Congratulations to Year 2 student Riley Hill who was the recipient of a Silver Award in the WriteOn Competition. The annual statewide competition is held by the NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA) for Years 1 – 6. Of the several hundred applicants only five students from Stage 1 received a Gold Award and four Silver Awards, one of which was our very own Riley. Here is his award-winning story:

“Time to do your chores boys…” , but Mum was too late. The boys were already out the door, through the front yard and out the gate.

In 1898 lived Jacob, a brave seven year old clothed in a dark, dirty coat with no shoes and brown hair. Jacob was really well-mannered, while Greg, his companion was a shy five year old who shadowed Jacob everywhere. Greg had straw blonde hair and matching clothes. These boys were poor. They had to pick up lettuce and pump water out of the ground just to survive.

The next day, their mum sent the boys across the road to the rich people’s house with their hessian sacks swung over their shoulders like capes. Because these boys were small, they could creep under fences which was exactly what they were instructed to do. Just as Greg was squeezing his limbs through the final crevice to stand, the boys were spotted by a guard dog with eyes as sharp as eagles. “Bark, bark, bark!”. Jacob and Greg dived back through the fence. “That was close,” exhaled Jacob. “You can say that again,” responded Greg, still gasping for air.

When the guard dog was distracted by strong scents in the corner of the yard, the boys took the opportunity to dash across to the door. As expected, it was locked, and the usual trick of jiggling the lock was unable to happen due to the timely presence of a passing policeman patrolling the area. Jacob and Greg darted under the floorboards of the nearby deck and waited for the danger to pass. With hearts racing they watched the policeman’s boots trudge past in the muddy grass.

“The coast is clear, Greg” whispered Jacob as he commando crawled back to the door. Pulling a rusty paperclip from deep inside his torn pocket, Jacob skilfully fitted the wire into the lock and jiggled it while Greg nervously stood watch.

Silently the door swung open and the two boys slipped inside like ghosts. A dimly lit white room was full of cupboards and shelves. Moving swiftly, the boys opened the doors of the cupboards and quickly took what they needed. Loaves of bread, chunks of meat and slices of cheese filled the sack. Knowing that they did not have much time, they turned and headed toward the door. As Jacob passed the kitchen, a silver teapot caught his eye. With a gasp, he ran to the teapot and grabbed it. Selling it would make his family more wealthy.

Less than a minute later, as the boys dashed across the front yard, the guard dog spotted them and started barking wildly. Jacob increased his speed and launched himself over the fence. Greg followed behind him.

When they returned home, their mother was so pleased to see them. With the food they had stolen, the family would live to see another day.