Jenna's Adventure
Sofia, Age 11, Basque Country, Spain

Jenna opened her eyes. She could not see a thing; everything was black and dark. She blinked, trying to focus. Very, very slowly, a howling rush of shapes and sounds drew nearer in the deep blackness. Suddenly, a blazing explosion of light reached her eyes, and she tried to close them shut, but she couldn't, and the strong light hurt her eyes, making her scream.


With a thump, someone jumped next to her.


The light grew fainter, and before Jenna's tired eyes appeared the silhouette of a young man.

'Who are you?' asked Jenna in a confused voice.

'Calm down Jenna, it's okay, I'll get you out of here in no time.' said the same voice.

Jenna straightened up and stared at the boy suspiciously. He was tall, and apparently older than her. His eyes were honey coloured and dark, and his long hair was a dishwater blonde. He had a long nose and wore a worried expression.

'Are you alright, Jenna?' he asked.

'Who are you?' repeated Jenna, stepping aside. The young man came closer, a smile on his face.

'Jenna, don't be silly. Anyway, you should sit down, that was a nasty blow.'

'I'm not being silly!' she yelled 'I just want you to tell me! Who are you?'

The boy's smile slid off his face.

'Jenna? Are you sure... I mean, do you- don't you remember me?' he asked in a whisper, his face very serious.

'No' mumbled Jenna 'Who are you? And who am I? What am I doing here???'

The boy opened his eyes very wide, and said in alarm: 'You've lost your memory!'

'How do I know that's true??' asked Jenna defiantly, walking away from him.

'Tell me' whispered the boy 'What do you remember?'

Jenna snapped her eyes shut and screwed her face up in concentration. Think, think... Think what? All of a sudden, a few thoughts reached her mind: 'I... I... My name's Jenna, and... I'm thirteen years old... And... I-I like watching television and reading books...' she said.

The boy gave a small encouraging smile and asked: 'What is a television?' 'I... Don't know...' she sighed. Then she looked at the boy. 'Who are you?'

'I'm Alan' he said cautiously 'Alan... Your cousin. I'm twenty years old...'

'Cousin? And where am I?'

He stayed silent. After a while, he grinned.

'I'll show you!' he said, holding his cousin's hand. Jenna saw that they walked between trees and rivers, and wandered where they were going.

Finally, they reached an enormous tree. Leaning on the branches, Alan smiled and said: 'Welcome to Ozhin!!'

'Ozhin??' asked Jenna, looking around her 'I can only see trees... And I am very hungry and tired... My feet hurt, my legs ache and I feel really dizzy...'

Alan smiled once more.

'Ozhin is a magical land... Trees can talk, you know.'


'Oh yes... Listen to them, Jenna, listen...'

Jenna closed her eyes. The fresh breeze made the trees rustle and a murmur of leaves crunching and swaving in the wind was seconded by the river flowing down-hill.

'...listen...' whispered Alan. 'Listen to the trees...'

Jenna could no longer hear her cousin's whispering voice and could now only listen to the swishing trees and the splashy river, making her fall asleep like a baby listening to a lullaby...

                                                  *  *  *

When Jenna woke up, she found Alan chopping up leaves, herbs and different types of grass and wild berries and mixing them in a plastic bowl.

'Morning Jenna!' he smiled, squashing the mixture with a spoon. 'Eat' he said, handing her another bowl with the same mixture. 'It'll do you good.'

'What is it?' she asked in a croaky voice. She didn't really mind because shje was starving, but she wanted to know.

'It's a special thing from Ozhin that I call... salram. The trees gave it to me.'

'The trees?'

'Yes... I shall show you later when you finish that.'

Jenna nodded and sunk her plastic spoon into the bowl. A pink lump with a touch of green was sitting on her spoon when she pulled it out. Without thinking, she just stuffed it into her mouth. It tasted something like salad and raspberry jam all mashed together, and after eating the whole lot, Jenna was still hungry.

The following days, Alan showed her young cousin how to pick berries and how to make salram, and how to catch fish in the rivers and stuff them with berries and later skewer them with a stick and hold them for ten of fifteen minutes over Alan's lighter. And Jenna also learnt to read and write again, for she had completely forgotten, and after a few months in Ozhin, she knew how to cook rabbits and fish and how to make salram and other things. Alan and Jenna slept covered with blankets made with rabbit's skin they had sewed together and drank water from the river and juice from the berries, and every night Alan told Jenna stories about Ozhin:

'Ozhin is the town of elves. They live in little caves and trees and come out at night when we sleep...'

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