Competition 2020 – 1st place 8-11 years


1st place

8-11 years category

‘Jaffa’s Rainforest’ by Ellie Ross-Macdonald won 1st place in the 8-11 years category of our Creative Writing 2020 Competition. The piece, read by Jo Lumber a performer for The Story Republic, was recorded for Source FM to be aired on the station’s ‘Story Hour’. Listen and read the story below.


Jaffa’s Rainforest

by Ellie Ross-Macdonald

Jaffa, a ring-tailed lemur with a thick, gleaming coat and a super-stripy tail, was sitting on his favourite branch of the baobab tree.  As he gazed up at the paradise birds, he thought how beautiful the forest looked that day. The blue bees made the bright trees magically glow, whilst the huge leaves created an oasis of green.

Suddenly, the whole forest reacted to a terrifying CRASH! There was an enormous yellow monster with a huge silver claw heading straight for them.

It was tearing down the great big trees that the parrots liked to nest in; their precious eggs were being smashed on the ground. Jaffa watched in horror as hundreds of years of growing were gobbled up in seconds.

The howler monkeys were woken up from their deep sleep by the blazing, hot sun bursting into the protection of the rainforest and landing on their hairy backs. Fleas jumped off them like rats fleeing a sinking ship.

The mouse-lemurs were pelted by the falling coconuts as they were ripped from the trees.

Jaffa could see a crumpled, brown figure lying on the floor; he went down to investigate. It was his old friend, Mr Pebble, the aye-aye. Jaffa wept.

Hours later, the chaos moved on but with all of the beautiful trees swallowed up and taken away by the hungry thief.

Jaffa was one of the only survivors but he was left with nothing and his home was completely gone. He looked out to the unknown rainforest that was once his home. How was he supposed to live with nothing left? He was empty. He was angry! Why would someone steal their home like this?

Jaffa struggled on for two days until he realised he needed to go to rest and fade away. Just then, on the edge of the clearing, he noticed a figure. It wasn’t an animal; it was a man! Jaffa wanted to run away but he had no energy left.  The petrified lemur curled up into a tiny ball and waited. Something sharp hit him and he blacked out.

The next thing he knew, he was awake and well, but trapped in a cage. The man loomed over his cute and scared little face. Jaffa thought he would be killed at any moment, as he was lifted into the back of a jeep.

Again his eyelids shut.

Then, he heard a voice murmur, “There you are, little fella.”

He was awake in heaven, he thought, but he recognised the sweet smell of bananas and the man was still there so he couldn’t be in heaven! He was back – but in a part of the jungle that had not been destroyed by the monster.

“I’ll help you build back your rainforest,” the man said.

And from that day forward, Jaffa and the man were best of friends. Jaffa learnt the man’s name, Kevin, but he preferred “The Man” because he was the man of the jungle who saved his life.


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  1. Jane Pugh

    One of the elements of this story that I’m super impressed by is its authenticity, it’s really well researched. It also doesn’t shy away of powerful emotions like sadness and anger. The ending where ‘the man’ and the animal live together gives us something to think about too.

    May 27, 2020 @ 6:08 pm