By Juliette Whitty age 9, County Kildare
One fine day a girl named Milly woke up in the basement of her house, because that was her room. It was cold, dark and damp with no lovely pictures on the walls or even have bright pretty curtains, as what would be the point of that without a window for them to be placed?
Milly’s parents were horrid to her, they made her home-school herself, not let her play with anyone or anything. They made her make the dinner and do all the choirs. Milly was lonely, but still found the happiness in the little things and still had hope her dreams will come true someday.
Later that same day while sitting on the grass working, Milly saw a girl walking by, which was strange as her house was on large land in a small town.
Milly said, “Hello,” and the girl said "Hi" back. Then she came over, and they sat and played for a while. Milly discovered that the girl loved unicorns just like her and had recently moved to the town. Then out of nowhere came a loud sound: " Get inside now! Stop playing with that girl IMMEDIATELY.”
Milly turned to look who had said that, it was her mother. She said bye to the girl and very quickly asked, " What's your name?"
"Rose” the girl shouted back.
Milly just had the chance to say "Bye, we will meet again" as she needed hope before being dragged into the house.
When she got inside, Milly got a big painful smack off her dad and was sent to her room. She cried and cried. Her parents gave her nothing to eat for the rest of the day.
Milly lived in a nice house but was only allowed in the rooms for cleaning, the kitchen for cooking, the dining room for eating and she was allowed in her in the basement all the time and outside. Around her house was a beautiful field full of flowers and bees, butterflies and birds. Her favourite spot was to seat under a beautiful hawthorn tree. She lived in a small town in County Kildare. When it was bedtime she dreamed about being a unicorn, galloping on fields, eating fresh grass and playing with friends. Whenever she woke, Milly was scared because her parents were going to do something bad to her she thought.
The next day she woke with the same feeling of dread and fear. She went to the field to do some writing and maths, and one thing she was allowed to have was a book. She treasured many books and stories. Later Milly went to the kitchen to make herself some lunch, a ham sandwich with kiwi, strawberries, pear and apple. She ate it all up because she was starving after not being able to eat the previous night.
After that, she was asked to go to the shops, but not to talk to anyone but the shopkeepers. Her mam normally drove with her but today she had to walk the long walk to the shops. She walked and walked and walked until her feet could walk no longer but finally in the distance, she saw the shops.
When she got inside she saw Rose! She was shopping with her Mam.
Rose said, “Hi Milly."
Milly said " Hi" back. She was pleased to see her.
"I am so happy we bumped into each other again,” said Rose.
"I am too," said Milly.
"How are you doing? " Milly asked.
"Great,", said Rose. “How are you doing?"
"Not so good," said Milly.
"Oh really?” said Rose. “Sorry, I’ve got to go, sorry to hear you aren’t doing well” and off Rose ran in the direction of her mam.
Milly got all the food on the list and started the long walk uphill back home with the heavy shopping. When she got home, she was exhausted. After putting the shopping away Milly while standing in her kitchen placed her head on the counter. Then suddenly her Mam called out, “What took you so long? You should have been back hours ago!”
“But the walk was long,” replied Milly wearingly.
"Don’t be silly,” said her Mam. "You must have chatted to someone. Tell the truth Milly."’
"Okay, I did.” said Milly. "I talked to Rose.”
"You are in big trouble!" her mam shouted.
"Go to your room and stay there until I say you can come out!" shouted her mam.
So Milly went downstairs to her dark, cold bedroom.
Milly lay on her bed and by the corner of her eye saw a book at the end of her bed. It was like sunshine was shining on it but her room having no windows that was not possible. Before picking it up she noticed it was called, Unicorn Land. Her parents only gave Milly worn out books about facts and things to learn but nothing magical or make believe.
Milly opened it with excitement. The book began to talk! The book said, "Don’t be afraid, I am a magical book sent to help you get back to your real family.”
“Yes!" shouted out Milly.
Confusion came over her though, but the book continued to speak. " You must follow my tricky tasks and go on an adventure, bring a bag with things for an overnight trail.” She grabbed the book and slowly opened her bedroom door and as quietly as a mouse, went up the stair and went into kitchen and put some things in a bag. Milly gently opened the front door and started her great adventure.
Just as she got to her favourite spot in the garden, Milly began to have a flash back similar to the dreams she had at night but these more like her real life. It was when she was five, while her real parents read a story to her before bedtime and she was a unicorn!! That night while sleeping, a witch took her. When she opened her eyes the next day she was in a cage.
The witch appeared, "You will now be a human forever! " she shouted. "Ha, ha, I will bring you this curse the worst curse I have ever given, you now shall have legs and be human!! ABRACABRABA ABRACABOO" and boof she was a human! Then the witch said, "From now till the curse is broken, you shall have horrid parents. ABRACABRABA ABRACABOO" and boof! she was in a house with mean parents.
You know the rest - Milly grew up with these parents for maybe five years. Now was her chance to be free! Her flashback was over.
Milly walked in the direction the book told her to. When lions walked by and roared at her, they started to chase her! It was like the two worlds are getting mixed together. Milly ran and ran but then she thought of a plan, she threw out her meat from her bag and the lions started to eat the meat and forgot about Milly. She walked on further, and further and further. When it reached the night, she set out a pillow and a thin blanket. Milly was scared because she was in the wild, there were animals everywhere, but she fell asleep after a while. In the morning, as she opened her eyes a gigantic spider was in front of her! She was terrified but remembered she was in Ireland, so it was not going to hurt her. Milly walked on through trees, then fields, then along a stream and walked until she got hungry. She sat down and ate some bread and read the book to see where she needed to go next.
After she finished her bread, she continued on walking and walking until she was sinking!!! In the shock she dropped the book. OH DEAR! It was sinksand. She found a nearby branch to pull herself up, but the book was still in the sinksand. She was sad, the book could be lost in the sand forever!! But she had to try to get it out or she would be human forever!
So Milly found a long branch on the ground, she tried to grab it with that but it didn’t work. Then she looked around further for something, she found lots of vines and a big stick. She very quickly tied the vine together to make a basket shape and connected it to the stick but as she looked the sinksand, the book was nearly gone!! She ran over and scooped it up just in time!! Milly was so relieved she got her book back because if she had been a second later the book would have been gone.
She sat down to calm herself down and while she was sitting, Milly decided to have an apple from her bag. But her food was gone!! She was sad and frustrated but said, “At least I have my book.” She got up and walked on until she came to a river and saw a man. She asked him if he had any food to spare. The man very kindly gave her some bread, apples, Weetabix, milk, and water.
Milly thanked the man and said, "After my journey, I will come back and repay you for your true kindness.” She walked on past the man and stopped to eat some Weetabix and milk. She then had more energy to walk further.
She walked on until she saw a stand, it had a big red sparkly gem. The book said, “This is what you have been looking for Milly.” Milly got up and went to get the gem but then guarding the gem was the evil witch!! Suddenly she thought of a fairy tale her mam had told her about an evil witch who was affected by sunlight. She got the witch’s attention and ran outside where it was sunny. Milly remembered when the witch kidnapped her before it was sunrise where she lived and she was wearing special gear. So she ran out to the sunny bit and the witch ran after her and forgot her protective gear and she started to melt in the sun!
"You wicked girl or unicorn! You have not seen the last of me!" she screeched as she was melting away! After a few seconds after that she was gone! Milly then picked up the beautiful big sparkly gem.
Milly then spoke to the book, “How do I use the gem to get home and be a unicorn again?”
“You just say I wish I was myself again,” said the book.
Milly said, “I wish I was myself again!" and poof! she was a unicorn again! She noticed she was no longer where she was but in a much more homely feeling place. She noticed as she turned, her real parents where at the edge of a herd of unicorns. She ran and they shouted, "Milly , Milly, is that you?!"
Milly shouted, "Yes, yes, it's me!!"
She told them how she went missing and how she got back! The three of them gathered closely together with both her parents’ heads seating on hers. A unicorn hug! They made an announcement to the whole herd that Milly had returned! Her friends ran towards her, they hugged each other.
Milly said, "I have to go give a man some diamonds to repay his kindness towards me." Her parents organised the reward and Milly galloped to the man as she appeared to have the ability to go through both worlds by simply wishing it in her head! The man was shocked to see a unicorn appearing galloping towards him.
“I am Milly, the girl who asked you for help today. I was cursed by a witch to be a human and I was on a journey to find a gem to help me to get home to my parents and be myself again. To repay your kindness of helping me, I am giving you six diamonds,” said Milly.
“You really don’t have to repay me,” said the man.
"Yes, I should, as you helped me find my family again,” Milly replied. “Keep them and hope they bring you good fortune.”
She then galloped off, wishing to be home again and she galloped into the meadow her parents and friends are in. She galloped freely playing chasing with her friends, feeling the happiest she's ever felt!
After some time she remembered a person who brought a smile to her face back in the other world. Can you think who? She then decided to surprise her with a visit remembering how much she loved unicorns! But that is another tale for another time.