Year 4 student Anika Baireddy, from Kumon Point Cook Education Centre in Melbourne, is a wordsmith and a prolific author of short stories.
Anika is also a completer of the Kumon English programme.
“I am not ashamed to say that Anika’s English comprehension and writing skills are far superior to mine”, said Navin Baireddy, Anika’s father. “She now writes her own short stories collection, which I desperately wait to read every week.”
Below, we have published one of Anika’s short stories titled Zara and the Cave of Mysteries. We invite you to have a read.
Zara and the Cave of Mysteries
By Anika Baireddy
If we travel back, way back before the ancient times, there was a girl. Her name was Zara. She was not rich, though had enough money to go to school. She was a very lovely girl on the inside but she couldn’t dress properly and because of the way she dressed, people would tease her. Nobody would be her friend, because of all this teasing going on in her life. She was a very modest girl.
She had a dog whose name was Ellie. Her dog was a German Shepherd and was a very good guard dog. She was also a very nice, helpful and playful dog towards Zara and her family. Her coat had a light and dark brown gradient and was very soft. And sometimes if Zara was lucky, she got to take Ellie to school, but mind you, only to drop or say goodbye to Ellie.
Now it was the school holidays. Zara was very fond of the school holidays because they went on a holiday trip and she did not get bullied or teased by the other kids.
This holiday, they were not going to go to another country or anything of that sort. Instead they were going to a holiday house in the woods.
So, after a few days with nothing to do, Zara asked her mum if Ellie and her could explore the woods not too far from the house. As soon as her mum said, ‘Sure sweety. Come back by 3pm in the afternoon.’ Zara rushed out with Ellie. She forgot her mum said ‘The part of the woods near the house,’ and by accident wandered too far with Ellie.
They stumbled across a cave. It was very big and one would have convinced themselves that it was a humongous mansion. Inside it, there was an eerie gloom. Zara stared at the rocky landscape for some time and she saw some torches. With that, Zara remembered the words she said to her mother and totally freaked out while Ellie tried to calm her down. Once Zara calmed down, they went into the entrance and at that moment, there was a noise. They were both scared and Zara jumped, but they kept on walking.
They found a passage leading to, ‘Who knows where’ and went in it. To their surprise, they found at the end, a big block of gold. They kept on walking and they found other tunnels leading to different treasures like diamonds, iron, ruby, emerald and they even found another girl with a breed of dog called Akita Inu. They befriended her and they kept on walking. Now when they saw what was at the end, they knew their dreams had come true…
They found a juno, which is a female genie, at the end of the passage. She had skin like a normal girl while at the end of her body where the legs would have been, there was a long flowy bit almost like a skirt with a closed ending. She said that she was happy that someone had finally come to the end and been brave enough to enter. She also said this, ‘I will grant you both three wishes and if you want more just wish it on the third wish.’ They both squealed with excitement and wished three things. Zara wished for her family to have a good life with a little more money, for Ellie to live a long life, and for herself to have a few friends.
The other girl whom they had befriended in the cave sometime before, was Zara’s twin sister named Melony. Her dog’s name was Buster. Zara did not know Melony was her sister, but Melony did. Melony wished that her parents would love her again, that her dog would have a long life with lots of happiness and little sadness. She also wished that she wouldn’t be so lonely. It was 2:56pm and they had to find a way home. The juno said that she would teleport them home. They were so happy.
Melony went home with Zara and when they were home, Zara’s parents were so happy to see Melony and told Zara. Zara freaked out but ended up laughing. After that the family was rich and they made lots of friends. Ellie and Buster gave birth to a litter of four little German Shepherds with two boys and two girls. Everyone and every dog lived a long happy life after the help of the juno.