Woman of the Woods
Awe, Age 13, Nigeria

Once upon a time, in the woods there lived an old woman. The woman had a small hut, and felled trees for a living. Alison and I saw her anytime we went to the woods either trying to lift a log or cooking outside her hut.

Alison and I never tried to talk to her. Mum had warned us several times not to talk to strangers. Anytime I would bring up an idea of helping the woman, Alison would reject it and run home.

The old woman looked sad and grave even though she smiled. Maybe she hadn't any child, I always thought. Here we were in the woods again - the spot Alison and I usually play - it was near where the old woman lived. To my surprise the grave looking woman wasn't there; only her hut was.

I looked into her hut even when Alison, my twin brother, had warned me not to. I ignored him. I could only see a basket stuffed with an old cloth with a note on it. From behind Alison warned again, "You are going to get into trouble, Anna."

I took the note and read silently, "My days are gone, my years have passed. It is now time for me to have peace." I read it again, and then I knew the old woman had passed away. Never once had I seen her frown despite her loneliness. Even though I never saw her again, I always remembered her.

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