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Short Stories

Presented by Form 8c

and their English Teacher: Doris Germann

The following stories were written by students of an 8th grade in their fourth year of English. They are the winners of an in-class writing contest that was held in December 2000.

I was so happy! That summer I was going to work on a big, high-class yacht in Florida!! I would have to serve the owner of this yacht, his wife and their two children. It was very easy work and it was well paid: $ 20 a day. I was going to stay there for 6 weeks!

"WOW!" I thought. "I’ll make friends with the children, I’ll have enough free time to do whatever I want, I’ll be on the ocean, perhaps I’ll even see some whales or dolphins. I’m so excited, I can hardly wait…! This will be great!"

Oh yes………

It was going to be great…!

Two weeks later I was standing in a harbour in Florida, waiting for my "boss", Mr. Walker.

A lot of ships, yachts and tankers were anchoring in the harbour and while I was looking around I saw a big, high-class, graceful white yacht. "My goodness!" I thought.

"I hope THAT’S the ship, where I’m going to work!!"

But first I had to find Mr Walker! That wasn’t easy because I didn’t know, what he looked like and there was a big crowed in the harbour.

Suddenly I bumped into a fat man who was holding a sing in his hand: CLAIRE BAKERS! That’s me! The man shouted: "Are you Claire Bakers?" " Y..yes!" I answered. "Fine!" he shouted. "I am Mr. Walker! I hope you’re stronger than you look, dear!! You are not on holidays!" ‘Why is he shouting?? Everybody is starring at me! This is going to be FUNNY!’ I thought. "So let’s go!" Mr. Walker shouted. (aaargh!!) But then I could not believe my eyes!! He was walking straight to this beautiful yacht that had caught my eyes some minutes earlier. Her name was…"Mallory I"

I was happy: My dreams were about to come true.

Ten minutes later, I was standing on the deck and I was shocked: The boat was so dirty! And it smelled terrible!! But only inside…then I saw the wife and the children…They all were very small and fat and they looked very conceited. The two girls – I think they were 7 or 8 years old, put their tongues out at me and ran away. "NO, that’s not true!! That’s the wrong boat…" I thought.

The woman barely greeted me – she just said "Hello"!!!!! – and her husband said (this time he didn’t shout!) : "Amanda, that’s Claire Bakers! Our new waitress and maid-of-all-work!" Maid-of-all-work??? NO! "Er…Mr..! That’s wrong! In the article you wrote, that I would just have to serve your meals. There was no…." "No dear! YOU’RE wrong! In the letter I wrote to you I explained that…" A letter? I didn’t get a letter, I thought…"… you would have to cook the meals and serve them, clean the deck and wash our clothes.." He went on and on. I started to panic! "I didn’t get your letter, Sir..!" "Well, that’s your problem, baby!" Mrs. Walker said. "Now you’re here and you have to work for us! We want to have our holidays, too, don’t we, dear?" she asked her husband. " Right! This nice girl will make our holidays wonderful because WE won’t have to stir a finger!!!"…I couldn’t believe my ears! " Am I on the wrong boat?" I asked myself. Well, that’s how slaves feel. OVERWORKED…!

First I was shocked, but then I was getting angry! "This can not be!!" I went to Mrs. Walker: "Excuse me, Mrs. …your husband…was that a little joke? I mean… the letter… I didn’t get any… " "SHUT UP!", she shouted. ??? I stopped talking. "Excuse me, please?" I couldn’t believe my ears a second time…Did she really say ‘SHUT UP’? But she didn’t answer; she turned around and walked away!

Then I was sure: This was getting H O R R I B L E!!!! (And of course, I was right…!)

The next morning I was just in the middle of a wonderful dream, when somebody knocked on my door.

"Claire!" zzzZZZzzzz…What?? "CLAIRE!! GET UP, it’s breakfast-time and we’re hungry!"

That was one of those cheeky brats! " I’m coming.." I mumbled. "One minute, ok?" "Noooo, you have to come out NOW! I’m hungry! HUNGRY, HUNGRY, HUNGRY!! I’ll go to mum and tell her that you’re a bad girl!"

‘Don’t do this!’ I thought. " I’m ready, dear!" I said and went to the kitchen. I made a nice breakfast, set the table, served breakfast. Later I cleaned the tables, washed the dishes and all the time I was observed by 8 eyes…When I made a mistake… NO! I don’t want to describe it! It was a horrible morning!

And that day seemed never-ending!

I had to clean the deck, serve lunch, tidy up the rooms, a.s.o…

And at last I had to serve dinner and THEN I was allowed to do what I wanted!

While I was reading a book, Mr. Walker came and said: "You’ve done all your work very well! Especially the deck is as clean as ever!" "Thank you, Sir", I said. "Well dear, tomorrow you can do a little bit more work than today! Can you?" "Er…well" " OH you’re a nice and busy girl! I like you!" he said and went away.

……….!!…………??………. !!!….

"Don’t get angry!" I said to myself. "Everything will be alright! In six weeks time I’ll be at home again. Only six weeks…I’ll survive…I hope..!"

The next day I had to work much harder! I felt like a slave!

Every evening I fell asleep as soon as I lay in my bed. It was HORRIBLE!

And then, it was my last evening on the yacht and I had just finished my work, when Mr. Walker came to me.

"Ah my dear! I’ve forgotten something!" noooo….more work? "

"Yes, Sir?"

"Here’s your money!"

"Oh thank you very much!"

He gave me an envelope. I opened it. There were $10 in it! I couldn’t believe it. "Mr. Wa…?"

But he wasn’t there anymore.

Later when I was lying in my bed, I started crying. It wasn’t fair!

The next morning we arrived at the harbour again. I was glad, when I could finally say good-bye to Mr. and Mrs. Walker and their "nice" children. Then I saw my mother and hasted to meet her and I was sure: I would never do something like this again!!!!!!!!!

The first day of March was over and so I went to bed. While I was lying there and trying to sleep I had a great idea.

In the summer holidays I didn’t want to go away with may parents, because it would be very boring and none of my friends would go on holidays with their parents either. So I decided to do a vacation job. But which one should I choose and where could I find one. The next morning I told my mother about my plans. At first she wasn’t very enthusiastic about it but then she said that I should look in the newspaper if I wanted to find a job.

Next morning before school I cycled straight to the supermarket because the daily newspaper was already on sale. During the breaks I studied the adverts with my friends, who also thought that I had got a perfect idea, but there was no job for me in the newspaper. Should I clean toilets in an English pup?! No, that was nothing for me.

So the following 3 weeks went by without any success, but accidentally my father brought home another newspaper from his office. I read .the job adverts and suddenly I discovered one which seemed to be made just for me. It read: "Are you a young person who loves animals, and don’t you know what to do from June 21,2001 until July 21,2001, then phone Birmingham Zoo."

I was curious about the job. After my mother had read the advert, she explained that Birmingham was far away from home, that 4 weeks were a very long time and that it would be my first job....

"Oh my god, mum," I said" I’ll be in Birmingham and not in Tokyo! I’ll live in a special team-house and I’m nearly 16!"

Mum didn’t look very enthusiastic so I offered to phone the zoo and get some more information. My mother agreed, and so we phoned Birmingham Zoo, called Animals’ Paradise.

Mum talked with a very polite man who said that I could have the job, because nobody had responded to his advertisement yet.

After my mother had finished the conversation, we had a long conversation and at last mum allowed me to work there, because dad agreed, too. I jumped two meters high! Was it a dream? I couldn’t wait for the summer holidays to start. The last week at school was horrible, and I counted the hours until my plane would take off to Birmingham.

Then the longed-for day came. Early in the morning, my family took me to the airport in Dublin. It was a very short flight, but it was my first flight alone.

At the airport my parents talked and talked, but I didn’t hear anything because I was too nervous, wondering if it would become nice? Would the people be o.k.? Would I be allowed to work with wild animals?

An hour later the PA called "Passengers on Flight 786 to Birmingham, please check in!" That was my flight. I said good-bye to Mum and Dad and climbed up the stairs to the plane.

An hour later the plane landed in Birmingham. After I had collected my luggage, I left the hall and looked for someone with my name on a sign, but there was nobody. While I was looking around 2 young women rushed into the airport hall; they asked me if I knew Kristin Scott?! "That’s me", I answered. Then one woman explained, "I’m Annie and this is Christina, we’re 2 workers from Animals’ Paradise."

Some time later we arrived at the zoo. Everything looked fantastic. I think the zoo was very new. Annie, Christine and I went into a big house. This is the workers’ house, where we all sleep, eat and have fun. 2 people share in one room. "Your room is upstairs on the left" Annie said.

I went upstairs and opened the door it was a comfortable room with2 beds ,a TV and a cupboard. One bed wasn’t made, so I put my suitcase onto the free bed near the window.

After I got to know the other workers Alex, my roommate, showed me the zoo, which wasn’t very big. She told me that it only kept animals that should have been killed.

We stayed at the penguin enclosure, when a small bear jumped on us. I ran away, but Alex laughed and called me back. The bear’s name was Balu. He was very cute, and his mother was dead, so Balu was everybody’s darling. I stroked the babybear for a short time and then we walked on. It was a really nice zoological garden.

At dinner our boss Mr.Booker, a small friendly man, gave us the work schedule. I had to clean the elephant and monkey enclosures every day. Alex, who was 18, helped me a bit. It was cool, because Zora, the elephant girl, liked me very much and she always wanted to protect me. Chimpy, the monkey boy loved Pixy the monkey girl, but she couldn’t stand him, so she threw bananas at him all day long.

After one week our boss fell ill, so we had to work independently. Because of an expensive, renovation of animal’s paradise the zoo was very poor. So we decided to raise money for the animal food, but what could we do? Suddenly I had an idea and everybody was delighted.

At first we wrote a big sign which we put up on the zoo wall. The next day I took Zora out of her small enclosure. She was very friendly so it was no problem to lead her at a rope. At 3’clock the first visitors came for …….Attention!……elephant riding.

A little boy wanted to ride on her first. He looked very nervous, but I explained that Zora was the friendliest elephant I’d ever seen. (She was the only one too!). When Zora slowly walked through the zoo, the small boy got happy; he even started talking to her and I think she answered. After 10 minutes the tour was over. So the boy had to say good-bye. He was very unhappy, but Alex promised that he could visit her again the following week. Our business went very well, we raised a lot of money.

In the evening after closing time I entered Zora’s enclosure but I didn’t see her anywhere. Suddenly Zoras trunk picked me up. I got afraid, then the XXL girl put me onto her back and rushed outside. I was very anxious, but Zora went slowly around the Zoo. Some time later we said good night to each other and I went to bed. Something like that had never happened to me before, it was great.

The next morning Alex called me very early. She looked scared, so I jumped out of bed, and rushed to the breakfast. Mr. Booker was back and he was very angry because of our elephant riding the day before. We tried to apologise but it didn’t help. Then Annie showed Mr. Booker our earnings. He was shocked" 500 pounds", he said! "I’m very happy that all of you have helped animal’s paradise, but I don’t want you to do such a dangerous action again! Promised?" Promised!

Chimpy was still in love and Balu often came to get stroked.

But most of my time I spent with Zora, and we became best friends. One very warm day I gave her fresh water. But I had hardly turned my head, Zora had already splashed the water over it. "Zora!" I screamed angrily and looked round, but she looked at me with her tender eyes, so that I couldn’t be angry.

On my last evening I went to every enclosure to say good-.bye. Chimpy made me a present of an apple, it was very sweet. At last I went to Zora. I was very unhappy and perhaps so was she, too. I stroked her, but then I had to go to bed. Next morning everybody said good-bye. Mr. Booker promised that I was allowed to come again the next year. Immediately I hugged him.

At twelve o’clock Chris and I arrived at the airport. We hugged each other and then I got on the plane, because the plane wouldn’t wait for me. As the plane was taking off, I heard a voice calling me from a distance "Kristin, Kristin Scott, please wake up you must go to school. "It was my mothers voice and my hole adventure had only been a dream .

I´m sitting here, dreaming. You want to know what I´m dreaming of, am I right? Ok, I´ll tell you.

Yesterday I came home, tired from school, threw my bag into a corner and wanted grab some sweets to watch my favourite soap an TV. Then the telephone rang.
"Hello", I said. "Carolin speaking."
"Carolin, hi it´s me, Joanna. Dear I´ve big news. We´ll go on holidays – to Miami!"
It was my favourite aunt from "Saxony". She always phones me on Sundays to stay in contact with me and my family. But that day she was too early because it was only Thursday.
"Wow, that´s great! When will you leave?" I asked.
"Wait, wait, I´ve to tell you from the beginning: last week we were watching a game show on TV and I said to Lutz that we should phone there; maybe we would win something. It was a joke, but we did it. I phoned and knew the right answer. And today – oh my goodness, I can hardly believe it – we got a call that WE´ve won a week in Miami."
"That´s great! That`s unbelievable", I shouted and asked her again when they wanted to leave.
"Next weekend, but there`s a problem. It`s a family ticket but there are many activities we wouldn`t be able to do with little Charles because he`s still too small. But we want to take him with us. So we want to ask you if you want to come along with us and be our babysitter there, because we´ve won four tickets, so we´ve got one left."
"What???" I couldn´t believe it. I´ve never been as far away from home as Miami yet. "But… ." I didn´t answer. I thought about my parents – what would they say? – and about my plans for the following holidays. I tould her that I would have to talk with my parents first, and to think about it twice.
"Ok." She said.

Today I promised to come.

Now I´m sitting here, dreaming of the white beaches and the good-looking boys. I´m wondering if I´ll have my own room or if we´ll have a small flat, too small to haven our own rooms. Maybe I´ll live there like a princess.Will Charlie be a good bay? I´m sure he will! I hope my parents will give me some extra money to have a good time there. I think I´ll have a great time there. Don´t you agree?!

But once, many years ago, I read an article about Victoria, a girl that had high hopes for her vacation job and then it was an awful time and she only wanted to go home again, away from the summer camp. Horrible!

So I shouldn´t feel hopeful. And that´s why I imagine what it night be like: horrible, with out fun, bad weather and my uncle and aunt might go out every day and I might nothing to do but look after Charles. I might lose my tooth-brush and might not dare to laugh because of my yellow teeth. And then I´ll want to go home. That´s what it might be like!

The building is very, very big, the windows have colourful glass and the curtains aren´t drawn. On the right there is a big splaching and hear loud voices: a swimming-pool. That´s terrific! On the left there is a small café with a friendly atmosphere to our 5-star hotel. We are standing front of it, on a long stone pathway that runs between very exotic flowers and trees.

"Booa" Charlie says. I can se that his mouth falls open. But I´ve to say that we´re imprssed, too. When we are in front of the entrance two uniformed boys open the front door and take our luggage away.
"Good start". Joanna says, smiling. "Yes." I smile back. At the reception Lutz, my uncle, collects the keys and the hotel manager shows us our rooms. "I wish you a nice stay in hotel "Garbage Can". he says and goes away. "Funny name". I think and go into the first room.

But this really is the nicest, prettiest and bigget hotel flat I´ve ever seen. There´s a big living-room with TV, white leather couches and a big chandelier. There are two bedrooms, a big one and a smaller one. The big one is for Joanna, Lutz and Charlie. There´s a big bed with velvet curtains. The bed in my own room has red curtains, too , and there´s an extra bathroom.

The cupboards are mahogany "giants" and the pattern on the wallpaper glitters like a "magic dream". It takes my breath away. I start running and jump onto the bed. It feels like sitting on clouds. Silence!

"Where are the others?" I think and go to the living-room (over a soft carpet: it feels like heaven).The others are gone. So I change my clothes, which are creased from our flight, and leave,too.

I look for them everywhere, but the hotel is very big.At last I find them outside, having dinner."Oh dear,I have been looking for you everywhere for nearly an hour. Why didn`t you wait for me?!" "Sorry Carolin, but we thought , that you were sleeping and we didn`t want to wake you up." my uncle says.That sounds o.k. for me and so I order my meal.

Diving the dinner we make "plans" for the week. Charlie is sitting on my lap, he looks like an angel. The next day Charles and I go to the beach,very early in the morning. The ocean is murming and the wind is "playing" with our hair. The sun comes out, the sky is red like burning fire and my little three-year-old cousing is clapping his hands. I like him. He laughs loudly and starts running faster and faster."Be carefully! Don`t go near the deep water, it`s dangerous," I warn him and close my eyes for a second to enyoy that wonderfull morning. "I`ve never seen such a quiet and empty beach but…", suddenly I notice that Charles is gone. I`m angry and call his name. I don`t know where he might be and so I start to panic. I look around the beach but I can`t see him anyhere. But wait, what was that? There`s a little spot on the water. " This cannot be him!" I think. But then the spot starts shouting. "Help, help!"
"Oh no, that`s Charles, what can I do? Isn`t there anybody to help?" I shout and rush into the water. My clothes quickly soak up the water, and it`s hard to swim.When I reach my cousin I can see that he`s lost consciousness. But he is still breathing - I hope. I put my arms around his neck and his chest. I start something that looks like swimming but I`ve never rescued a person in the ocean before. His body feels cold and his face has lost its normal colour.When I finally reach the beach I put him on the warm sand but his eyes keep closed. I feel like hidden. I start resuscitation. I`m crying and crying.This can`t be true! He looks as if he were d… Suddenly I hear an ambulance and say:" Charles, now everything will be alright, we are rescued, wake up ! Please."

At the hospital they tell me that an old man saw us and made an emergency call. "I think he must be from heaven; what would have happened without his help!? I tell Joanna. I know that she was very angry at first (Lutz told me ). But after I had explained everything she was very happy (very happy) That I had rescued her son. Two days later Charlie is healthy again. But we decide to fly home because we don´t want to stay there any longer. Maybe that sounds crazy to you, but we can´t enjoy our holidays there anymore so we decided to "go" home.

Now four weeks have gone by. School has started again. Charlie is a little superman, telling his "big adventure story" to everyone in his kindergarden. In his story a dolphin called Flipper has rescued him out of the deep, wild and wide ocean… I know that I´ll never forget that big adventure and the shortest vacation job of my life and I swear: If I ever take a baby-sitting job at the ocean again I´ll be much more careful."

It’s raining. I’m cold. Of course I’ve forgotten my umbrella. Life’s unfair! I hate rain. And I hate this stupid free-time job. What’s so exciting about books? You see, I’m helping out in the library and that’s mega boring! Sorting books isn’t my thing but I need the money and that’s the only reason why I’m working there. I’m Jane Seaforce and life’s unfair.

As I walk along the street this new advert in the window of Larry’s drug store catches my eyes. As usual I’m starting to hope that I’ll find a better job and I immediately start to read:

Young Person needed on yacht in Florida for easy and well-paid work. For more information call

T.T. Portman

That sounds very interesting! No. It sounds terrific. I walk into the store and take a short look around. Larry must be somewhere in the back of the store, because I can hear his angry voice while something seems to fall onto the floor. My hand quickly moves towards the ad and tears it off the glass and without making a sound I sneak outside hoping he hasn’t heard me. Nobody except me should read this advert! It must be my destiny to get this vacation job. I’m sure it is. I take a short look at the advertisement again and start picturing myself on a wonderful yacht in the middle of a sparkling bay in sunny Florida…

At home I beg and beg for hours and my parents finally allow me to go there after I’ve told them that this vacation job would show me how real life is and that I’d spend all my money on the ticket. I’m so happy and I still can’t believe it. Ohhh, I nearly forgot. Of course I have to phone Mr – what’s his name?- Ohhh yes, Portman. While I’m dialling the number my heart starts to beat loudly and my throat gets dry.

"Hello?"

"Hello. This is Jane Seaforce and I’m calling because of your advertisement about the vacation job in Florida."

"A girl? I didn’t know that girls like jobs like this one. But if five weeks of work are OK?"

"Of course. I can hardly wait."

"That’s nice to hear. Would 9$ per hour be fine?"

My mouth falls open. 9$ is a lot of money. This IS my dream job.

"Hello?"

"Ohh, yes that’s fine with me."

"OK, we’ll send you a letter with more information. I hope you’ll enjoy it. Bye."

"Bye"

OF COURSE I’LL ENJOY IT. It’s really well-paid. I’ve got to tell someone about the great news and immediately start dialling again.

"Hi, Linda. Guess what?!"

"What?" she answers sounding uninterested.

"I’m going to go to Florida….."

I can’t remember how long we talked and if I even took a breath while I was talking….

 

FIVE WEEKS LATER:

"Whoa, look at this. Isn’t it great?" I shout out loudly to myself as I finally stand there in a huge and shiny harbour. I quickly glance at the name of the ship which is written in the letter." ‘Sea star’, I’ll find you wherever you are" I mumble happily.

After I’ve wandered around for at least half an hour I finally find it. "Hey! This is a total wreck!" I shout out loudly. "Oh, you think so? Well, that’s why you are here" a voice says. I immediately turn around. "So? How can you know? Who are you?" I talk back at a fat man with a bald head. "I’m Mr. Portman and you must be Jane. You should be more polite, my dear!" " What do you mean with ‘That’s why you’re here’?" " Haven’t you read the back of the letter? I need a few people to renovate the ‘Seastar’ and you’re the one who is going to paint it, my dear." "WHAT?" I cry out dropping my suitcase. "This must be a mistake." "No, dear. I guess you are Jane Seaforce, right? You phoned me, remember? You wanted this vacation job and now you have it! Here." He says and gives me a paintbrush. "Have fun, my dear." "Stop calling me ‘my dear’ you jerk" I whisper wishing this would only be a nightmare. But that’s how it is. Life’s UNFAIR!

Last summer I phoned my aunt, who lives near Munich, to ask her if I could come to her to work in the zoo because my mother said that I should earn my own money that year. My aunt was very happy because I visited her last when I was eight years old. She said that we would do a lot of things together but I told her that I would come because of a vacation job. I asked: "Do you know if someone can work in the zoo, which we visited very often when I was younger ?" "Yes," she answered" But I’m not sure. I haven’t been there in a long time."

After that I began to pack my bags and I went into the kitchen to eat. But I couldn’t eat. I was too excited. I told my mother that my aunt wanted to meet me at the station.

I couldn’t sleep that night because I was too scared.

I knew that I would have a great time and I was sure that I would get to know new people. I hoped that the people and the animals in the zoo would be nice and friendly. I thought that I would only have to feed the animals and help to clean their cages. And then I would be free to do whatever I want. And my aunt had told me that the people who worked there were paid very well. So I hoped that I could have a lot of free time in which I could do a lot of things. I thought all in all it would be easy work and a great time.

The next day my mother took me to the station.

When I arrived at Munich, I couldn’t see my aunt. I looked over the whole station but she was nowhere. Two hours later I saw her running straight towards me and when she got to me she hugged me. After that I was so exhausted that I only wanted to go home.

The next morning I got up and went to the zoo, but when I arrived there I saw a big sign in front of the gate which said: "CLOSED" I was so surprised that I nearly fainted. I thought that this was going to be the worst holiday I had ever had. I sat down on a bench and thought about what to do now: "If I don’t have to work, I’ll have only free time but I won’t have any money either."

While I was sitting there, I saw a big sign which said: "CIRCUS PIMPARELLO !" I thought: "Cool, perhaps I can work there. There are animals, too and perhaps I’ll have more freedom than in the zoo."

When I got back home my aunt asked me: "Do you have a job in the zoo now ?" I explained to her: "No, it is closed, but I saw a sign which said "CIRCUS PIMPARELLO", perhaps I can work there. I think it’ll be easy work and most people in a circus are nice and friendly." My aunt answered: "Yes, that’s a great idea. I think you should go there tomorrow morning."

The next morning I slept until 10 o’clock and then I set out for the circus square. It was very colourful there and I could hear some funny music. I saw a lot of animals, for example elephants, monkeys, lions and bears. There were two clowns, too, who practised new tricks. A fire-eater practised, too.

Suddenly a man came to me, I thought it was the director, and asked: "Hey ! What are you doing here ? Strangers aren’t allowed to come here !" I was afraid but I answered: "Sorry, but I want to have a job. I thought you could need someone to help with the animals." "Then come with me ! I’ll take you to the elephants. There you’ll fit in best." When we arrived at the elephant enclosure, a man was sitting on the bigger animal and washed it behind it’s ears. "Hey Alfonso !" The director shouted very loudly. "Here is someone who wants to help you." The man on the elephant turned around and looked at me with an angry face. The director pushed me towards the elephants and gave me a bucket and a broom. "Start working!", he shouted "Alfonso will tell you the rules." I asked: "Do I earn some money here?" "What, do you want to have money? O.K. but 5 marks an hour are enough." And then he went away and I started to work. Suddenly Alfonso said: "Well , if you come too late you’ll have to work more. And you’ll have to work 14 hours a day!"

In the evening I told my aunt everything, but she said that I should continue my work there. The first day is always the worst day. And she was right.

Although the people weren’t very friendly, it was a lot of fun to work with the animals.

A few days later the people started to be friendly to me, which I couldn’t understand and they even promised that I could help the animal tamers to practise for the show. I helped to train the lions and the bears and I did it well. I hoped that I would be allowed to help in the show, too, but the animal tamers said that it was too dangerous.

The next Friday the show began very well. The programme was great. When it was the clowns’ turn, everybody began to laugh, because they were so funny.

But when one of them walked on the high rope, he fell off. Immediately, the ambulance was called. When they arrived they examined him and said that he had broken his leg. Some people thought it was a trick and they laughed more loudly.

After that it was the fire-eater’s turn. He was standing on a high ladder spiting fire. Alas, the ladder was too high so the tent began to burn. Everybody ran out and the fire department was called. After the fire had been put out, I went home.

I told my aunt the whole story and she said: "No wonder. It’s Friday, the thirteenth." "Oh no !", I shouted "Normally, thirteen is my lucky number. "

The next morning I heard on the radio that two elephants of the circus were missing. Everybody should stay in the houses and nobody should go out.

I thought: "That can only be Bimbo and Bambino." I went to the market square with the big fountain. There I saw the two big animals. They were splashing water everywhere and they were very nervous. I saw Alfonso running from policeman to policeman and shouted: "Don’t shoot! Don’t shoot!"

Then I saw a stand where they were selling bread and immediately I had an idea. I ran to the stand and bought a whole bucket of bread. I climbed over the barrier and then I gave the bread to Bimbo and Bambino. They calmed down and then Bimbo grabbed me with his trunk and sat me on his back. We went back to the circus square where the director was waiting for us. He was very happy and he asked me if I wanted to help out every year. He said: "You are a real hero and in addition to that you did your job well. Here are 100 marks." Now the circus people and I have become good friends.

I work there every year and perhaps, I’ll become a famous artiste myself one day.

Katharina Haas (14)

 

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