Eseu – Cat. A – Premiul II – Clara Mantu (11 ani, Irlanda) -„June snow” si „A Lighthouse Enigma”


The house was small, with three windows, one red door and a lovely garden filled with all kinds of plants in which two children were playing, Billy and Lilly. Out of the blue, it has started to snow… in JUNE!?!

The snow was piling up so the children started building snowmen. After a while, they went inside, ate dinner, then went to bed. After a few hours, it stopped snowing and everything was silent.

The next morning, Billy and Lily saw, to their disappointment, that all the snow had melted away.

Later that day, Billy went for a walk and saw that, strangely, his neighbours’ garden was filled with snow!

Billy ran to his school to see if there was any snow there but when he got there, the school was gone!!!

Billy was so happy as he hated school!

“Lilly, Lilly”screamed Billy, “the school is gone!”

“No, it isn’t,”replied Lilly.

“Yeah, it is.”

“No, it’s not.”

“Yeah, it is.”

“Show me then!”

When they got to the school, true to Billy’s word, the school was …gone! Many people had gathered to look at the empty school yard.

Later that day, Billy and Lilly were playing when Billy noticed a small black parcel hidden in a bush. He opened it and inside there was a letter. He gave it to his parents. They read it and said nothing but just smiled.

“I don’t want to go to school”, complained Billy.

That morning, Billy’s parents had woken him up early, packed his bag and got him into the car.

“Mom!…Dad!…what are you doing? The school has disappeared. Remember?”

“Billy, remember the letter you gave us, yesterday? It was an invitation to a new school, for you.”

“What about Lilly?”

“Lilly is going to a school in London.”

“When will I see her?”

“During the summer holiday, darling.”

When they got to Billy’s new school, he was pleasantly surprised at how the school looked. It was better than Billy had imagined it. His parents kissed Billy goodbye and let him go.

When Billy entered the school, he was appalled at how horrible it looked. It was like a prison. The doors had metal bars on them, the teachers looked rough and all the children were dull.

Billy was about to run back to his parents when he heard a voice. It said, “Billy Bob, please come with me, I have something for you!”  It was the headteacher.

Billy followed her into her office where the headteacher locked a small silver anklet around his ankle, then let him go.

Billy had just gotten outside, into the yard, when he heard his named called out again.

“Billy, you are not allowed to leave the school building!”

He got scared and ran back inside.

Time passed and the summer holiday came. Billy was so happy, as he had had a dreadful year. He couldn’t wait to tell his parents how horrible the school was so that they could take him away, forever. But when the day was over, his parents weren’t there! Actually, nobody’s parents were there!!!

He decided to ask one of the older students.

“Nobody ever leaves the school,” responded the older student, Andy.

“What about our families?”

“They will come and visit us tomorrow.”

“So, tomorrow I’ll be able to leave this stupid school!!!”

“Sadly, you won’t.”

“Why not?”

“Because you have to stay seven metres away from your family. You see, when a family enters the school, they are given bracelets, like our anklets and if they stand less than seven metres away from us we will all get an electric shock,” and with that, Andy left.

The next day Billy’s parents didn’t come!

One of the teachers came up to him and said, “Your parents phoned, and said that they weren’t able to make it today but that they wished you a good holiday.”

Billy was devastated! He had had enough and decided to run away.

Next day, he gathered a few friends and at midnight they ran away. Later on, their anklets started to flash, they were being followed. They found some sharp rocks in a nearby river, broke off their anklets and threw them into the river, running away immediately.

Later on that day, two fish got caught in the anklets and swam with them down the river into the ocean. This event complicated the school’s team’s search and soon after they decided to give it up.

After few days, Billy and his friends were strolling through a nearby town when they overheard two men talking about St Joseph’s. They said that an evil school inspector had locked all the children up in cages.

When they heard that, the children immediately decided to run back to their school and rescue all their colleagues.

They were running towards the stairs when something pulled them back. It was the evil school inspector!

“Where are you going, boys?” he said menacingly.

“To save the other children,” they answered, bravely and so, a fight broke off, teachers against students.

Billy knew what he had to do. He pretended to be defeated so he was thrown into a cage. Here, he started cutting the bars with a sharp rock hidden in his pocket. After he had freed all the children, they charged upstairs and attacked the teachers. The teachers, outnumbered, lost.

The students locked them into unbroken cages and called the police.

The police came as fast as they could and arrested the teachers and the school inspector. Soon after that, parents started to arrive. Amongst the first ones to arrive were Billy’s parents. He ran into their arms crying with immense joy and relief.

On their way home, they passed Billy’s old school grounds, when he noticed that the school was being rebuilt! He was so happy for, while he had been at St Joseph’s, he had learned an important lesson:




A Lighthouse Enigma

I was surrounded by working men that seemed not to see me. ”Where am I?”, I asked one of the passing men but he kept walking. I realised that these people couldn’t see nor hear me, but I wasn’t sure why. I decided to look around for something that might help me figure out where I was.

Just as I was getting up, I heard a man shout: “Sir William Marshall is coming to Hook Head to check on the construction of his lighthouse!” And then I remembered everything, how we had come to Wexford to see my dad play in the Wexford Festival Orchestra, how we went to the Hook Head Lighthouse and how I had wandered off alone. After that……..nothing, until I was woken up by the sound of the construction site.

I heard a carriage draw up and the same man shout: “Sir William Marshall has arrived!” I guessed that he was the master builder. I turned around to see William Marshall and his wife Isabel climb out of their carriage. “How is my lighthouse going?” he boomed. “Almost done, Sir,” responded the man. “I need it ready as soon as possible, I’ve just had word that two ships carrying trading goods have crashed into the cliffs.” “We only have to put in the light and it’ll be ready”.

“Back to work, everybody!”, the orders came as William Marshall was returning to his carriage. I watched a few men climb to the top and start working on the light. I decided to have a look from up close, so I climbed up the stairs to the highest point of the Lighthouse. The view was amazing from here, you could see the clear waters with all its creatures, the sky and the wonderful sunset and, if you looked inland, there were fields and forests as far as the eye can see.

The peace was interrupted by a man shouting “Fire, there’s a fire!” Behind me, the top of the lighthouse was engulfed in flames. Luckily, I had learned what to do if a fire started at the survival camp I had attended last summer. I pulled my t-shirt over my mouth and ran through the smoke down the stairs. I grabbed two buckets and hurried to the sea. I filled one up to the brim with water and the other with sand and ran back to the lighthouse. I covered my mouth again, so that I wouldn’t inhale the smoke, before I rushed up to the top where I poured the water first and then the sand.

It took me a while to realise what I had just done. I had just saved the most important lighthouse in history!

Suddenly everything started fading away and I woke up to see my parents and sister hugging me. “Where were you?”. “Enjoying the history of Hook Head”, I said mysteriously. I saw my sister looking at me but I don’t think she noticed the big smile upon my face.

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