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A Forest of Gold

by Iva Knežević, grade 8

A Forest of Gold by Iva Knežević Kyle and Karen have been best friends since they were very little. They still love spending time together and they also love spending time with their friends: Brownbear, Hazelnut and Bunny. Most of their days they spend playing around their neighbourhood, exploring its secrets and looking for adventures. They also visit their neighbour, Mr Anthony, quite often. My Anthony is a kind old man who lives alone. One day, he lets them climb up on his attic. It is a land of wonder for them. There they discover lots of fascinating things, like toys and things from Mr Anthony’s childhood. He tells them about his happy childhood and how he and his friends did many funny things. As a child, he loved playing outside and he played lots of sports, but soccer was his favourite. Camping under an open sky in the forest was one of his favourite things to do in long, hot summers. There he found his first pet, cat Ginger. At the age of 35, he built himself a house in the middle of the forest. He loved living there and never wanted to leave. But one day three men came to his house and told him he had to leave. One of them was Mr Evilstein, Mr Anthony’s childhood friend, who said that he had bought the forest and he would work there. Mr Anthony sold him his house and went to live in the town. He didn’t think anything bad was going to happen, until one day Mr Evilstein started cutting down trees and destroying the forest. Mr Anthony quarrelled with Mr Evilstein but he didn’t want to stop destroying the forest. So, Mr Anthony decided to talk to the people in the town about Evilstein’s evil plans with their forest, but they didn’t care. They thought that the destruction of the forest would stop after few years but it never did. Now, that the forest was almost gone, lots of animals had to leave their home and find another one. Kyle and Karen’s friends Brownbear, Hazelnut and Bunny left the forest when they were little and now they live near the people. They miss their home as much as Mr Anthony does. One day, while playing on Mr Anthony’s attic, Kyle, Karen, Bunny, Hazelnut and Brownbear find a map there. There is a big “X” sign on it, right in the place of the destroyed forest. Kyle remembers Mr Anthony’s story of how he and his friends found gold in the forest and made a map to remember where it was, but they lost it. They run downstairs to tell Mr Anthony about their discovery. With a big sadness on his face, Mr Anthony explains that he had found that map years back and he had given it to Mr Evilstein hoping that when he finds gold he will stop hurting the forest. Mr Evilstein did find gold there, but he was a greedy man. He was convinced that there was more gold so he kept on searching for it. Mr Evilstein wasn’t just crazy for gold; he was a scientist as well. He loved doing crazy experiments. After he had found the gold from Mr Anthony’s map, he used the money for materials in his laboratories and started building lots of them in the forest. At this point, the town people were very angry. They sent him threatening messages and letters but he didn’t care. He just cared about himself and his wealth. After hearing all of this from Mr Anthony, Kyle and his friends decide to do something to save the forest. But, what can two kids and three animals do? After some time spying on Mr Evilstein, Karen gets an amazing idea. She remembers how Mr Anthony told them that Mr Evilstein is afraid of dragons. So, Brownbear suggests them to mask themselves to make Mr Evilstein so afraid that he would leave the forest and never come back again. They go to Karen’s house and find the right costumes. They put them on and go to Mr Evilstein’s cabin in the forest. As they come to his window, Hazenut suggests they should make a shadow of a big dragon and imitate its roar. When Mr Evilstein hears the noise he is frightened right away. -“Stop destroying my forest” says Kyle in dragon voice. - “But I need space for my laboratories”, replies Mr Evilstein in a shivering voice, “I have to do my experiments”. - “I know that you do experiments for faster forest destruction. Stop with them now, I tell you!” says Kyle. - “Okay, dragon, I will”, says Mr Evilstein. The next day, Mr Evilstein calls his people and tells them to stop with the work in the forest. They pack their heavy machinery and in a week everyone was gone. When Mr Anthony sees there is no one in the forest, there is no more cutting down trees, he knows that the kids had a part in that. Few weeks later, Mr Evilstein comes to Mr Anthony’s house and starts telling him how sorry he is about everything he did. He promises to build him a new house in the middle of the forest. He even plants new trees in the forest and uses his new formula for fast growth. This was the first time in his life that he used his knowledge and science for doing good. Eventually, Mr Anthony and Mr Evilstein become friends again, like in the old days. Kyle and his friends come round to Mr Anthony’s one day while Mr Evilstein is there. They decide to tell him the truth about who the “dragon” was. To their surprise, Mr Evilstein is not angry, he is thankful that the kids opened his eyes. Now, Mr Evilstein works for the nature. He uses his scientific discoveries to do good. All the animals come back to the forest, their home. Kyle and Karen spend their days in fun and games with Hazelnut, Brownbear and Bunny in their beautiful forest. Every day they go to see Mr Anthony in his forest house where he tells them stories. They love their forest. They will never leave it.

mentor: Lidija Škrlec

OŠ Vladimira Nazora