Amulets Of The Rainforest by Mubashera Jafri, age 10
Carrie lived on a beach near a tropical rain forest in Hawaii. She was a suntanned youth of thirteen years of age. She had long black silky hair that fell all the way to her ankles. Along with that she had light brown eyes to go with her coconut brown complexion.
Every day, Carrie went out into the rain forest across from her house after breakfast to visit her friend pets. She would barely set a foot inside the forest before her friends would run out to meet her.
There was Pooch, a clever monkey, Prissy, a tropical parrot, a young bear called Sakai, and a snake called Slitherness.
They all came out to meet Carrie with presents for her in their hands, as they would never meet her empty handed. On this day, Pooch gave her a colorful rock, Prissy gave her a Hawaiian necklace, Sakai gave her a special fan she had made with thin pieces of tree bark, and Slitherness gave her a flower. Carrie praised everyone and thanked them all. She decided to take a stroll with her friends through the forest but just then it started to rain.
There was chaos. Prissy screeched, Slitherness just started coiling herself up while making unstoppable hissing noises. Carrie was trying to calm everyone down, but Sakai just sat there staring at them wisely, not knowing why rain should cause chaos.
Suddenly Sakai growled so loud that everyone stopped what they were doing and stared at her, shocked. Everything was still, then Carrie spoke up. “Well, I guess I have to go home, no use standing here getting all wet,” she mused. All of Carrie’s friends murmured in agreement. The next moment was quite a disappointing one. Carrie said farewell to everyone and headed for home in a gloomy mood. The only thing that cheered her up a little was the refreshing wetness of the cold rain and the tickling feeling of soft sand under her feet. ________
As Carrie headed home, she heard a soft thumping sound behind her. She turned to see Sakai following her. “Sakai, why are you following me?" said Carrie said, picking her the little bear.
The door creaked open as Carrie walked inside making sure her parents who were in the lounge did not see Sakai, because if they did… well they would get in a fit in seeing a bear in the house! Carrie carefully tiptoed to her room. Carrie gently placed Sakai on her neat bed and gave her a few morsels of meat from her own dinner.
Carrie walked over to her dresser drawer, when suddenly, mist swirled all around her room. Carrie quickly turned around to pick up Sakai in case the mist was harmful. But to her surprise Sakai was not on the bed! Instead, in her place was a young lady of maybe seventeen years of age. The young lady had long blond hair even longer than Carrie’s, black eyes and sharp, piercing eyebrows. Sakai, in her human form, waited until the last of the mist had cleared and then started speaking in a low voice.
“Hello Carrie,” said Sakai.
"Sakai?... How did you?... What and who are you?" Carrie asked, confused. Sakai smiled and said, “I will tell you the whole story. Carrie nodded and Sakai began.
A few years ago when I turned your age my mother gave me an amulet. She told me it would change me into an animal if I ever needed to. Pooch, Prissy and Slitherness had one too. But then Slitherness lost hers while she was in animal form, and ever since then she was always a snake. But if she had her amulet, she too could return to her human form. Slitherness felt jealous that the rest of us could still transform and stole our amulets, but I kept mine safe! And I didn’t dare to use it. If I had, Slitherness would find out and steal it from me too, like she stole from the others. Pooch and Prissy are trapped and can never be in their human form again!
“… And that is why I am here, Carrie. I want you to take the amulets from Slitherness and give them back to Pooch and Prissy”.
“But I don’t know where to find them’’, Carrie said.
“I will tell you. They live in the nest of Slitherness and are unguarded, but you will have to get them without Slitherness finding out or else she will get really mad”.
“Where is her nest?” asked Carrie.
“It lies close to where Prissy’s nest is”.
“Come, let’s go now," urged Carrie.
“Do Pooch and Prissy know you have your amulet?” said Carrie.
“Yes,” Sakai answered.
It was a long time before they found Prissy and Pooch. They found them drinking in a small pond. “There you guys are!” said Carrie. “We searched the whole forest for you!”
Carrie was not sure they would answer. After all they were animals. But to her surprise they did. “Are you here to get our amulets back?” said Pooch and Prissy together in an excited tone.
“I sure am,” she said.
“Then let’s go! Sakai, you lead the way to Slitherness’ nest!” The four of them walked on silently with no words between them. Suddenly, Sakai came to a halt in front of a cave.
“Why have we stopped?” Carrie said.
“This is her cave and we are not allowed to go in," said Sakai, “Only you can save Prissy and Pooch”.
Carrie shuddered and started to walk towards the cave. Just as she entered, she heard a voice full of hisses fill the cave.
“Who dares enters my nest?”
"It's me, I'm here to-"
“-First, you must first solve my riddle! If your answer is correct, then you may explain why you are here and who you are!” hissed Slitherness.
“What is the riddle?” Carrie asked.
“I will recite it now. Many have heard me, but no one has seen me, and I will not speak until spoken to. What am I?”
“It can’t be my voice,” she said, deep in thought.
My voice, her voice echoed
“I’ve got it! It’s an echo!” she cried.
“That is the right answer!” Slitherness hissed. “Come forward and confront me if you dare”.
Carrie stepped forward. "It’s me, Carrie!”
“Well, what do you want?” demanded Slitherness.
“Slitherness, why did you steal Pooch and Prissy’s amulets?” said Carrie.
“Well, you can take them if you want them!” Slitherness said.
“Really?” asked Carrie, suprised. There must be a catch! she thought. “You would really let me just….take them?”Carrie said.
“Well, I don’t need them,” said Slitherness bitterly.
“Okay, where are they?”asked Carrie.
“But first you will need to pass a test, like you did before. Only then can you have the amulets!” Slitherness was sure Carrie would not be able to answer the next riddle.
Aha! thought Carrie. “Okay, what’s the riddle?”Carrie asked.
“I will begin” Slitherness said. "When you have me you feel like sharing me. But, if you do share me you won’t have me, what am I?"
Carrie was trapped. She racked her brain, thinking and thinking. What can it be? she thought.
“Can you give me a hint?’ Carrie asked.
“No, it is a secret!” snapped Slitherness.
“A secret! That’s it!” Carrie exclaimed. "You always want to share it, and if you do, it’s not a secret!” Carrie said.
“Well then, take theeesse amuletsssss and be gone now,” said Slitherness.
Carrie went out of the cave gave the amulets to Pooch and Prissy, and took a step back, doing this without a word. All of a sudden the same mist in Carrie’s room circled around Pooch and Prissy. She held her breath.
The three friends hugged and thanked Carrie, while Slitherness watched from her cave and cried out of sadness. She would never get to join them. But the friends made a pact to help find Slitherness' amulet, too. They all turned and walked back into the forest, in their own world of happiness.
What a busy day, Carrie thought, smiling to herself.