(Gold Award winner for Stage 2 in the BOSTES NSW 2015 WriteOn Competition! The official anthology of winners - including this story - is available from the BOSTES NSW Shop.
Background to the WriteOn Competition: NSW primary school students are invited to write a 500-word narrative of any type, inspired by the photo on the right.)
Hi there! Look at me! Most people can’t get their eyes off me, nor can they stop saying things like “awwwww!” or “it’s so cute!”
I’m a seal. The staff here at Tamarama Wonderland calls me Flippers (though mum really named me Iceberg), and I live in a large pond with mum, dad, auntie, uncle and my two brothers. I can do many marvelous things with my big glossy flippers, but there are just a few things I can’t do.
I can't fly. That's why I’m jealous of Airem Scarem, a weird wobbly creature also living in Tamarama that the humans call an airship. Even though he can’t fly all that well either, the humans he carries and those watching from the beach still wave their ridiculous arms in bird-imitation excitement. Except for Airem Scarem, everything seems great until we get neighbors one day…
“Maaarrpphhh!” I complain as the large fat Eskimo squishes against me, snoring louder than an avalanche.
Life in the seal pond is a breeze until the three Eskimos decide to take up residency with us. YES, here in the seal pond! With an igloo and sharpened icicle spears and everything. Apparently it’s the new park attraction for the school holidays – as if I were not attractive enough already!
“Zzzzzzz…..” he goes again. I heave myself and give the annoying human ten sharp slaps with my flippers. Ha, take that! Finding another place to sleep, slowly I drift off into a deep sleep….
The wind raked my clothes and a fierce storm was brewing and it was chucking giant waves this way and that. Clothes?? I stared at my flippers but saw that they had turned into human hands. I was floating above the frenzied sea with its inky black waters rising up and down below me. If I hadn’t felt so scared I would have felt glorious. I was flying!
I felt a jolt and realized I wasn’t soaring alone. I was riding in Airem Scarem! “Maaaaaaarrpphhh!” I shrieked with mixed emotions: I was scared, I was nervous, I was exhilarated!
From behind came the sound of soft frightened breathing. Whirling around, I saw a big plump Eskimo crouching behind me, holding on to the airship for dear life, still clutching an icicle spear.
Before I could reassure him, the airship suddenly began to sink towards the ocean, whose waves were waiting to swallow me into a whirlpool of darkness. Cold water raced up my ankles, my hips, and soon I was fully submerged and struggling for air.
Surprisingly, in the next blink my vision began to strengthen underwater. I was a seal again! I paddled easily for shore, seizing my Eskimo pond-mate as I passed. Then a dark shape descended upon us and I could only think “KILLER WHALE!” and I screamed and tried to swim but then…
“Marrpphh marrph maaarph!” I wake up panting, flippers still flipping frantically. Wow, am I glad it’s just a nightmare!
The Sunny Zoo
The animals at the Sunny Zoo enjoy their many freedoms, including having access to the Internet and a blog.
(C) The Sunny Zoo 陽光動物園 2017