whatsino flew to the owls nest where his family was waiting for him. Whatsino saw his chance. He said: “No fear. Stay back while I defeat Black Shuck!”
In reality, poor Whatsino did not know if he felt brave or not. Could a scrawny tawny owl like him defeat a big ghostly dog?
He was an owl with a plan.
He prepared a scrumptious dinner of cockles, mussels, oysters and dead fish. He placed it on a big, shiny bamboo plate and served it with a glass of marshes- wine, on a beautiful strip of white sand.
Black Shuck smelled it, ran there and gobbled it all up. GOBBLE GOBBLE GOBBLE. All gone.
What he did not realise is that sadly for him, while he was eating, the tide had come up.
Black Shuck was stranded. He had been defeated by a tasty dinner!
Whatsino became a hero. His dream had come true. He was forever to be known as the legendary owl that defeated evil Black Shuck.