Outstanding Story (Sub-junior) - The Sharp and Half Witted
“The Sharp and Half Witted” is one of the outstanding stories (sub-junior) of the first biannual International Short Story Contest 2019 written by Ahube Zaneta Nene, RA International School, Bonny Island, Rivers State, Nigeria.
The Sharp and Half Witted
“Good morning Cupcakes!” Mom yelled, “You aren’t going to sleep all day, are you?” “Not again” Hazel and I grumbled almost in unison. Mom is a little harsh on us when it comes to long hours of sleep; she’d do anything possible to get us to bed early but Hazel and I aren’t early sleepers. We asked Mom if we could sleep a little longer but she insisted on us bathing and getting ready for our daily chores.
Mom does most of the house chores: she milked the cow, dusted the table and fed the chickens every dusk and dawn. She got out our wears for any events, be it shopping, gardening or berry-picking. She orders the delivery boy to bring us The Days magazine every morning.
‘The Days’ kept us busy when we were bored and grandfather too.
Mom called us downstairs to eat our breakfast and when we were satisfied, she announced that she was going to the supermarket to buy some fruits and that we shouldn’t go anywhere or open the door to anyone. Immediately after mom stepped out, as Hazel wasn’t truly satisfied she wanted to have a taste of the apples in the neighbour’s garden. “Guess what happened?” Hazel was just about to open the door when I screamed, “Where are you going?”
And then she explained the whole thing, but my reply was that mom had told us not to go anywhere. But Hazel dragged me out of the house and I had no way to go back because she would cry her eyes out.
When we got to the garden, we started plucking apples from the tree. Just about when we were struggling to pick one large, red and presumably the best apple on the tree, the owner of the garden came out and saw us. Fear gripped both of us. I thought of loads of things to do. I thought of running but, “Would Hazel catch up with me?” I asked to myself. Just as Hazel and I looked into each other’s faces, we decided to give the woman one last glance and take off when she spoke in the nicest voice I have ever heard:
“Sweethearts, come over and have a snack instead of wasting your energy” she said, “I have some fresh apples in the house too in case you want them.”
So we followed her but first with caution. Just as we saw that she meant her words, we felt a bit relaxed.
While we were inside her house, she asked what we wanted to eat. Well for me, I didn’t want to eat anything but Hazel definitely would choose the pie because it was one of her favorite foods. After she had finished her pie, the woman told both of us to have a taste of the candies she bought yesterday. Before I started licking my candies, I remembered that my mom had once told me never to take candies from anyone so I asked the woman for a nylon bag so I could put the remaining candies that I won’t finish. Then she said ok and gave me nylon without knowing that I was going to keep every candy inside it. When I had finished tricking the woman, I told her that I wanted to leave with my younger sister but she closed the door and told us to have a nap in her room.
Immediately I knew something was fishy and I didn’t want to show her that I was nervous. Hazel and I pretended as if we were sleeping and just as we scanned the room, we noticed other children sleeping in another bed separated by thin curtains.
Suddenly, one of them stood gently holding her tummy and groaning. My sister, Hazel too started to show signs of pain. “There is something wrong with the candies” I thought quickly, I pushed my sister to the ground and made the pillows look like humans, then covered them so that the woman wouldn’t know that we had gone.
When I had finished doing all this, I dragged my sister all the way to the house and while we were almost home, the woman suddenly realized that we were gone. She gave us a hot chase but we were too fast for her.
We panted hard and ran so fast, scampered and endured the long crooked way home. Our hearts were filled with fear that she might lay ambush for us but just by luck, we got home safely.
There was a large crowd in front of our house and it didn’t take us long to know that a search crew was about to be formed.
“Mum!” I screamed very loud, just like in the movies, she turned round swiftly and ran towards us. Tears of joy dropped from all of our eyes and she didn’t have the time to ask what happened. Her joy actually cleaned those questions of her hearts.
She ran to me giving me the biggest hug I could ever imagine. Then she asked,
“Where have you been sweeties?” Then I explained the whole story and after this, she scolded Hazel and we all learnt our lessons.
“Dad will be proud of you girls,” she said.