Tonya's Antarctic Adventure
Amy, Age 9, Lavington, BC

There once was an explorer named Darral who brought his family to Antarctica to spend a vacation. Darral, (Pa) and Caroline, (Ma) have three kids. The oldest is Mary, she's eleven, then there's "me", Tonya. I am eight and last is baby Carrie who is one. I was really happy living in an igloo. There was lots of rooms. Mary and I slept in bunkbeds in a room together. 

One day I woke up totally unaware of the surprise Ma, Pa and Mary had planned. I ran around the house, uh... igloo looking for them. I ran to our bedroom calling "Mary, where are you?" I went into Ma and Pa's room. The bed was made and Carrie's cradle was empty. I went to the kitchen and was greeted by shouts "Surprise! Happy Birthday, Tonya!" yelled Ma, Pa and Mary, jumping out from their hiding places. I was so surprised. I had totally forgotten that today was my birthday! "I made your favorite cake," said Ma. 

After a yummy piece of cake, I opened my presents. Ma and Pa gave me a rag doll. I named her Molly. Mary gave me some dresses for Molly to wear. "Thank you Ma and Pa and Mary. I love my presents!" I said. That night Pa played the fiddle and Mary and I danced. Ma tucked us in after Pa finished our bedtime story. I asked Ma, "Can stuff go wrong on your birthday?" 

"Well, I'm not sure" she replied, "but I'll say no." 

"I hope you're right," I said falling asleep. Mary and I could hear Ma & Pa mumbling in the living room. They were listening to the radio when it announced "We bring you a special warning. Kidnappers have been spotted around the area. If you see any suspicious characters, call the police." "Ooh, scary" mumbled Mary and she fell asleep.

The kidnappers waited for Ma & Pa to go to sleep. Then they snuck into the house and darted around picking up valuables. The last thing they took was me!! I woke up the next morning freezing cold and wet. I looked around but all I saw was blue freezing water! "Where am I?" I yelled but no one replied. I floated all morning finally my little iceberg nudged upon solid ground. I was greeted by a penguin.

"Hello. My name is Oscar Penguin. Welcome!" the penguin said. 

"Hi. My name is Tonya. Where am I, Oscar?" 

"The middle of the Antarctic," Oscar replied. So off we walked and waddled. Soon we met a dog. 

"Hello and good day! I am Jasper Dog. Can you help me?" the dog asked. 

"Of course" said Oscar and I. "What is troubling you?" we asked. 

"I'm lost!" Jasper cried. 

"We are lost too, Jasper," I said. So the three of us ventured on. Soon we came to an ice cliff. 

"Oh dear" said Oscar. "How can we get up this cliff?" he asked. 

"I know!" I shouted. "I always carry a supply kit in my pocket". I opened my kit to pull out some band-aids, rope, tissues and metal sticks. 

"Hey! We can use the metal sticks and rope to climb this cliff" said Jasper excitedly. 

"But how am I going to climb? My fins are for swimming, not cliff climbing," moaned Oscar. 

"Why don't you ride in Tonya's pocket," suggested Jasper. 

"That's an excellent idea," I said and off we climbed.

I went first, sticking the metal poles in the ice and pulling up Jasper. "How much do you weigh, Jasper?" 

"I don't know!" he replied.

We climbed for a long time then finally reached the top. "You can see forever from up here" gasped Oscar. 

"I agree. But we can't sit. We've got to find the crooks who stole me and trap them!" I said. So we walked on for many miles I'd guess until we spotted some crooks. We could tell he was a crook because he was pulling a sleigh loaded with loot. I said, "That's my rag doll Molly sticking out of the chest!" 

"Let's hide behind that big snowdrift" whispered Oscar. So we snuck quickly behind the nearest drift. 

"Look, they're coming over for lunch" said Jasper. 

"Here, Avalanche!" the villain said, ripping off a piece of his cheese sandwich and tossing it to his dog. 

"Okay. When he gets up to leave, we jump up from behind this snowdrift and grab them" whispered Oscar to Jasper and me. When the villain and his dog got up to continue their scheme, we jumped up behind them and scared them half to death. They ran around in a circle and got very dizzy. They fell down in a heap! We quickly covered them with a fishing net Jasper had found on the sleigh. 

"Let us go!" yelled the villain. 

"Tell us your name first" I shouted. 

"Ice Berg Joe" the villain confessed, "now please let us go." 

"On one condition," said Jasper. 

"What, I'll do anything" cried Joe. 

"Hand over the sleigh to us" Jasper demanded. 

"Okay, okay. Have it. Just let us go, please" Joe pleaded. 

So we lifted off the net and let them go. We quickly packed up the sleigh and ventured on. After an hour or so we came to an ice cave. "Looks spooky" shivered Oscar. 

"We have to go in" I said. "See that igloo at the end of the tunnel? That's my home!" I said excitedly. When we made it through the tunnel, I raced to the igloo and crawled inside the rounded door.

"Ma, Pa, Mary, Carrie! Where are you?" I looked all around the igloo and almost gave up when I walked in my bedroom and saw them all standing near my bed crying. "Ma, Pa! It's me! I'm home!" I yelled. They turned around, now crying tears of joy! Ma and Pa were so happy, they let me keep Oscar and Jasper as my pets. I then quickly put all our valuables back where they belonged!

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