Here is a story by 11-year-old Zoe Watson chosen for February – yes, I know it’s March but I am catching up! NZ Post Book Award finalist Dirt Bomb by Fleur Beale will be reviewed here shortly so watch this space. Also remember Fleur Beale will be choosing her favourite story from student submissions this month. Closing date is 10 March so get those entries in. Competition details are here. Please note the 750 word limit.
And now onto Zoe’s story…
Lucy’s Adventure at Les Prevoyants de L’Avenir, Paris 1893
by Zoe Watson, Whangarei
Bonjour! My name is Lucy and I am nine years old. I live in a village near Paris with my mother and father and Molly, my black miniature poodle. In 1893, I had the most exciting adventure in Paris and this is my story.
Friday 11th August
Clara our cow kicked over the milk bucket this morning. Now there is no milk to sell at the market. Maman and Papa will be very angry. So I have decided to run away with Molly. We will go tonight. I have taken some bread and cheese from the pantry but it won’t last long.
Saturday 12th August
Last night I gave Maman and Papa extra big bedtime hugs. When everyone thought we were fast asleep, Molly and I jumped out the window. We ran along the canal path until I found an empty stable where we slept for the night. It was nice and warm but I miss Maman and Papa.
Now I’m so cold I can’t feel my toes. Molly is shivering in my best coat and she has made the inside very hairy! We were very hungry but have eaten the bread and cheese. It was nice but the cheese had gone warm from being in my pocket.
We will walk towards the city of Paris and hopefully Molly can earn us a little bit of money for food by doing acrobatic tricks.
We walked all morning. I was hot and thirsty until I found a drinking fountain in a village. A lady directed me to a blackberry patch, where Molly and I had a feast of blackberries. Funny that dogs like berries but I guess she was rather hungry. After a rest we continued walking along the path past more blackberries.
We met a boy about my age and showed him our tricks. A grown-up saw us and asked if we would like to join them in the circus.
Sunday 13th August
Last night my new friend, Jean-Luc, and his family let us share their caravan. This morning, I was rattled awake by the caravan bumping over a cobbled road. I looked out and saw the Eiffel Tower! I am so excited, now we are definitely in Paris!
The men are setting up the big tent. We have costumes for the show. Mine is blue, silver and red. Molly has a little red and gold one. We look like acrobats. I feel excited, nervous, happy and sad all at the same time.
I put my old dull hat in front of us and Molly performed. She was great and lots of people put money in the hat! But then the cannon from the circus frightened her and she ran into the crowd. I scooped up my hat and followed her. Eventually, I found her and she crawled into my arms. We tried to see where we were, but we were lost.
At that moment I heard someone call my name. It was Madame Musique, the lady Maman and Papa work for. Tonight we are staying at her hotel and it is very nice.
Monday 14th August
Madame Musique took us back to the circus this morning where we found Jean-Luc and his family. They were going home past our village so we went with them. At the end of our road, we sadly said good-bye. Then I ran home with Molly yapping beside me.
I am so happy to be home. Maman and Papa had been very worried so they were glad I came home safely too. Best of all, Papa bought a second cow with the money Molly and I earned in Paris.