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Hidden Hills Forest

by Fabijan Zdravko Švaganović, grade 7

One rainy gloomy evening, while heavy rain hit the windowsill of the home for the elderly St. Dominic's Hospice in London, old man named Caleb sat at the table in his small room and with a slight smile on his face recalled his childhood. Leafing through the album with pictures from his childhood, he was soon reminded of his friends and happy, but also sad days he spent in a small English town called Hidden Hills.

The place was known for its beautiful hills, which were covered with thick forest. The forest was shining as though it were magical during the day, and especially at night when it was illuminated by the moon light and sprinkled with rain drops. Many have said it is magical. That voice has spread far across the country. Caleb remembered his friends as well: girl Emma, bear Pucky, squirell Lilly and rabit Simba. Many memories came back to him of a spring evenings he spent with his friends running and playing in the beautiful wooded hills of Hidden Hills.

Among album pages he found a map he drew with his friends. This was no ordinary map. It was a map showing the way to the hidden treasure he buried with the bear Pucky. The path to the treasure was being traversed by numerous obstacles: the terrible snakes, steep mountains and tunnels and other forest creatures. Numerous days they spent playing treasure hunting.

In Emma's attic they would take various toys and costumes from the big chest. Each in its role as a super hero they would go on winding forest paths in search of buried treasure.

Caleb would always disguise himself in a powerful orange dragon with a broom in his hands that represented a deadly spear. Emma was a wise magician of light with a magical umbrella, and bear Pucky was fearless pirate with a telescope with which he always spotted the enemy in front of them on time. Squirrel Lilly would disguise in a Super Squirrel. Thanks to its beautiful ornate tail she jumped from tree to tree and it seemed as if she was flying through the sky. Rabbit Simba would disguise as a brave knight with a cudgel in his hand. Caleb remembered those days with a smile and joy.

But soon the smile from his face took off the thought of a horrible event that hit Hidden Hills. This event forever changed the beautiful town. As the rumor spread around the country that the forest in the town was actually magical, the vicious scientist Dexter visited the town. Every day he would break a couple of twigs from the trees in the woods and go to the nearby castle and conduct experiments. Each would end in failure. Every idea had fallen as if it had been brought into the rainstorm. It was rumored that Dexter blamed insufficient amount of magic he had gained from the tree branch. The people laughed at him and said that the forest was not magical, but he did not want to believe them. He was getting crazier and crazier.

One morning, Caleb remembers, he went with friends to take a walk through the woods. But they saw a terrible sight. Someone was tearing down the forest! They stood on the hill and watched what was going on through binoculars. They were in shock. Unfortunately, Hidden Hills citizens could not do anything to stop it. Crazy scientist Dexter stood behind that ugly act.

By the evening of that day the forest was destroyed. The excavators have crushed every tree they encountered. Poor, crying animals left the forest. They could not believe their magical home was gone. Caleb, Emma, Pucky, Lilly, and Simba decided to get rid of the evil scientist Dexter once and for all.

Disguised as super heroes they went to the castle where evil Dexter was getting ready for a new experiment. Shadowed by moonlight on the wall of the castle, they formed the shadow of the terrible great monster. Dexter was immediately frightened. Caleb introduced himself as a magically enchanted forest monster to which Dexter destroyed his home. He told him to leave the Hidden Hills immediately and that he is not allowed to do research ever again or else he would come after him and imprison him forever. Dexter fled headlong and never again set foot in the research lab.

Although sad that the forest was gone, they were very happy to have been able to stop evil Dexter and that such a horrible act is not repeated elsewhere in the world. They knew that the forest would remain forever alive and magical for as long as they would carry memories of her and the wonderful moments they spent playing in her. Caleb closed the album and went to bed. He sank into a beautiful dream in which he again ran through winding paths of Hidden Hills' magical forest.

mentor: Bernard Jukić

OŠ Vjekoslav Klaić