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Young Writers Think About Brave People, and the Dark Side of the Moon

  • Students practice their curtain call during a rehearsal of The Mascoma Project at Mascoma High School in Canaan, N.H. on Oct. 31, 2013. Valley News - Jennifer Hauck

    Students practice their curtain call during a rehearsal of The Mascoma Project at Mascoma High School in Canaan, N.H. on Oct. 31, 2013. Valley News - Jennifer Hauck

  • Students practice their curtain call during a rehearsal of The Mascoma Project at Mascoma High School in Canaan, N.H. on Oct. 31, 2013. Valley News - Jennifer Hauck

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Prompt: General writing

“I was 16 and had just got home after a long walk from school, looking forward to working on the farm. I was eager to spend some alone time with dad. My brothers and I would work with him all day when we got back from school. But my brothers wouldn’t be home today, they were out with my mom.

‘Hey Dad! I’m home!’ I shouted, walking through the door. I didn’t expect a response. He was most likely out in the fields where he toiled for hours on end. It was about three, and I was supposed to let the cattle out.

I switched from my school shoes to my boots and headed out back. That’s when I heard the earsplitting scream coming from the pasture. I ran over to the fence and nearly passed out. There was my dad, pinned against the fence by our bull, its horn stabbed in his chest. Blood was pouring from his ribcage. His face was white, and he was screaming.

It seemed like hours I was standing there, just watching the bull. But it wasn’t hours; it was only a few seconds. I came back to my senses and jumped the fence. I advanced on the huge bull that was mauling my father. I tried not to look at the blood, which was rapidly flowing. I grabbed the bull’s nose ring and pulled as hard as I could. I think it shocked it as it pulled its horns out of my father. But then it started advancing on me. It was scared and livid; I could see it in its eyes. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw my dad fall to the ground, holding his chest. He crawled under the fence and passed out.

I ran as fast as I could out of the pasture to my father’s side. He was still breathing but had lost a lot of blood. I screamed my head off, hoping someone would hear me. My brothers came running around the corner, groceries still in their hands. When they saw my dad lying on the ground, and me, with blood all over my hands, they dropped the bags and ran over to me. My mother was crying, asking what had happened. I told her there wasn’t enough time to explain; he was unconscious and had lost a lot of blood. We picked him up and drove him as fast as we could to the doctor’s.

Miraculously, the doctors were able to save him. Afterwards, they told me that if the horn were any closer to his heart, he would have died. They told me that if I hadn’t been as brave as I was, and pulled that bull off of my father when I did, he would not have lived. That was the single most important moment of my life. My father’s life was seeping through my hands, and I was able to save him.”

I miss you more than anything, Bumpy. Every day I think about this story and how you used to tell it to me at bedtime and at dinner. Although I miss you telling it to me, I enjoyed hearing it from Nana too because I could really hear the pride in her voice. Writing this, I realized how genuinely thankful I am to be your granddaughter. Not many people know this story about the boy who saved his father from a bull. But I’m proud to know it was my grampa who did it.

With each step closer to the darkness, my feet slowly hit the ground, leaving a track in the rocky surface of the shining and looming circle that shines over my home, and my family and friends.

I look down at the beautiful blue and green sphere, wishing I were still there instead of in this world of isolation. I shake off the thought and try to focus on the path before me and continue to walk forward, in fear of what is beyond in the darkness ahead.

I stop, wondering what creatures or obstacles I might have to face in the pitch black of the shadow covering more than half of this miserable place that orbits my own world. It’s funny how beautiful the moon seems from down there. I look forward at the dark again, and I feel as though I should turn back, but curiosity edges me on, and I cross over to the darkness.

I keep going forward; the only lights guiding me are the reflection of the sun’s light behind me and the glow from my own artificial light. I look around, barely able to see. After several minutes of walking, my fear of the darkness vanishes as I notice no difference between the shaded and the lit side of the moon, and no difference in the world below.

10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 ... Blast off!

My rocket shot up into the sky. I flew through Earth’s atmosphere, and suddenly I was surrounded by billions of stars and a vast, empty, big, black, dark space.

My rocket landed on the moon. The door opened, and I stepped out.

I was in my big, bulky space suit, with my big air tank. Since there was little gravity in space, I felt like I was floating. I bounced around for a while.

I hadn’t been paying much attention to my surroundings, but when I really looked around closely for the first time, I realized it had gotten a whole lot darker than when I had first arrived on the moon.

About five minutes later I was standing in complete darkness.

I remembered how the moon spun around the Earth and realized with a shiver that I was on the dark side of the moon.

I couldn’t see much in the darkness, but as my eyes became accustomed to the dim light, I could just make out the outline of a huge, long, tall animal. Actually, I could see many, many of the bodies. And when I looked closer, I realized with a terrified feeling that the huge, long, tall, frightening creatures were dinosaurs …

To read the complete story, go to youngwritersproject.org/node/84884.