By Khaliyah, age 16
(student names changed for privacy)
Welcome fellow readers. Imagine you are sitting on a cozy chair, near a crackling fireplace, and sipping chamomile tea.
Our Tale begins…
We, thee animals of the Natural Leaders, small but mighty creatures, have followed thee request of thy Great and Mystical Wizard Grenier who is thee eldest owl of thy land. He is a mere ghost full of wisdom and power.
“Welcome thou brave pups, and kits.” Grenier’s calm yet commanding voice resonated off his dark ivory staff. The pups and kits stopped their yapping and immediately paid attention, for he had something very important to say. “Listen ye younglings, thou next mission is quite important, so no bunkum. Parrot, my trusty coordinator will lead ye through thou dangers and help thee avoid them. Wolf-pup and his trusty monkey sidekick will be our navigators. Ye must listen and follow them for thou lives depend on it. Now I must go, but don’t worry because I will watch over ye through my looking glass.” Then he struck his staff into the Earth and vanished.
“Vámonos amigos!” Wolf-pup yipped as he pranced forward with his monkey and purple backpack. We scrabbled in haste to follow him. Unexpectedly, we found ourselves surrounded by a huge circle.
Parrot hollered out before flying away to a nearby tree, “Thar nay dangers ahead! Thar NAY dangers ahead!” Thinking we eluded the shadow ninjas, a sigh of relief escaped until suddenly two menacing shadows appeared.
“Prepare for trouble!” the shadow ninja challenged looking as terrifying as a chicken wearing stilettos.
“Make it double!” challenged the other shadow ninja who pranced around vigorously with deathly dance moves.
“We are here to…” said the shadow ninjas in unison.
“Destroy the world with devastation.”
“Divide the animals within our nation.”
“Denounce the evils of truth and love.”
“Extend our reaches to the stars above.”
“We are here to test your might! Pass and move on, or fail and face a terrible fright.”
“But, I don’t want to play!” complained one of the kits as she stomped her paw to the ground and miraculously walked out of the circle harm free.
Thus, we began our first trial, minus one meow. We dodged, ducked, rolled and played like our lives depended on it. At the end we triumphed and continued on our mission. We passed many hills, trees, and streams as we frolicked along. It was bitterly cold and the wind blew through our knapsacks and stabbed our muzzles like little needles. Halted in our tracks, our most difficult trial stood before us. A Bridge as thin as a giants thumb laid across a chasm full of darkness and evil. “Oh dear! How shalt thou cross?” Parrot hollered before flying to the other side.
Each pup and kit took turns being careful not to break the fragile wooden planks. The daring pup Awesome Sauce back flipped, skipped, and tap danced across the bridge as she stuck her landing with one paw. The kits and pups clapped and praised Awesome Sauce as she bowed to the crowd.
Our next challenge was crossing the brambles and many logs that lay between us and our final destination. Sensing victory ahead, the pups and kits began chatting while the most wondrous creatures peered curiously at them through thorns and thickets. Fairies and elves holding magical devices took many a selfie to post on their Fairygram and ElfTube. We would soon be known throughout the land as famous and brave explorers.
Finally, we arrived at a desert where our prizes awaited us. We could literally smell the glory.
Grenier lit a blazing fire full of enchantment. The fire roasted the most ancient and best hotdogs in all the world. Oh it was lovely! We warmed our paws and listened to a story about a sad king who yearned for happiness.
After our delicious feast, we toddled and scuttled back to the start of our journey, our tired paws pushing forward. The Great and Mystical Wizard Grenier handed each of us a prize for conquering the many trials and tribulations of our quest. Oh it was a wonderful prize! A beautiful mystical goblet that was full of secrets of the forest and held the power of the trees. Our grand adventure now complete, we dispersed into our dens satisfied, tired, and ready for the next chapter of the Natural Leaders.