This is a very special episode because it’s not written by us, but by one of you!
You may recall that we announced a story writing competition tied in to The Year of the Goat. This is what we said about it:
2015 will be the year of the goat or sheep. According to Chinese tradition, people who are born in the year of the goat are mild, shy, and perhaps a bit pessimistic. They are also artistic.
Can you write a story about a person (or an animal) who is a bit shy? Or just mild mannered. You can also write about New Year or about a goat or a sheep. Perhaps your character would be a clever goat.
We said that this competition was for supporters of Storynory whose parents had sent us a gift via PayPal or Joyride or supported us in one way or another. We want to thank everyone who has helped us.
We really enjoyed reading your stories. In fact they are so good that it’s that hard to pick a winner. Some are about goats and sheep, others about shyness. We’ve decided to read a few stories over the couple of coming weeks. If yours is not included, it’s probably because it did not really fit the theme that we asked for. But they were all great writing, so better luck next time.
Story by Leela Kingsnorth.
Read by Natasha.
Proofread by Jana Elizabeth.
The Goat and the Gold -
Once upon a time, in a grubby field in England, lived a goat called Tommy. Tommy lived with his mum and dad, who were very kind, and he had a lot of friends in nearby fields.
One day, Tommy was nibbling grass at the edge of his field when he heard the greedy farmer who owned him talking to his wife.
"We need to buy a new field for these goats," said the farmer, "they are eating everything. There is a field two miles away, with lush green grass and beautiful bushes. We should buy the field before anyone else does. Then we can fatten them up for dinner."
Tommy was worried to hear this. He wanted to tell his mum and dad, but they were away being milked. Tommy decided that when night came, he would go and look for them. So when the farmer had gone, and the day was ending, Tommy ran through the gate which the farmer had left open. But he quickly realised he didn’t know which way to go in the dark. So he took a guess and turned left, and ran as fast as his legs could carry him.
Tommy felt a bit scared running through the dark countryside, but he kept going. It wasn’t long before he saw a lot of lights up ahead. He was curious, as he had never seen anything like this before, so he went towards them and found himself in a city.
The city was big and noisy and frightening. He found a quiet corner and hid behind it, but it wasn’t long before he saw a light coming fast towards him. It was a ship! Tommy realised that he was hiding by the harbour wall. He watched in excitement, wondering what would happen.
The ship docked at the harbour and a big, rough man approached with a sack. Another rough looking man on the ship waved at him.
"Here it is," said the first man, throwing the sack onto the ship. It landed with a clinking sound. "We’d better be quick," said the man, "or they might catch us."
Tommy was puzzled. What was the man frightened of, and why had the bag made that sound? What could it have been? When the men’s backs were turned, Tommy sneaked down to the ship. He was longing to see what was in the bags, but he couldn’t quite see from the shore. He couldn’t resist sneaking onto the boat to solve the mystery. And he did – inside the nearest bag, he saw hundreds of gold coins!
Suddenly, Tommy heard the men approaching. He leapt behind a box to hide, and heard their gruff voices.
"It was hard work stealing this from the queen," said one of them, "but I managed it."
"We’d better follow our plan and escape quickly," said the second.
"You’re right," said the first man. "Let’s set sail for Africa right now. They’ll never catch us there."
Tommy felt the ship slowly start to move away from the dock. This was terrible! He was going to be taken to Africa! He would never see his mum and dad or any of his friends again! What could he do?
Luckily for Tommy, it wasn’t long before the ship began to slow down again. He felt it bump into the shore, and heard the men go to tie it up. He looked carefully over the top of the box. He saw green fields. This wasn’t Africa. In fact, it looked familiar…
"Let’s stop here for lunch before we go further," he heard one of the men say. "We’re away from the city now, so the queen won’t find us."
Tommy waited for a while and then peeked out. He saw the men eating and drinking at the front of the boat. Grabbing his chance, he ran down the gangplank, and onto the shore. He looked around. He recognised these fields! This was the dock near his home. His friends lived just over the hill.
Suddenly, Tommy had an idea. It was brilliant! He knew how he could stop the thieves and save the queen’s gold. He ran over the hill towards where his friends lived.
Ten minutes later, the two men on the ship had finished their lunch and were starting to stir.
"Right," said one of them, "let’s set sail for Africa quickly."
"Good idea," said the other. "But … can you hear that strange noise?"
From over the top of the green hill came a strange rumbling sound. Then, suddenly, the men saw a terrifying sight. A huge herd of goats was charging down the hill towards them! Some had fierce teeth, some had big beards and some had ferocious horns! The men were so frightened that they leapt into the sea and swam for their lives. Tommy and his friends laughed when they saw them swim away at top speed.
"We saved the gold!" said Tommy. And they had. To thank Tommy for his bravery, the queen herself gave him one of the bags of gold as a reward. Tommy and his mum and dad used it to buy a huge lush green field, far away from the cruel farmer. And Tommy, his family and all of his friends lived there happily ever after.
And that’s a really lively story about an adventurous goat. It was written by Leela Kingsnorth, aged 7. Thank you Leela for sending us such a well written story. We really enjoyed it.
We would also like to thank everyone who has supported Storynory and say to parents, just as a little hint, that we have a big Donate Button on the front page of Storynory. We really do appreciate any help you can give us.
I’ll be back with another competition winner tomorrow.