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‘Outback Hero’ story competition

As part of our partnership with Somerset Storyfest on the Gold Coast, we invited Year 5-8 students to write a story on the theme ‘Outback Hero’. We loved reading all the entries and thank you to all the talented young writers who entered. Here is the story that won. It is by 10-year-old Han Zongyou from Mudgeeraba, Queensland.
SCREECH went the car tyres with the smell of burning rubber to follow. Gary leaped through the air and zoomed without hesitation to the middle of the road risking his own life to save a native bilby.

Gary (his mate called him Gaz) grew up in the dusty bold red desert of Northern Queensland with his Dad. Gary and his Dad treated the native animals like family, there is always a wounded animal in their care on their homestead.  Gary was quietly clever, everyone in grade 5 knew him but he was more interested in animals than school work. Gaz was short with jet black hair and his eyes were warm like the red desert sand. Gaz was liked by most of the kids at his school.

Gaz enjoyed school because he had new things to learn everyday and like his Dad said, “learning is good tucker for the brain son.” School life for Gaz was boring, he and his mate Kevin ate their lunch under the ginormous gumtree just outside their classroom. Everyday a group of ants would march beside Kevin and Gaz and they would feed them some crumbs from their vegemite sandwiches, both of them loved animals.  Then there were the demon brothers, they were mean, good looking, got all the girls and were often cruel to animals. Kevin and Gaz basically kept to themselves, but that was soon going to change.

It was one blazing hot October morning and Kevin wasn’t at school, he was helping his Dad muster the animals to another paddock which meant Gaz had to eat alone. Gaz was sitting under the tree feeding his ants when Stewart Jones came running over shouting, “the demon boys are capturing capturing lizards.”  Gaz jumped to his feet and bolted like lightning down to the far oval where the demon boys were chasing two blue tongues lizards and planning to make them race and whatever else they thought of. Gaz’ face grew red like the rich red sand under his feet and flames of fury were in his eyes. Gaz chased the boys but the biggest demon brother, Bob held back Gaz and told him to get lost and stop being a sticky beak. At that moment the bell rang and Gaz sprinted back to class while the boys hid the lizards in their school bags.

Gaz sighed as he dropped heavily in his sit, he began to spin the rubber on his desk thinking about how he could rescue those poor blue tongue lizards. He wished Kevin was sitting beside him giving him courage to rescue those lizards. Home time was getting closer and closer, Gaz asked the teacher if he could go to the loo, even though he didn’t need to go. It was time to be a hero and rescue those poor helpless lizards.

Without hesitation Gaz found the demon brothers bags and quickly unzipped the bags but there were no lizards to be found. Gaz’s heart started pounding he didn’t have much time, the bell was about to ring. At that moment he saw a blue tongue poking out from the side pocket of the bag. Gaz unzipped the pocket, the bell rang loudly and Gaz grabbed the lizards and tucked them in his shirt.

Just then the demon boys were out, they sprinted to their bags and saw no lizard but in the distance they could see Gaz protecting his shirt pocket. The demon boys started to run, Gaz started to run and just as Gaz reached the school gates he saw the shape of his best mate, Kevin McKlevin. All of a sudden Gaz had a burst of courage, he stopped running, he turned around to face the boys and yelled, ‘Back off!” Kevin ran to Gaz and said, “it’s time to go” together they jumped in Kevin’s Dad’s car and drove off.

The demon boys stood at the front of the school gates, looking lizardless. They walked home with nothing but empty lunchboxes. Once again, Gaz saved the animals. From that day on Gaz and Kevin became caretakers of the town animals…heroes.
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