Sub-junior 3rd Prize Winning Story
“The Circle of Life” by Advita Ghelani, Rustomjee Cambridge International School, Dahsiar, India, is the Third Prize winning story in the sub-junior category of the second biannual Short Story Contest 2019.
The Circle of Life
Alice was a little girl of six. She lived on the outskirts of Vaduz, Liechtenstein near the forests at the foot of the Alps. Vaduz almost always had light rainfall and occasional snow in winters.
Being an only child Alice got lonely, often talking hours on end to an old cherry tree that stood tall just outside her house. She loved to hear the birds chirping melodies and the squirrels making funny sounds. Most of all she loved the cherry tree. She found comfort in its rustling leaves and the swaying of its branches.
One morning as Alice walked to the window, she noticed that the cherry tree had been cut down. In the place of its old wide trunk there stood a short stump. A tear rolled down Alice’s cheek as she stared in disbelief. She ran up to her bedroom crying. Alice wailed, “Oh my best friend, what have they done to you!” As Alice’s mother walked past her room she heard her crying. Knocking on the door she asked “Honey why are you crying?”
Alice slowly opened the door with a sad face and replied “Mama, they’ve cut down the cherry tree! My best friend is now a pile of logs!” She hugged her mother sobbing into her apron.
The next day to cheer Alice up, her parents took her to see her favourite Disney movie, The Lion King. In the movie Mufasa explained the circle of life which puzzled Alice and she remained gloomy.
On a rainy day, as she ate the last cherry from bowl that was full, Alice asked her mother “Mama, what do you mean by the circle of life?” Her mother smiled and replied “Honey, whatever begins must come to an end. It changes its form and comes back again.”
“Even my cherry tree? Can it come back?” Alice asked. “Yes.” replied her mother as she led Alice to the garden to plant the seed in her hand.
A few days later a sapling had pushed its way out of the soft ground with two little leaves holding dew drops. Alice was amazed.
Years later Alice saw red dots outside her window. As she stepped outside she saw cherries on the tree. There were birds nesting and squirrels leaping. A whistling thrush squealed in delight. Alice smiled a knowing smile. She could see the circle of life.