Highly Commended Story - Sub-junior Category
“Sammy The Squirrel” by Anna Ivanova, Volkschule 6 Auen, Austria (Villach), is the Highly Commended story in the sub-junior category of the first biannual Short Story Contest 2019.
Anna is a grade 3 student who lives in Austria. She aspires to be a paleontologist or a chemist. She likes maths and reading (English/German books). Her hobbies include swimming and dancing. Few years ago she could only dream about any dance because she had a problem with her right leg. But now she has overcome it and dances 2 hours per week, jazz and ballet. The story she wrote is to show other kids that they can reach what they dream about and to also be brave and smart.
Sammy The Squirrel
Once upon a time, a little squirrel named Sammy was packing her things, because her family had decided to go in the mountains for holidays…
She was the youngest in her family and very alone. Jake was her brother, but he and his friends had always laughed about her because Sammy couldn’t jump very well. At first Sammy was ignoring them but today she couldn’t hold herself. When Jake asked to jump and she couldn’t he laughed again. Sammy ran to her mum and asked where she can learn to jump well. “For the holidays we are going to the mountains where there are lots of trees and there you can practice a lot and learn how to jump. It should be much easier there”, said Sammy’s mother. Sammy was so excited and happy about this news! She hugged her mum and ran to pack her bag.
I need to tell you one important thing about this little squirrel. When Sammy was very young, she got ill and stopped walking at all. A special medicine injected into her knee helped her. Sammy suffered a lot from it. One day her mum met doctor Hedgehog, who was old and wise. He wanted to help Sammy, to make her life easier and he suggested her mum to start swimming lessons for Sammy. “But it is unusual for squirrels”, said mum surprised. “It is good for your daughter so it doesn’t matter what others think”, said wise doctor Hedgehog, “I’ve seen cats who swim, foxes and even monkeys. Why can’t squirrels swim?” So the next day Sammy’s mum started swimming lessons for Sammy. And six months later Sammy could swim like a frog and was able to walk without injections. One year later Sammy could swim like a fish and was able to run and to jump without injections. And now she has a new goal – to jump as good as her brother! Sammy was encouraged, brave and full of the energy to reach her goal.
Next day the squirrel family went to the mountains. Jake stayed at home with their grandma, because he had an exam the next day. It was even better for Sammy, she had more time to practice alone. Sammy decided to swim in the morning and to jump after lunch as much as she could. So next early morning she went to a lake and started to swim with her favourite style – freestyle. At the same time two owls were sitting on a branch of a tree and looking at her puzzled. One of them, Rara, said: “He-he-he. You are the first squirrel who swims. Why do you do that? ” “I swim because I want to jump very well. And that’s it”, replied Sammy. “But how is that connected?” asked the other owl, Roman. So Sammy told them her story. “You are a lucky girl! One friend of ours is the squirrel jumping master. He can help you. Come here tomorrow morning”, said Rara and Roman and flew away. Next day the owls were not alone. The handsome red squirrel was sitting on the next tree and looking at Sammy with big interest. Jumping master and Sammy became friends very quickly. Sammy was teaching him how to swim and Master was teaching her how to jump. They practiced every day. At the end of the week Sammy said “bye” to her friends and went back home with her family. She was sad to leave but friends promised to visit her every weekend, so it was not too bad.
The family was glad to come back. “Home, sweet home!” said mum. The first thing Sammy heard was Jake’s voice: “Hi Little, show me your jumping skills! “ Jake was ready to laugh at Sammy again but instead he stood with his mouth open - “Mum, is that my little sister or somebody else?” Sammy easily and quickly jumped from one branch to another. Sometimes it looked like she is flying. She was really good in jumping now. Sammy was proud of herself. “Well done, princess”, said mum. “Well done, Sammy!” said Jake. He respected her since then and never laughed at her again. They became the best brother and sister ever.