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The Dogs Trust Short Story Competition 2021: The Winners

Well, here we have it, Our two big winners. What a privilege it was to read all these stories, and what a burden it was having to select two winners, but once you read these tales, we’re confident you’ll agree with our decision, tough as it was.

 

The winner of the Junior category is Amy Rose, who is just 8 years of age. Amy Rose’s story “The Big Audition” explores the exciting world of showbiz and has plenty of twists and turns along the way. We were so impressed by the story, but also the quality of the prose in this wonderful piece. Well done Amy Rose.

 The Big Audition

Finally Lockdown was over, so myself and my dog booked an audition! Ok, I’ll go back to the start. It was a normal day at school. I was walking through the corridor when I noticed an audition on the school notice board, for a girl and her dog. I unpinned the poster and put it in my pocket. I skipped into class knowing my dog Gracie would love to be on TV.

As soon as the school bell rang, I jumped out of my seat and raced home. When I told Gracie we had an audition, she started jumping and barking and I could have sworn she tried to dance – that didn’t go well. I rang the number on the poster, and they told me more information about the audition. They said the audition was for an ad advertising a new food called “Yum Yums For Pups”. What   we had to say was really simple. All I had to say was “So come get you’re Yum Yums For Pupps today!” and all Gracie had to say was “Roof roof”. We practiced until we heard “DINNER!” coming from downstairs.

The day before the audition, Gracie and I were practicing.

“You’re getting much better, Gracie” I said.

“Roof” – that means thank you, I think.

The day had finally come. The day of the audition.

“Are you exited?” I asked. Gracie said she was exited and nervous, but I couldn’t blame her. Who wouldn’t be nervous? Gracie and I went downstairs to eat breakfast. After breakfast I got dressed and brushed my teeth, I got Gracie into her harness and I got ready to go to the audition.

To get to the audition, we had to go through the park and Gracie was veeeeeeeeery happy about that. As we walked through the park, we saw dogs and dogs and guess what, more dogs! When we were towards the end of the park, we saw a beautiful white butterfly flying around us. The butterfly landed on Gracie’s nose and when it flew off her nose, Gracie’s gaze followed it. I unclipped Gracie’s lead as I said “Go on Gracie, there is plenty of time before the audition. What could possibly go wrong?”, at least that is what I thought at the time, before we got LOST!

“What are we supposed to do now?” I asked, hoping for an answer. Gracie stuck her nose into my pocket and pulled out the poster. “Gracie! You’re a genius!” She gave me the poster so that she could sniff it. When Gracie had sniffed the poster, she got to work finding the building where the audition was held.

The audition went very well – Gracie and I thought so anyway. The next day, we were sitting down to watch our family show and we saw the “Yum Yums For Pups” ad with Gracie and I playing the girl and dog. I had never felt so proud of myself and Gracie.

THE END

 

The winning story of the senior category is called “The Coriolis Effect”, and was written by Benjamin, who is 11 years of age.

Benjamin is clearly a clever chap. In fact he taught a few of the education team what the coriolis effect is, and if you don’t know yourself, keep reading, and Benjamin will teach you too! This story was strikingly mature, and we all loved it.

Well done Benjamin.

 

The Coriolis Effect

Finally lock-down was over so myself and my dog, mourned in my room. Pitter, patter, pitter, patter thumped large, bulbous raindrops thumping on the attic window. Dim orange light from the industrial-like lampposts outside illuminated the room. Inside the room was a dusty, tainted-wood cupboard with books of every genre on the shelves. There was a lamp and a pair of round glasses atop a side-table. A stereo was in the window-sill and from it came the sound of classical music; Mozart.

There was a small single-bed wedged in between the side-table and the window-sill. On this bed sat a boy, legs hunched, up to his chin. He had a mop of red hair on his pale freckled face. A pointy nose in the centre of his face ran up to his emerald-green eyes that held deep sorrow. At the end of his bed was a dog, with curly hazel-brown hair, floppy ears and chestnut eyes. The boy stroked the dog gently. As he did so he glanced out the window as if waiting for someone. The boy turned his head to face the dog.

“It’s no use Alfie, she’s still not home.” Alfie turned his head towards the boy. Tom had read of the Coriolis Effect, a force from the rotation of the Earth that forces objects like clouds, or planes to wander off course. In the Southern hemisphere objects will deflect to the left in the Northern hemisphere to the right.

“It’s as if mum was pulled away from us by the Coriolis Effect, as if she has wandered off course,” mused Tom. He looked out the window watching the rain fall from the large, towering nimbostratus cloud, like a grey blanket tucked into every corner of the sky.

Creeeaaaak... Tom looked out the window to see a slim figure, around the age of forty, with blonde hair, a finely trimmed beard and a crooked nose, opening the gate to his Gran’s front-garden. He was shaking ever so slightly and gave the impression that he was very nervous.

Tom crept down the stairs ever so gently trying his best not to make a noise. Alfie followed close behind.

“Hello madam, are you Ms. Green, Joanna Green?” the man enquired.

Tom strained to make out the conversation between his Gran and the man. He could hear some bits but not others. It went something like this:  

“Yes I am. Why do you distur...”

“Apologies ma’am I mean no harm...”

“Yes Kristine died last week...”

“Well I am very... for your bereavement... She had a son, Tom, right?...”

“Yes he’s upstairs... my Grandson...”

“Well he’s hmmmmm, my son..”

Tom looked startled. This man was apparently his dad. It was just like the Coriolis Effect I had read in the book. My mum had been pulled away from me and my dad towards me. I’m like the Equator and they’re the winds being pulled away and towards me. I pulled Alfie towards me, grateful for my steadfast canine companion…..

The End

 

 

Wowzers. That was something else, wasn’t it?

 

We want to wish Ben and Amy Rose a big congratulations, and we have an inkling this isn’t the last we’ll hear of either of them. Oh no, we fully expect them to join the ranks of great Irish writers.

 Have we discovered the Next Brendan Behan or Edna O'Brien?

 

Ireland has always been a land of writers and poets. The huge response we receive to this competition every year shows that thankfully, this talent is being passed on through the generations.

So, to all our talented entrees, be it the winners, runners up and those who didn’t qualify this year, please keep writing and creating. We’re being selfish really. We just want to enjoy all your future stories.

 

 

FIN