Hero photograph
Photo by Lisa Dovey

Congratulations - Highly Commended!

Lisa Dovey —

During the Lockdown Period, the Christchurch Art Gallery held a competition for students to write a story linked to one of their Artworks. This story by Barbara Zhang gained a Highly Commended. It is based on the artwork above by Hannah and Aaron Beehre JS.02.03 “The Hedge” 2003.

The Hedge and Its Wish

In a deep, dark void, there was a hedge, all alone. It wanted to see more than just the void around it, so it travelled…

And travelled…

And travelled…

And, surprisingly, but in a pleasant way, a light shone in the distance.

The hedge redoubled its effort at this, and, finally, it stood in front of the light. It was a portal to another world, and that world was very colourful. The hedge edged closer to that world, and suddenly everything around it was colorful as well. The hedge wanted to make his own world like that too, but it didn’t know how. Just then, a frog walked by.

‘Frog, frog! How can I make my world as beautiful as yours?’ asked the hedge.

The frog gave it an odd look. ‘I don’t know what you mean, but there’s a wizard that way – ‘he pointed at a forest to their left,’- who grants a wish to anyone who can answer a riddle.’

The hedge was very happy to hear this. It thanked that frog and got moving. When it reached the wizard’s cottage, the hedge knocked determinedly on the door. It had come all this way; it was not going to get the riddle wrong now.

As the door opened, an elderly man in grey robes stepped out.

‘Good morning!’ greeted the wizard. ‘I assume you have come to answer one of my riddles, have you?’

‘Yes, I have’ replied the determined hedge.

‘I see. So, if a rooster laid a brown egg and a white egg, what colour would the chicks be?’

The hedge’s instinct told it to say that the chicks would be brown and white, but… ‘But… roosters don’t lay eggs.’ It observed.

‘Good!’ exclaimed the wizard, making the hedge jump. ‘Indeed, roosters do not lay eggs! So, what is your wish?’

The hedge didn’t hesitate. ‘I’d like to be able to make things!’ Then, seeing the quizzical look on the wizard’s face, it added ‘Out of thin air.’

The wizard nodded, before muttering some indistinct words.

‘Now shape yourself into a certain shape and picture exactly what you want to make in your mind.’ He said, after he finished the spell.

As the hedge looked for inspiration, its eyes landed on the wizard’s house. Picturing a similar cottage in its mind, the hedge shaped itself into the wizard’s house. Instantly, a cottage just like that in the hedge’s mind appeared right next to it. The hedge was so excited by this that it promptly thanked the wizard and went back to its own world to fill it up.

Yaxin Zhang (Barbara)
Highly Commended, 11-14 years