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Short Story Competition 2022 School Years 4 to 5 Highly Commended Oscar Kaziewicz ‘Curious Chuckles’

Chuckles is the name of my pet chicken. I adopted her from my auntie in England and she has been the delight of my life since that day. She is an astonishing chicken. She is smart, calm, and kind with black and yellow feathers making her look like a cheetah. Her face is as cute as a puppy, with big brown eyes and little white beak. She is so calm that she will let you stroke her and pick her up.

When I was living in England, my neighbour's dog broke our fence and attacked all the other chickens we had. We panicked, thinking they had been killed, but all of a sudden we saw Chuckles appear, she had miraculously survived. We then moved to Gibraltar and I was very sad to leave her behind and I could tell she was going to miss me, and I was right.

Once we had moved, our friend was looking after her. She told us that Chuckles was not the same. She was always on her own, she didn't want to be picked up, and seemed very upset. Then one day, my mother excitedly told me that we were going to bring Chuckles to live with us in Gibraltar. This made me incredibly happy.

We brought her to Gibraltar and she lived opposite us in a big pen with other chickens. Life was good, she seemed happy, and I would go and visit her every single day.

Then, one day, I had a big fright as we saw she wasn't in her pen. We looked everywhere, but Chuckles had escaped. After days of looking for her throughout Gibraltar, my mother found her, and as soon as she put her back in her pen, she escaped again.

We have come to the conclusion, that Chuckles is just curious about where she is living now and she wants to explore the world around her. I am very glad I brought her to Gibraltar, and even though I cannot see her everyday, I know she is safe because she is such a clever chicken.

Judges comments
Highly Commended: Oscar Kaziewicz with Curious Chuckles. Chickens are seldom treated as pets, but Chuckles is the exception. We learn that she is ‘smart, calm and kind’ and the favourite of our story-teller. When the owner has to leave her behind, Chuckles becomes moody and unfriendly- she obviously misses her human companion. Once they are reunited, Chuckles reverts to her former self but she now often disappears and goes exploring. Being ‘Curious Chuckles,’ she wants to learn about her new surroundings. However, the speaker is confident Chuckles will always return to her pen because ‘she is such a clever chicken.’ Even chickens have the potential to become loved pets!

There is no hidden meaning here but that is precisely the story’s charm and appeal.

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