I was meandering through some of my old keepsakes the other day when I found a 1949 newspaper clipping of a story I had written at the age of twelve.
By then, I had been reading books and writing stories for years, but this was the very first time I had been published. What a thrill it was!
I even won the princely sum of seven shillings and sixpence – a huge amount to me then. I talked about this on 70 Plus and Still Kicking a week or two ago, and when I found the actual clipping, decided to post it here.
Remember, I wrote this long before many Australians had vacuums and dishwashers and there was certainly no television! That was to come to Australia in 1956 - seven years later. Man landed on the moon later still, in 1969.
A MODERN FAIRY TALE
By June Saville (age 12)
Once upon a time there lived a young girl named Jetrella. She was compelled to stay in the kitchen and look after her ugly sisters.The only implements she had were a vacuum cleaner and an electric dish-washing machine.
Well, one day a fellow appeared on the television set advertising a ball which was to be held on the one hundred and sixty-seventh floor of the palace, situated on the plant Venus.
The ugly sisters prepared for it at once. Not one thought did they spare for Jetrella.
After the sisters had zoomed off in their new rocket, she was found weeping by her fairy godmother.
‘Oh Jetrella,’ said the fairy godmother, ‘why do you weep so?’
‘Fairy godmother please help me,’ cried Jetrella, overjoyed by the friendly vision ‘I have never been to a ball and I should love to go.’
‘Oh,’ said the magic one, ‘I shall have to summon a golden space suit, a wonderful jet-propelled space rocket and robots by the hundreds to escort you. All that will come with just a wave of my wand! I don’t fuss around like old-fashioned fairy godmothers. That wastes time.’
This amazing thing was done as quickly as anyone could say Ginger Meggs and Jetrella was transformed into the most beautiful girl who ever stepped into a space suit.
Away she went to the ball.
Jetrella arrived at the one hundred and sixty-seventh floor of the palace.
At the moment of her entrance there was a hush. First to speak was a prince.
“Go and ask that girl if I may have permission for a dance,’ he said to his footman robot.
Well, this story ends much like any old-fashioned fairy story and if you have a little imagination you may finish it off for yourself, but don’t forget ‘they lived happily ever after’.
(Prize of 7/6 to June Saville (12), 52 Bondilla Rd., The Entrance. June wins first prize for the best entry in the Modern Fairy Tale Competition. Many other ‘Beamers have won certificates.)
Wasn’t I lucky to have found a hobby that went on to become the central skill which earned my living for the rest of my life? By age 15 I became an under age cadet journalist on the local paper, and went on to work in radio, newspapers, television and as a corporate public relations manager.
Have you had a similar experience which began as a childhood hobby?
Do your children show any signs of being so fortunate?
©June Saville. Not to be reproduced without express written permission of the author.