Page 26, Ufford PUNCH, January 2019 Ufford Punch/Arts Festival Children’s Short Story CompetitionWinners The winner was Lauren Barrett, aged 11, with her imaginative tale of Ufford’s River Goddess Runner-up was Elizabeth Yardy, aged 10, with her beautifully-written story The Magic Shoes sunlight or water. As soon as possible, she went up to their home in the fir tree and told them everything she knew. They thought the plan was perfect until they realized how big it was. One of them chirped, “That’s too big for us little birds to carry.” The goddess twirled her enchanting magic when suddenly there where birds diving over their heads from swifts to house martins. All the birds were overjoyed when they got together and finally rised to the challenge and flew far away. For some reason the goddess didn’t feel as happy as the birds did and then she realized it was because she didn’t know who made this mayhem in the first place. When she woke up and saw the plant she had a wander and there were only three creatures who were awake and acting a little strange: the pigs were oinking in their bed; the chickens a ll runn ing around frantically; and the cows were all huddling up. When the goddess asked those animals what they were doing at that time, they all said that they were asleep and answered that the goddess must have been dreaming. She thought to herself that it was very peculiar that they all said the same thing and must have planned it. When she asked the other animals, the only animal who saw what happened was one of the sheep as they had just woken from a nightmare,“ There were about three different groups and they all looked different,” baaed the sheep. The goddess had got it! They had all worked together. Finally when she told the other animals they were in shock and the pigs, chickens and cows said they wanted to surprise the goddess with a flower but didn’t realize it was deadly and were scared to admit. To make up for their mistake they planted SAFE, sweet-smelling flowers and they all lived happily ever after. One magical time ago, Ufford was enchanted with the most beautiful creatures from delicate, wild flowers in the shimmering sun to the tweeting and whistling birds swooping over the ancient church in the sun-kissed air. It was a charming and joyful place. The heart of Ufford though was the river splashing around the rocks and sea creatures. Defended by the river goddess, who was as powerful as fire. It was full of happiness until one night when a poisonous flower was planted mysteriously while the wildlife was asleep. The plant was deadly…it could destroy the WHOLE RIVER! Early the next morning, the goddess was flabbergasted at the sight of the plant which she knew could destroy all in its sight. She was supposed to be the one to defend the river as it had been there for centuries. She needed a plan fast… Suddenly, she had a glowing idea! Some of the birds in Ufford were about to flee far away as winter was coming so they could carry it with them and destroy it by not giving it There was once a 9 year old girl named Darcey Bussell. She was pretty slim and bright. Her hair fell long and gracefully down her shoulders. One night Darcey dreamed a wonderful dream. She dreamed that she was all alone on stage with the bright spotlight on her. She dreamed the orchestra was playing, and she was dancing – as lightly as a feather, as gracefully as a swan and as pretty as a flamingo. She went downstairs to her mother and told her about the dream. “It was so beautiful mother. And now I want more than anything to become a ballet dancer” “Darling, when you become a ballerina I will watch all of your shows” said her mum. That day she practised and practised. She learned quickly that dancing like a ballerina wasn’t very easy. She lost her balance; her feet tangled, stumbled and tripped! “Olivia will I ever learn to be as good as you” she sighed. Olivia was her older sister who was a prima ballerina. That night Darcey lay on her pillow, gazed out of her small window and whispered to herself. “The stars dance and the moon dances. The wind and trees dance too. Will I ever dance like them?” Just then Darcy saw a a pink light come into her room. The light became larger and larger and came to the foot of the bed. Darcey jumped out of bed but now the light had disappeared. It had changed into two pink objects. “Olivia come and look it’s wishing magic. I have a pair of pink pointe shoes”. Darcey and Olivia were amazed. Darcey couldn’t wait to put them on. The next morning Darcey’s mum and Olivia watched Darcey dance. Round and round she went with her arms above her head. Then another strange thing happened, the pink shoes slowed down and so did she. Guided by the magic shoes Darcey learned to plie, and her mother watched her. “See mother this is how you plie. My legs turn out and I bend slowly” Darcey was very happy. One by one Darcey learned all the steps of a ballerina and then learned the special, magical secret of ballet. She learned that ballet tells a story. She learned all the Sleeping Beauty moves, all the Swan Lake moves, all of the Nutcracker moves and more. 40 years later she is still dancing and we can see her dance in theatres.