Highly Commended Story - Sub-junior Category
“Anna and the Apple Forest” by Jacinda Adelaine Jap, Binus School Serpong, Indonesia, is the Highly Commended story in the sub-junior category of the second biannual Short Story Contest 2018.
Jacinda Adelaine Jap is a Grade 4 student of BINUS School Serpong who loves to play the piano and write short stories. Her stories are mostly about fairytales and world of dreams. One of her favourite books is Hansel and Gretel. Her ambition is to become an author and a pianist. Jacinda has a spirit of gratitude. She takes notice of every small and simple blessing in life.
Anna and the Apple Forest
Once upon a time, in a village, there lived a mother and her beautiful little daughter named Annie. Both of them lived in a small house that was nearby the apple forest. People in the village were really scared to go inside the forest as there were many myths related to it. Some said the forest was haunted, for some it had a giant dragon, for some evil monsters and the stories were many more.
Since Annie’s father died when she was young, her mother tried her best to earn money to buy food for the family. She was the only one who dared to go in to the forest as her main source of income was the money by selling the apples. Every day, she went to the forest to collect the apples in her basket and sold it in the market. She never thought of anything bad in her mind while entering the forest, so the apple trees swayed and showered apples whenever she came. She always reminded to leave the remaining apples for the animals to eat. She never let Annie go inside the forest.
Months passed and Annie grew bigger but to her bad luck, her mother was bedridden for a week and one stormy night, she passed away. Annie was so sad and upset. She cried for days until she realized that she should take over her mom’s job of collecting the apples from the forest. In her mind she was scared as her mother never let her go inside the forest. One morning, she gathered her courage and went to the forest. When she entered, she could feel the fear inside her and without thinking further she ran back to her house. This was repeated for few days.
Annie thought about this in her mind, “If I continue to be scared, I will not be able to find money for my living, I need to be brave and strong.” The next day, she felt more courageous and with her basket, she entered the forest. Annie didn’t let fear enter her mind. When she entered, she felt a new feeling as if the forest was inviting her to come inside. Around her, she saw huge apple trees full of big red apples and the trees swayed and showered apples on the forest floor. Without hesitation, she collected the apples that could fit her basket and she left the remaining apples on the floor.
Finally, Anna was as famous as her mother by selling the best apples for the villagers. She was happy to go inside the forest every day and the trees also welcomed her wholeheartedly. She roamed around the trees, shared her stories and sometimes slept in the shadows. Even the animals became her friends. Anna continued to sell apples to the villagers for many years until she grew old. If Anna wasn’t brave and courageous, she would have never entered the apple forest and her livelihood would have been something different.
So, friends be brave and courageous and always be ready to face the world.