The Pine Island by Anish Nanda and Nicole Byrne
It was a Monday morning, it was my first day of high school. I was so excited that I even woke up at 5am even though my classes only started at 8:00. I quickly brushed my teeth and got ready because I didn’t want to be late on my first day. I was ready at exactly 5:30, I was shocked that it had only taken me 30 minutes to get ready, I thought I had taken way longer than that but since I had plenty of time till the bus had to pick me up, I decided to take a quick nap because I was still kind of tired.
I woke up and checked my phone to see what time it was and it- it was…9:00 am! I quickly got up to look outside my window hoping the bus was still there waiting. (Of course, it wasn’t) I rushed downstairs to wake my mum up so she could drop me off at school but she was sound asleep, my only other option was to use my bicycle. I got my helmet and backpack and hopped onto my bicycle and I rode as fast as I could.
I was only a few minutes away from my school, as I was taking a left turn, I could see several cars lined up, it looked like it was traffic but lucky for me I was riding my bicycle so I quickly dash through the traffic. Suddenly I see a huge, red “STOP” sign but couldn’t stop in time…
A black Rolls Royce hit me! I was stunned for a few seconds before I was conscious enough to know what was happening. A few moments later, a man in a beautiful fur coat came out running out of the car to help me. He apologized and told me he’ll take me to the hospital in his car. I said that there was no need for that and instead asked him to drop me off at school.
Momentarily, we arrived at my school and he apologized again and I replied saying no problem. He left a few seconds later. I went to attend my lecture, which I had half missed. At lunch, I told all my friends what had happened earlier and they were shocked.
A few weeks later when we had just finished our exams, the principal had announced that there was going to be a school trip to the ‘Pine Island’, so we could see the saolas which was an endangered animal that you could only find on the Pine Island because there were only three left in the world and they were all located on that island. I was so excited because, I love animals!
As soon as I got home, I packed everything that I needed for the school trip tomorrow, after an hour I was finally done packing, but I double-checked in case I had forgotten anything, and surprisingly I had forgotten the most important item which was my camera to take pictures. I was finally done packing and this time I was a hundred percent sure that I had packed everything.
After a couple of hours, I went downstairs to eat dinner and as soon as I was done eating, I went upstairs to set my alarm to 7 am for tomorrow, when I was done with that I immediately went to bed.
It was the next morning when I heard the alarm ring I jumped out of bed and got ready. When I was done, I ate breakfast and packed a few snacks for the road. I woke my mum up so she could take me to school because there was no way I was going to use my bicycle after what had happened. Thankfully she woke up. I got into the car and I was on my way to school.
I arrived at school and I could see all my friends on the bus waiting for the rest of the students to arrive. I got out of the car and said goodbye to my mum. I walked up to the bus and went in. Then, I walked to the back of the bus where all my friends had sat, I sat down with them and patiently waited for everyone to come.
Finally, everyone was on the bus so we set off, this was a four-hour drive and I had fallen asleep for pretty much the whole trip. We eventually arrived but my friends and I were still asleep so the teachers shook us gently to wake us up. We all lined up and got off the bus one by one, the teachers had asked us if we wanted to use the bathroom and we all did, so everyone ran to the bathroom before they were all occupied.
When we were done using the bathroom the teachers said that we had to go on a boat to get to the island so they split us into two groups, group A and group B, I was in group A so I got to get on the boat first, they gave us life jackets as we got on the boat. The island was 10 minutes away, so to pass the time I took pictures of the fish and many other beautiful sea animals.
As we arrived on the island, we were welcomed by some of the employees and workers at the island. They walked us around some parts of the island and showed us many different animals, they were all beautiful and unique but I couldn’t wait to see the saolas. After three hours we went to a restaurant on the island, so we could get something to eat.
While everyone else was eating, I went up to the tour guide to ask him, when he was going to take us to see the saolas and he said that they were on the other side of the island and it would take us around three hours to get there, and it was almost dawn, so he suggested that we would go see them tomorrow, first thing in the morning. I was upset but at least we were going to see them before we had to leave so I didn’t mind.
We all had finished eating, so we headed to our designated rooms for the night. As I was walking to my room something had caught my eye and it was these expensive cars that were parked at a sign that said ‘VIPs’ I went closer to check them out and I recognized a black Rolls Royce but I wasn’t very sure where I had seen it but it seemed very familiar. I was too tired to even remember so I just went to my room to get some sleep.
It was the next morning, all the teachers came knocking at our room doors at 6 am to wake us up. Everyone was ready at 7 so we went to the hall to eat breakfast. We finished eating, so we were on our way to see the saolas, you couldn’t imagine how happy I was. I took a whole load of pictures with my camera on our way there.
We arrived! I jumped off the bus and repeatedly started looking left and right trying to find the saolas but the tour guide said they were at the back eating so we had to walk. I was way ahead of everyone else because I couldn’t wait to see them! We eventually got there and I couldn’t believe my eyes…
It was the most magnificent animal I’d ever seen. It had beautiful brown fur and a few patches of white fur and their horns were so long and pointy at the end, but it felt like I had seen its fur before.
IT HIT ME! All the memories came rushing back, the black Rolls Royce, the beautiful fur coat. It’s him! the polite gentleman that had helped me when I had an accident! But was he doing here on this island? Why was he wearing the saola’s coat? I had so many questions, I needed answers.
It was night time, everyone was in their rooms sound asleep at exactly 8pm, because we were leaving early tomorrow morning to go back to school, but I refuse to leave till I get to the bottom of this. I sneaked out my room and gently closed the door hoping no one wakes up. I walked around the island trying to find anything suspicious. Thirty minutes later, and I still had not found anything, I was tired of walking so I sat down near the soalas cage, to rest. I heard footsteps so I quickly ran behind the bush, I peeped through
to see who it was, and it was the guy that was wearing the fur coat and in his hand he had a gun.
He got closer to the soalas and pointed the gun to one of them, I wanted to stop him but I couldn’t. I remembered I had my camera with me! I quickly took it out so I could film what was happening, but there was a problem. The storage was full.
Luckily I had my phone. I hit the record button and started recording till he did something. Suddenly he pulled the trigger and the soala dropped down to the ground. I was fumed.
I quickly ran to my teachers and showed them the video, they forwarded the video to the game rangers, and told me to go to bed.
It was the next morning the island was packed with police cars and game rangers, I had no idea what was happening so I asked the teacher and she said that they were questioning the person that had shot the soala.
After thirty minutes the person that shot the soala walked out the room where he was getting questioned from. It was time for us to go back to school, so everyone got on the bus and on our way to the school the teacher told us everything that happened, she said the guy that shot the soala was found guilty for killing all the soalas in the world and purposely didn’t kill those three on the island, because it would attract people to the island since they were the only ones left in the world, and he would earn a lot of money because people would pay to go see them. But unfortunately he got arrested, and all the money that he earned was given to me since I had recorded the video, but I donated it to the animal shelter.