Our 2022 Student Writing Competition Winners Series continued!
This week we celebrate Arabella Ellis from Fairfield School, who won First Place in the Year 7-8 writing category. Arabella’s beautiful story ‘The Golden Elephant’ most definitely deserved its first placing, awarded by author and judge Tessa Duder. Arabella received an Android Tablet from Noel Leeming, as well as a novel from the Matakana Book Store, as her prize!
You can read ‘The Golden Elephant’ and see Arabella’s Stylefit result below!
The Golden Elephant
Okavango delta: present day
¨Tell us the story! Tell us the story!¨
The calves swamped her giving her weathered flank persistent nudges.
¨ Ok, settle down¨ She rumbled affectionately.
It was an arid day the air was oppressive and even the young spindly painted wolves had retreated to their dens, their mottled pelts loping to shelter. She observed with suppressed amusement as the small elephants jostled for space. They stared up at Silver with wide eyes and unwieldy trunks twitching with apprehension. Silver noted the grateful looks as the older elephants were relieved of the boisterous young calves.
¨What story do you want to hear?¨ she swiveled her head.
¨THE ONE WITH THE GOLDEN ELEPHANT !¨ the calves exclaimed in unison.
Silver pretended to look thoughtful,¨hmm maybe I know the one¨ .
The young elephants watched her with indignant expressions as if a hyena had sworn at them and nonchalantly walked off. Amused Silver began…
Okavango delta: 150 years ago
¨Sonlig’s story begins on the African plains during the dry season. It was sweltering. A time where wilderness stretched unbroken from horizon to horizon. Animals milled on the plains below, pelts glossy in the sun. In a thick swath of grass a calf is born, Sonlig meaning sunlit. He is brawny and staunch all muscles and sinew. But his tusks are most remarkable. Instead of gleaming ivory white, they glowed almost luminous gold, as if the sun itself was encapsulated within his stark tusks. Legend has it that once every 150 years a calf like this is born destined to change the world. But like anything precious it is wanted. Humans came with guile and cunning determined to encapture the elephant. Sonlig was shrewd and sharp and would always outwit them. Lolloping behind a snake’s den so the hunters would pursue him right into a writhing mass of sinuous creatures. Or bellowing so loud a hostile male lion would come hurtling onto the scene. Whatever it was the hunters were hoodwinked countlessly. Soon Sonlig became a legend around animals and humans alike. They would tell tales of him with reverent, admiring voices. One day a lone hunter came along; he was callous and merciless. Other elephants pleaded Sonlig not to approach him, but Sonlig dismissed them with impetuous haste. There they stood Sonlig standing with his head lowered in a fighting stance. Hunter weapon unholstered.¨
Silver paused, watching the looks of awe encasing the calveś faces. She then continued.
¨The battle carried long into the night; gunshots, battle cries, faces contorted with fear and rage. Suddenly a sickening snap split the air. Sonlig´s tusk lay severed on the
ground. It was that moment when Sonlig realized how reckless he had been. Prid wavering in the rising sun he watched the triumphant hunter lug his tusk away, vowing to be more cautious and humble in fut..¨
A bewildered cry interrupted her story making her last word imperceptible.
“My calf, his tusks are GOLDEN!