Secret Places
Hidden Treasures / 2

Local students show off their literary stuff in the 2017 McEntyre Writing Competition

Introduction by Wayne Larsen

In what has become an annual tradition in Westmount schools, the McEntyre Writing Competition always attracts a wide variety of thoughtful and creative entries, and the 2017 edition was no exception.

Endowed by the late Peter McEntyre, mayor of Westmount from 1969 to 1971, the competition encourages young writers to express themselves on a designated topic, each designed to get the creative juices flowing. It is coordinated each year by the Westmount Public Library.

In 2017, “Secret Places, Hidden Treasures” was the topic assigned to students in grades 1 through 11.

Westmount Magazine presents the full texts of the first-place entries in each grade category, as supplied by the Westmount Public Library.

Here we present Grade 3.


Mara Berkowitz

Fire Versus Water

Once upon a time there were two girls, Flame and Wave. Flame was part of the fire family and Wave was part of the water family. One day when the girls were 4 years old they met at the split river. The split river was half water and half lava. Wave was playing in the water and Flame was playing in the lava. As they played they started to talk. Since then they were always together from the age of 4 until now, at age 11.

At this age, every girl and boy receives their powers. With Wave’s water powers and Flame’s fire powers they would no longer be able to be friends, as fire and water can’t mix. Since then, their fathers banned them from seeing each other. That night, Wave went to the split river and she saw a bottle floating in the water.

She grabbed the bottle and opened it – inside it was a map! The map showed the way to a hidden cave that had a magical ball that was half fire and half water. On the map it was written that the ball can grant one wish to each person. Wave ran across the river as fast as she could. She found Flame and told her. The girls went into the forest. The map was very difficult to follow but Flame and Wave knew that if they wanted to be able to remain friends they must find the magical ball.

As they walked deeper into the forest, it became darker, colder and windy. Soon they came to a lake. Wave said “Why don’t we sit by the lake for a moment and rest?” Flame thought this was a good idea. They put the map down as they sat down. Suddenly a big gust of wind came and the map flew away! Flame and Wave ran as fast as they could to try to catch the map, but they could not reach it. They sat down, not sure what to do next. They were all alone in the forest and didn’t know which way to go.

As the girls sat there, Flame thought she saw a light in the trees. “Wave”, she asked, “do you see that light in the forest?”. Wave answered, “Yes, I do — actually I think I see many lights”. The girls watched as the lights appeared to get closer and closer. Soon the lights seemed to be right in front of them. “Wait a minute…” said Flame, “I think they are Wisps!”. “What is a Wisp?” asked Wave.

“A Wisp,” explained Flame, “is a creature made of sparkly light that can fly. I have heard of them but I have never seen one before!”

The girls told the Wisps what had happened to them and asked them if they could help find the map. The Wisps told them they hadn’t seen the map and asked where the map was guiding them to. Wave told them the story of finding the bottle with the map and how it showed them how to find the hidden cave. “We need to find the cave so that the magical ball can grant us our wishes and we can be friends forever!” said Wave.

The Wisps said they knew where the hidden cave was and they would gladly show the girls the way. Together they set off. After a few more hours of walking they finally found it! As they entered the cave, they saw that it was full of beautiful crystals. Flame looked around and asked, “This cave is so large, how will we ever find the magical ball?” The Wisps had a solution – they would fly all around and light up every part of the cave so that Flame and Wave could try to see where the magical ball was. What a good plan! The Wisps flew all around and Flame and Wave searched all over. As they came to the back of the cave, they saw the magical ball!

The ball was incredible to see. It really was made of fire and water all together.

Wave said if fire and water can be together in the magical ball, then surely it can grant us our wish so that a girl with water powers and a girl with fire powers can still be best friends forever. She picked up the magical ball and asked if it would grant her this wish. Flame said, “Wait!…It should not just be for us, it should be for any fire or water boy or girl who want to be friends…”

Bouton S'inscrire à l'infolettre – WestmountMag.caThe magical ball lit up so bright that the girls had to close their eyes. The Wisps told them when it was ok to open their eyes. They felt a bit different and tried to give each other a hug. They could! Their fire and water could now mix and they truly could be friends forever.

The Wisps showed the girls the way home. When they returned, they were so happy to see that everybody was now playing together. From now on, whether you were from the fire family or the water family, everyone could be friends.


Image: Jay Huang via StockPholio.net

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