Schools Writing Competition 2006


The society holds a Schools Writing Competition every two years.  The theme for the 2006 competition was "Living with Animals". We regret that we are unable to give the names of the winners.


2006 Competition Results


Winning School, £300 The Bancroft School Woodford Green, Essex.
First Prize, £100 The Bancroft School.
Runner-up, £50 The Bancroft School
Runner-up, £50 Kingsmead School, Enfield.



2006 Winning Essay


Bancrofts School Woodford Green, Essex


The Messenger


The pale winter sun sliced through the mist which hung over the desolate, pockmarked battlefield. The frost covered expanse, glittering in the weak dawn light, was deserted, not a man or a beast in sight. There was nothing, no trees for birds to sit and sing in, no grass for cattle to graze at, nothing except miles and miles of barren wasteland ridden with holes as far as the eye could see.


Slowly as the sun rose higher, a small silhouette crept through the mist along the muddy, potholed terrain. It stopped, stood still with its head held high smelling the air then suddenly sprinted away, through the fog. The shadow ran faster than any man could and leapt , as light as a deer over the bomb craters in the ground. A little dog ran for its life through the uninhabited waste of “no-mans land”, its prize strapped tightly to its collar. The little black and white border collie was the last hope to the men in the trenches of the Western Front, all other means of communication to their headquarters had failed. The roads were a muddy pulp and the wasteland too far and dangerous for a man to cross. It was a long way over very difficult ground but all of the men in the trenches had faith in their little dog. Not only did she now carry the message that would save them, she also gave great comfort and boosted morale when times were bad. Her soft warmth and gentle understanding eyes soothed even the most terrified of men, a reminder of home.


Now the little mother figure was running faster than it had ever done before, eyes shining bright, pink tongue lolling from the mud-flecked nose with the effort. She had only one thing in mind, to reach HQ.


The little dog took the chance to run as far as she could, as fast as she could before the guns started, running, running head down watching for holes.


In just over an hour the little dog came in sight of HQ. Howling with joy, the little dog raced to the peeling door of the ramshackle building. Men turned as the dog approached and stood in surprise. She finally slowed and padded up to the nearest soldier, her job complete.


That evening, there was a small shape curled in front of the fire, dreaming. She had run 40 miles and saved many lives, and in return she had been rewarded with a good meal, a warm bed and lots of love.



2006 Runner Up


Bancroft’s School, Woodford Green, Essex


Endeavours of Men


The very first rays of the dawning sun emerged over the sunken valley, awakening the inhabitants that nestled in its midst and turning the sky a rosy hue. As the thin mantle of light spread slowly over the land, the German forces doused their camp fires, one by one in painfully obvious succession, as if to mark the final countdown to an inevitable conquest.


Surrounded and downcast, the small throng of British survivors readied themselves for another day of fatalities, misery and anguish. The only thought that kept them from the brink of despair was the ceaseless yet hollow promises from their General, of aid arriving any day now. What hr failed to mention was that he had neither informed nor the means to inform any such aid, but he dared not tell his troops that. It was this sole belief that kept them from simply lying down and succumbing. But the General had one last aspiration.


And so it was that as the first gunshots were exchanged that General Robert Tulip trudged through the near vacant campsite towards the lofts, formerly home to five hundred and forty of the swiftest assortment of homing pigeons known to man-kind, currently the dwelling of one.


Outside the rickety old shed, the former Major John Gibbs, sat on a low wooden stool. He sat because he could do nothing else, for in the heat of battle not two weeks ago he had lost his leg in a shelling. In this time his world had changed. His once clean shaven face was in dire need of a razor, and his former immaculate uniform was stained with blotches of tea in several places.


Now as Tulip approached the sorry sight he saw that once again in the ex-majors scarred old hands sat the last of the five hundred and forty royal homing pigeons that arrived little over a month ago. “John, John, it’s time”


Robert muttered slowly as if talking to a child. Mr Gibbs hadn’t been quite himself lately.


The cripple sighed and sat up bringing the grey bundle of feathers closer to his face.”In these few short weeks I lost my entirety” John looked up smiling slightly, “I’ve seen my friends fall in battle beside me, and grown men, whom I respected, were made to look like bawling children in front of those devils.” He shuddered, indicating over the hillside.


“And the only other person who’s ever understood that is this bird, the only other living casualty of this baleful onslaught” He loosened his hold on the pigeon to reveal the stump where a small wrinkly leg should have been. The pigeon began cooing softly, his beady eyes were almost mournful. “Now fly straight my crippled friend” John whispered, inserting the minute piece of paper into the canister on the pigeon’s leg, “and may your instinct guide you”.


And so after being tossed into the air, I set out on the hopeless mission that befell my five hundred and thirty nine of my companions. I circled to get my bearings then shot off towards the horizon. Even as enemy gun fire opened and I was hit in the chest I kept flying. But was there a point to my dauntlessness? Did I start this( yet another, fruitless war between men? But then I remembered the warm hands that healed me after my injury. And it was this sole thought that kept me soaring, faster and faster, until I was above the firing line and away.


An hour later the British soldiers heard the buzzing of propellers nearing over the horizon, and cheered.



2006 Runner Up


Kingsmead School, Enfield


Bang! Bang!


That was the thunderous blast from the Two Paw’s death stick.


I didn’t know it was still pursuing me. Can’t it see I am hurt enough? I would ‘ve thought that the blood would have been a big enough hint!


The blade wound on my tail burns like fire, forcing my paws to pound the floor in frustration and pain. My limbs are tiring rapidly and my stomach churns in desperate hunger. I do not wish to go anywhere near that human pack, near those merciless beasts with their death sticks or blades of fire ever again. No matter how much of my prey they butcher for their own selfish needs.


I freely admit I was a fool to even venture into the Two Paw’s territory.


Starvation was what drew me there. Everyday they have roaring infernos with which they feed with bark from the trees and use to roast juicy deer meat. Temptation made me risk everything and enter the forbidden territory. It was at that fateful moment that a Two Paw passed me. He took one look at me, curiously peering at my ribs as they poked oddly out of my half-starve form before it screamed. I acted upon instinct, based on my frantic hunger. I killed it.


Their blade of fire is what caused my beautiful pelt to be splattered with the blood from my tail. But then again, who would have guessed that by injuring one Two Paw the rest would come armed with glittering blades and death sticks. I was nearly deafened by the thunderous blast from their death sticks alone.


I stop in alarm as the disgustingly familiar, musky scent of a Two Paw wafts through the air. I press my body to the ground and lie perfectly composed, waiting.




The cracking sound of the bark snapping under the heavy weight of a Two Paw. It is dangerously close, close enough to fire it’s Death Stick again……. I should take flight and flee the area like any other sensible tigress of my breed……but doing so in this heat and in such a condition has…….wasted away my energy. My limbs no longer do as I command; they lie limply, blending in well with the crisp, sunburnt grass. I rest my head on my front paws and close my eyes, letting myself become victim to slumber, the crisp grass tickling my chin….I might as well…. At least for a while.




I force myself out of my semi-unconscious state, eyes scanning the surroundings in worry as my head jerks back in alarm. It didn’t take as long as I had expected and for the moment, I am caught off guard, unprepared like a foolish monkey as they are captured in the jaws of a patient crocodile. In that time, I have just noticed the Two Paws, crouching , partly hidden by vegetation. But he has already seen me, his Death Stick gleaming maliciously as it is raised, ready to fire.


We lock gazes in an instant, and in it’s eyes I see something that reflects myself. Pride, hardship pain….. And fear. Two Paws’ must be sensing this strange feeling too, for it’s Death Stick reluctantly lowers, slowly until it lies dead on the grass. I take a step back, just in case it changes it’s mind. When I see it move it’s long fore-paw I instinctively back away, and turn , before leaping over a fallen log, escaping into the awaiting overgrowth.