Highly Commended Story - Sub-junior Category
“Six Lost Puppies” by Tomi Omar, St Mary's International Schools, Ilorin, Nigeria , is the Highly Commended story in the sub-junior category of the first biannual Short Story Contest 2019.
Tomi Omar is 7 years old and an excellent writer. She is a quiet and reserved little girl with a strong sense of responsibility towards her siblings who loves to read all sorts of stories especially those about princesses and puppies. Tomi is inspired by her older brother and does her utmost to be a great example for her two younger ones. She would love to be a lawyer someday. ‘The lost puppies’ was inspired by her siblings and her own experiences. Telling her own version made her feel great.
Six Lost Puppies
Teri, Taba, Taca, Tunny, Snupi and Bafa were brothers and sisters and they loved to go on adventures. Home was the farm house on the edge of the woods. Every day, they ran to all the stalls to greet all the animals saying ‘Good Morning!’ yaps over and over again. One day, the puppies were snoozing in the sun when Snupi spied a squirrel run up the big tree at the edge of the woods. She jumped up.
‘What’s that?’ she yapped. She had never seen a squirrel before.
‘What? What? What? All the puppies asked except Baffy. He would not stop worrying the piece of steak he had in his mouth.
Mama cautioned her puppies. ‘Ignore that squirrel, children. He is a naughty one.’
Snupi was very curious. ‘I saw it carrying something big. What do you think it is Mama?’ she asked.
Mama yawned. The warm sun was making her sleepy. ‘It must have been a nut, Snupi dear. Let him be.’
Teri was the imaginative one. She spoke quietly to her siblings so Mama would not hear. ‘I bet that squirrel is a bandit and he steals crops from Farmer Jack.’
Tunny was the fearful one. ‘He wouldn’t!’ she whimpered.
Taba and Taca hopped about excitedly. ‘Let’s go get him! Let’s go get him!’
Snupi looked and saw that Mama had dozed off. ‘Yes, Let’s! Mama is sleeping we’ll be back before she wakes up.’
Tunny said ‘We shouldn’t!’
Snupi said as she ran ahead, ‘It’s not far, Tunny. See? We can see Mama from the tree so there’s nothing to be afraid of. Come on!’
The puppies except Baffy started to run towards the tree. Teri called back to Baffy, ‘Are you not coming Baffy? That squirrel may have something to eat.’
Baffy leapt up and followed quickly through the low grass.
The puppies ran to the tall tree. The squirrel was sitting in a branch holding on to a nut. He saw the puppies but he did not move. When the puppies reached the tree, they looked up at the squirrel.
Snupi said ‘Hello Mr. Squirrel! How are you today? This here is me and my brothers and sisters. My name is Snupi. What’s yours?
The squirrel did not answer. ‘How rude!’ said Teri. ‘Get down! Get Down!’ yapped Taca and Taba. ‘Is that a bone?’ asked Baffy. ‘Maybe we shouldn’t have come here.’ Tunny whimpered. Suddenly the squirrel turned about, ran up a branch and jumped into the next tree. Without thinking, the puppies followed. They kept following the squirrel deeper into the woods. They did not stop until the squirrel jumped into a hole in a tree. When they looked about, they saw that they were lost.
Tunny cried, ‘We are lost!’
Taca and Taba yapped ‘We can find the way. Come on, follow us!’
Snupi was more cautious. ‘Wait guys. How do you know the way?’
Taca and Taba said, ‘We just need to follow our noses!’
The others followed Taca and Taba until Taca went right and Taba went left. Snupi yelled ‘Come back!’ but it was too late. Now there were four puppies. ‘What do we do now?’ Tunny cried.
‘I think we should stay put. Mama will find us.’ said Snupi.
‘If we stay put, monsters can find us too.’ said Teri. ‘And I’m getting really hungry’ said Baffy. ‘What will happen to Taca and Taba? I’m scared!’ said Tunny.
‘It is getting dark. Let’s find a shelter. Hold on to each other’s tails and follow me.’ said Snupi. The puppies moved along looking for shelter, Snupi leading followed by Tunny, Teri and Baffy. Snupi got to a big tree with big roots. She stopped and looked back. ‘Where is Baffy?’ Poor Baffy was gone. Now they were three puppies. Tunny started to cry. ‘I knew we shouldn’t have come!’ Snupi, Tunny and Teri huddled up together and cried for their brothers. Suddenly they heard a noise above them and when they looked up they saw the squirrel looking down at them mischievously.
‘Have you silly puppies learnt your lesson?’ said the squirrel. ‘That will teach you not to follow us.’
Tunny said, ‘You horrid squirrel!’
‘Because of you, our brothers are lost forever!’ Cried Teri
Just then, lots of squirrels ran out of the bushes to the big tree and the three brother puppies came after. The girls jumped up and licked their brothers happily.
‘Enough of that nonsense and come on! We will lead you silly puppies home before your parents come after us.’
And so the squirrels led the six lost puppies back to the edge of the woods. All the farm animals were there, on their way to look for the puppies.
‘Mama! Papa!’ cried the puppies as they ran to them.
Mama and Papa checked their puppies over then looked angrily at the Squirrel.
Papa said, ‘Hello Sydney. Up to your shenanigans again I see.’
Sydney the squirrel shrugged. ‘Can’t help it Terence old chap. Let’s go boys!’ He and the other squirrels ran back into the woods.
The puppies learnt their lesson. They never chased naughty squirrels into the woods again.