Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Model Essay III

Night of Horror

Written by Qiancheng (2004 - Now a student in NUS (High))

I had just fallen asleep when I heard cries of “ Fire! Fire!

I leapt out of bed, and rushed to the window. Thick smoke was billowing out of my neighbour’s flat. Pale in the face of death, I stood petrified and snorted contemptuously for a few moments. Then after regaining composure, I dashed to the next room and banged on the door.

“What’s the matter?” roared my brother. “House on fire?”

“”It will be, if you don’t wake up!” I shouted and ran to the next room.

Soon the whole family was awake. My father took immediate control of the situation. “Our neighbour’s flat cannot be saved,” he said. “But the fire is likely to spread here. We can get as many things as possible out of the house to safety for we are lucky to live on the ground floor.”

My younger brother immediately ran out with the waste paper basket! My eldest brother dashed out with a bag, and then returned for the television set. He was an ardent television viewer. But the set was too big for him to carry so my father and I helped him. The thick smoke from our neighbour’s flat urged us to hurry up with the arduous work.

I carried out the most of my school books, and those of my brothers and sisters. I helped my mother to carry out her kitchen utensils and the new gas stove. My father and my two elder brothers stumbled out with the refrigerator. Soon more than half the household things were a safe distance from the house.

Sirens wailed down the street and announced the arrival of a fire engine, an ambulance and a police car. While some of the firemen used a hose to put out the fire in our neighbour’s flat, the others drenched our house to prevent the flames from spreading to it.

My neighbour’s house was in complete ruins by the time the flames were extinguished. When our house was out of danger, the fire engine went away and the ambulance sent a casualty to the hospital. But there was no sleep for us that night. For some time, we talked to our neighbours who left a little later to stay with one of their relatives. Then we began a massive clean-up of our house, and it took us several days to get back to normal once more. That night was analogous to a horrifying nightmare and we wished that it would not happen again.

Model Essay II

A Great Experience

Written by Veralyn (also a student from the 2002 batch)

With whoops and shrieks of joy, Lily and John bounced up and down on the sofa. They were going to Rali Park for a picnic.

Armed with baskets of fruits, sandwiches and cold drinks, they trooped out of their garden, heading happily for Rali Park. They scuttled about looking for a place. At long last, they settled down under a wide-spread angsana tree. It was a lovely day. Birds sang lustily and butterflies and bees seemed busier than ever.

The surroundings blended perfectly with the weather. John began to sprawl out like a starfish while Lily fished out a piece of bread, munching at it hungrily.

The two children felt chirpy that day. Suddenly, John let out a shrill cry. He pointed a finger at what seemed like a massive cave. Lily squealed.

John, who was trembling with excitement tugged at his sister’s sleeves frantically. Lily looked at the mouth of the cave, which sent shivers down her spine.

“Don’t be a baby, your big brother is here to protect you,” boasted John, hopping around with his nose high up in the air.

Hands clasped together, Lily and John walked in. Lily was really petrified and clutched John’s hand like a vice. Lily, by now, was slick with sweat.

Suddenly, out of nowhere, both of them, John and Lily, heard a deep churchyard groan. They gasped. Then they heard it again. John, out of curiosity, decided to go further. “Don’t, John!” cried his sister who was by now terrified to tears.

John put on a grave look. Lily looked on, trembling. John towered over the girl who was trembling like a jelly. Lily knew that she was beaten. Nothing could change her brother’s mind.

Rather reluctantly, Lily merely nodded her head while tears trickled down her cheeks. It was relatively quiet in the cave. Suddenly, what seemed like a stench filled the cave.

They pinched their noses and gave disgusted looks, when all of a sudden, John spotted a bear. No, two bears in fact. One was lying helplessly on the floor and the other, quite dead.

Lily gave a terrified yelp that woke the bear up. It stared at them with dangerous bright sparkling eyes. It growled and snarled.

Lily almost jumped out of her skin. John, bold once again, went up to the bear. The bear began to arch its back like a cat. Then, in a composed voice, he said, “ It’s all right, we’ll help you.”

The bear seemed to understand and calmed down a little. Then, it gave a little whine. John saw that it must be injured. Lily watched all these with bated breath.

Time seemed to stretch like eternity for Lily - she was so afraid of bears. John then gave a terrified yelp. Lodged in the bear’s stomach was a bullet.

John beckoned Lily to come over. Legs wobbling, she walked small steps towards the massive, once snarling bear.

“Go and get Mr. Thomson!” cried John. Mr. Thomson was a veterinarian who often gave their dog, Blackie, regular checkups.

Lily ran as swiftly as an arrow to Mr. Thomson’s house, panting all the way. She finally reached there and at last caught some fresh air. Lily explained everything in a jiffy, gasping for air every now and then. Mr. Thomson then quickly packed up the things needed and rushed to the scene.

John was there, trying his hardest to console it. Mr. Thomson without a moment’s hesitation, tried his very best to save it. However, his effort was fruitless.

After an hour of hard work, Mr. Thomson announced sadly, “I’m so sorry, but I can’t save it. The bullet has beem there for too long.”

John’s face looked forlorn. Lily who was by now, very friendly to animals looked doleful while Mr. Thomson looked crestfallen. The bear had died!

From that day onwards, when the two children walked past the cave, they always remembered what happened. The memory, to them, was as clear as tinklebells.

Now, Lily found it hard to resist animals and became an animal lover too like John when she found out they were quite harmless except when provoked.

Model Essay I

An Experience in the Woods

Written by Olivia (my student in 2002; now a student in NUS Medicine Faculty)

It was a long walk up the hill. Mother Nature embraced the two children with the tranquility of the surroundings. The melodious chirping of the birds, the lush, green leaves, and the dancing butterflies as they fluttered from flower to flower stimulated their senses.

"What a beautiful place!" thought young Fiona, feeling at ease with herself as she trudged up close behind her brother, John. They were searching for a place where they could have their picnic. They soon settled on an open clearing and prepared their picnic. John was halfway through his peanut butter sandwich when he spotted a cave opening. His imagination ran wild. Thousands of scenarios flooded his mind. A pack of tigers? A robbers’ hideout? He decided to check it out for himself.

Inquisitive by nature, his curiosity lured him towards the opening. Fiona hung back, being only six, she was afraid of such places.

Stepping into the darkness, there was not a hint of hesitation in John’s footsteps as he held his sister close. There was a dim, uninviting gloom about the place. The trickling sound of the water sent shivers down their spines. Nevertheless, they continued walking.

When their eyes had adjusted to the darkness, they spotted an old man, bent, feeble, and humbled by life’s cruel lessons, sitting and coughing roughly on the ground.

Fiona heaved a sigh of relief. At least it was not any wild animal. But why was the old man here? Did he live here? There were still many questions that had yet to be answered.

John ventured tentatively towards the man.

“Who are you?” the old man croaked.

“W-we…we mean no harm…” John stammered.

“Excuse me, mister,” Fiona started. “Do you live here?”

“Ahh…you are right about that,” he sighed. “For many years this has been my home.”

Slowly, they began to warm towards the old man. They began to ask him many questions and soon found out that the old man lived alone, and that he survived on wild berries and occasionally some bird meat. He had been a hunter, and he was equipped with enough skills to survive in the wilderness.

"How did it feel?" Fiona thought to herself. "To have stones for a bed and wild berries for food?’ she shuddered involuntarily, feeling utmost pity for the old man.

Suddenly, she rushed back out, gathered all the picnic foods, and offered them to the old man. He seemed delighted at the prospect of having a change in his diet after so many years, and gobbled it all down before you could say ‘Jack Robinson’.

They were soon taken on a tour by the old man of the picturesque surroundings.

“See?” the old man said, pointing at a hole in a huge tree. “There lives a squirrel who comes out everyday without fail when it starts to get dark.” Just then, out popped a squirrel’s furry head.

“Oh!” cried John, a realization dawning on him. “It is almost five already! We had better get going!”

Reluctantly, they packed whatever was left of their picnic things and set off for home. John dropped pieces of cloth as they walked home, marking the route along the way, but when they tried to find the place the next day, it was nowhere to be found. They searched and searched, but their efforts were futile. They never saw the kind old man again.