[2006 – Young Explorer Wadadli Youth Pen Second Runner Up]
It was a beautiful day. The dirt smelt freshly dug and the tunnels seemed like new. I made my way to the utility room with some friends to get our tool-making equipment, as it was time to start working. As we worked, we talked and laughed about the boys out hunting, wondering what they would bring back. Probably moles, agouties or dirt animals again.
I started to daydream and my sharpening tool dropped out of my hand and rolled down a narrow hallway. I snapped out of my dream and jumped up to catch it. I ran out of the room and followed it. I was amazed at how fast a pointy object could bounce away. Finally it stopped.
However, something was wrong. The sharpener was oddly lit up…I glanced upwards and I rubbed my eyes just to make sure I was awake. I saw light! I picked up my sharpener and made marks along the wall as I ran back, so that I could find my way back to the spot.
I got back to the main hallway; I shouted so that all the people could hear, “I have a huge EMERGENCY!”
People crowded out of the different tunnels and crowded around me. The elders came out. The speaker of the elders said, “What is the meaning of this, Tokomaka?”
I gulped. I was never good with crowds. “Sir, I, um, I have discovered something amazing. Please follow me.”
The elders looked at each other hesitantly and then followed me through the narrow passage in single file. The villagers followed them. We came to the spot and I pointed upwards. They gasped.
The elders decided to explore this new finding. As the hole was big enough to fit a person about my size, they boosted me and about three other people my size up through the hole out of the earth, on a strong man’s shoulders.
As we came through up the hole, we each ‘oohed’ and ‘aahed’ as we saw our surroundings. We were in a magical place with green things coming out from the ground and round colorful things hanging from what seemed to be a bush on a stick. We saw animals and trees of all sorts and colors and beautiful surroundings all around.
However, we had work to do. We picked up our tools and set to work making the hole wider so that the other people could come through. After about half and hour, we finished and the others came through with our help.
We went exploring the new land together, seeing wonderful and amazing things around us and our elders decided to name it Erth. On the horizon, we could see a blue watery looking substance and headed towards it. As we got closer, the smell of our surroundings changed and the ground beneath us grew sandy. We arrived at the beach, as it is now called, and stared in awe at the water. We decided to leave the adventure of going in[to] the water for a different day, probably on a special occasion, that is, if we were ever going to come back. When we headed back to the mainland, a few of our young men killed a wild animal and roasted it. Everyone found it delicious and liked the taste of the new meat. We also noticed that as the day wore on, it grew darker and darker. After the day’s goings-on, we made our way back to the hole.
But the hole was not there. Someone (or something) had filled it in, somehow, and made it look like all the other dirt around it, and no matter how hard we dug and searched, we never found it.
We are still looking and have not found it yet…and that is why when our dead die, we bury them so that they can find our lost underground city.
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