Michael Morpurgo has chosen the winner for our 2019/20 Creative Writing Competition. We were very pleased to be able to send him three entries from our shortlist, and he chose the following short story by Eva Vincent. Eva will receive an iPad in the post soon, and next term we hope to visit her school Colyton Grammar to award them with £100 to put towards library books. Congratulations Eva!
“Look, there are zebras in the field!” Grandma said.
Of course, there weren’t any zebras. Grandma was seeing things again. The only thing that was in that field were cows. That was what had always been and would always be.
There was a battered old tractor, thundering up and down a dusty dirt track and weary shuffling cows herded to and from tumbledown sheds to overgrazed fields,
Everything was calm, calmer than it had been in a long time. Where there had once been dirt tracks there was a concrete pavement. No tractors would drive down them again.
The sheds had been rebuilt and the fields had been surrounded with tall fences, kept in better condition than they had ever been.
Grandma had been seeing animals in the fields for a while now. While there had always been cows in the field, she had started mistaking them for different things. Nobody questioned it, thinking it was just a joke. But then it started getting serious and by then, it was too late. She only got worse over time.
There were no cows in the fields anymore. Instead, there were creatures of all different kinds, from giraffes and camels to tigers and wolves. Every type of animal lived in a special enclosure, carefully designed to fit their needs. They had been better taken care of in the short time they had been here, than the cows on the farm had lived in their entire lives. Nobody had been able to take care of the cows but now they had been replaced with exotic species, people were practically lining up to look after them.
If someone had asked what the farm would become a few years ago, nobody would have ever said a zoo. People would have thought it would have collapsed or sold to rich people with horses.
“Look, there are zebras in the field!” Grandma said, looking out of the window into the field.
I looked out and smiled. “Yes, there are Grandma.”
By Eva, 13