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06:58 pm: Prize Competitions for Schoolchildren 1971 "Myra Harding Prize"

Journey to the Unknown


I thought I was still on Earth until I looked up into the sky and saw three moons. I looked around and was surprised to see that the only inhabitants were bears. The largest bear spoke. "Welcome to Hoam," he said and I realised that these bears were intelligent creatures, quite unlike any bears I had ever seen on Earth.

After a discussion, I found that to these bears space travel was simple and they had based their life on other planets.

The largest bear went on talking about Hoam, which is the planet of the bears. The moons are called Atlantis, Pacaceem and Indiaana.

The planet consists of one continent, many seas and one great ocean, and having heard this, I was eager to take a trip and see the points of interest.

My first stop was Special Hotel. This hotel is two blocks of red brick arranged alongside each other. The blocks are connected by a fancy conveyor belt. The hotel has three hundred rooms and can accommodate all the population of Hoam. It is centrally heated by a process which takes heat from the sun, and the bears can live happily in it during cold spells as bears on Hoam never hibernate.

The factories I visited next were the Honey-bee Factory and the Paper Factory which also produced the Money. The paper is made from crushed wood and honey which are mixed together and compressed. The mixture is then cut into shapes and dried. The Honey Bee Factory is made up of workers who fold circles of rubber and pass a wool-like material through the circles. The bees are then painted and sold to the hives in exchange for honey.

The currency on Hoam is Honeys which I found to worth about one English pound. The Honey is divided into one hundred Jams.

The King of Hoam is called Bruno Rex the Second. He is a jolly bear who likes wearing his light crown and holding his orb. The crown is made from gold and Orionite and he wears a tie of the Brunus Tartan. Bruno has a wife, Bruna, and two children, Charles and Carol. His father was Ursas Alfred. It was explained to me that they work through the alphabet when naming monarchs so that new money can be printed for when it is needed. Bruno is a millionaire, is twenty-none years old and weighs 32.5 kilohoneys and is 1.37 jams tall. I was invited for a meal of Moat, Portcullis, Deed, Dark Arch, Castle, Coins and Fountain. I expected to be poisoned but it turned out to be thick soup, bangers and mash, bread and butter, steamed pudding, cut cake, round of bread and tea.

I was shown the Deed of Ursas Alfred Castle, built in Anno Ursas 00, never to be demolished. This castle must be an heirloom of the monarchy of Hoam. It must never be leased, rented or sold. It may never be used as a factory or made larger or smaller. It is the official home of the Monarch of Hoam.

After the visit to the castle, I visited a tall building, down which the water for the Hoamic people is purified.

The main mountains are Evrwork, K1.75 and the Mattercorn. These were first conquerede by bears named Panda, Little and Brownie. The names of the mountains have been changed several times, for instance K1.75 was formerly called K1¾.

I asked if I could communicate with Earth, and was told I could. The message was flashed from Hoam to Pacaceem, then to Atlantis, then to Indiaana. Indiaana is which in ampliyng minerals, so the message was amplified vefore being sent to our moon and finally to Earth. Our moon is also rich in amplifying materials and so after a very short time I received a reply. No-one believe where I was and it was then that the cleverest bear, Baron Bright Brownie, told me to send this report. I have been asked to stay for ever and I think I will. Before I decide finally, I want to see everything on the planet. I will then send another report letting you know if my future is really to be on the planet of the bears.

The winning entry in the Junior Section of the 1971 Myra Harding Essay competition. I wrote this when I was ten.



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[User Picture]
From:suilven
Date:January 7th, 2006 10:14 pm (UTC)
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for instance K1.75 was formerly called K1¾.
I love that line! Beats Harry Potter's platform nine and three quarters at Kings Cross. Thanks for posting it. It is incredibly good. What brought you to read it again today?
[User Picture]
From:ringbark
Date:January 7th, 2006 10:35 pm (UTC)
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I had been wondering where I could get a copy while we were in New Zealand. On our return from New Zealand, we found a typed copy of it in with mum's papers. Now that Christmas is over, I found the time to type it up. I'll be posting it on my main websie soon. The time-consuming bit is typing it at all, and I did that tonight.
So there it is, in all its 1971 glory. You can see other lines in it that would have been topical too. For example, 1971 was the year that Britain took decimal curremncy, and presumably I had that in mind when I talked about the Jams and the Honeys.
[User Picture]
From:suilven
Date:January 7th, 2006 10:46 pm (UTC)
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For example, 1971 was the year that Britain took decimal curremncy, and presumably I had that in mind when I talked about the Jams and the Honeys.
Ah, of course. I wondered where that had come from. Wasn't there something about the Matterhorn going on at about that time too? I seem to remember pictures of that in my head very clearly.
[User Picture]
From:ringbark
Date:January 7th, 2006 10:49 pm (UTC)
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I don't know. If there was, that would explain it as a choice of mountain.
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From:takahe
Date:January 8th, 2006 01:35 am (UTC)
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Your parents must have been proud to have such a literate ten year old. That's cool writing.
[User Picture]
From:ringbark
Date:January 8th, 2006 08:47 am (UTC)
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Your parents must have been proud to have such a literate ten year old.
Yes, I was pompous and arrogant even back then.
That's cool writing.
Thank you.
[User Picture]
From:takahe
Date:January 8th, 2006 08:54 am (UTC)
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-Yes, I was pompous and arrogant even back then.
*giggle* I can just imagine it LOL!
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