Highly Commended Story - Sub-junior Category
“Sugar Rush” by Sindhuja Govindaraju, Oakridge International School, India, is the Highly Commended story in the sub-junior category of the first biannual Short Story Contest 2019.
Sindhuja is a Grade 3 student at Oakridge International School in Bangalore, India. Her passion is arts & crafts, reading, and dancing to her favourite songs. She also loves pony riding and enjoys nature. Her favourite books are Thea Stilton and Judy Moody. When she grows up, she wants to pursue a career in a creative field.
Once upon a time there was a girl called Elly. She was seven years old. Elly hated healthy food. That is why her teeth were so yellow and dirty. Her parents used to yell at her “Don’t you know how to maintain your teeth?” But she refused to eat healthy food. She also found brushing very boring. To avoid brushing, she used to spend some time in her bathroom with the tap on, so that her parents would think that she was brushing. Later she would step out of her bathroom wiping her face. Elly was also afraid of ghosts, and so she usually took very quick baths. But when it comes to sweets, she would go wild! Her eyes would become big, and her mouth would water. She would jump up and down and scream “I want an ice cream or a cup cake or a dessert!” “Sssshh … everyone is watching you. Besides, cakes and cup cakes are not healthy”, her mother would warn. Her father would also agree with Elly’s mother and say, “Why don’t you try some fresh veggies?” But Elly didn’t want anything to do with healthy food.
One night, when the family sat together for supper, Elly did not eat even one bite because she was served a dish made of cabbages. Her mother encouraged her to try at least one bite, but she refused and angrily rushed to her room. She had a secret storage area in her room that was full of candies. Elly ate many candies and went to sleep. That night she had a strange dream - a beautiful angel appeared and took Elly to an enchanted garden of fruits and vegetables. “Eeww …” said Elly as she saw a few tomatoes, “I don’t like vegetables”. The angel smiled and said “that is why I brought you here”. “Huh?” Elly wondered. Meanwhile, her parents were having nightmares! They were about Elly becoming obese or Elly losing all her teeth or even Elly getting fractured!
In the kitchen, the angel chopped some carrots into star shapes. Then she boiled some water, added some mint leaves and put the carrots into the water. After some time, she strained all the water and served the carrots in a separate bowl. She said “I am participating in a cooking competition, so I need someone to taste my dish. It is called Minty Carrots. Can you taste them for me?”. “Carrots? But I don’t like carrots”, replied Elly. The angel requested Elly to just try one small piece. Elly agreed and when she tasted it, she cried “it is so delicious!” Later the angel cooked a few more vegetables. Elly tried them all and said, “They all are so tasty!” Suddenly the angel, kitchen and the enchanted garden mysteriously disappeared. Elly woke up and said to herself, “What a strange dream!”
Later that day, Elly asked her mother if she could make Minty Carrots for her. “Minty what?” her mom asked in a puzzled voice. “Minty Carrots, mom”, said Elly confidently, “they are a type of veggies I saw in my dream”. But her mom brushed her off saying, “Dreams are not real, plus I never heard of such a vegetable”. Meanwhile Elly’s dad entered the room and heard their argument. He said, “Elly, why don’t you come to the supermarket and show me what they are?” Elly agreed and all three of them drove to the supermarket. Elly searched every single aisle there, but could not find Minty Carrots anywhere. Disappointed, she returned to her mother rather gloomily. “Apparently Minty Carrots are not sold here, mom” said Elly sadly. Her mother was surprised, “How is that possible? This supermarket sells every kind of fruits and veggies”. They returned to their car and drove back home. Elly sat quietly throughout that drive.
That night, the angel appeared in Elly’s mother’s dream. The angel gave her the recipe for Minty Carrots and asked her to make it for Elly the next day. Next morning Elly came to the breakfast table and saw something familiar. It was the Minty Carrots! Elly screamed with delight and finished them off in no time. Her parents were very happy to see her get excited by vegetables. Soon Elly changed her food style. Instead of junk food, she asked her parents to make all types of veggies. Her parents quietly thanked the angel for changing their daughter.