Welcome to Our ABC Stories! In 2023, WuKong Education’s “Tell Us Your ABC Story” Global Story Contest invited Chinese families worldwide to share their tales. Actor Daniel Wu and author Vincent Yee, along with the WuKong Judge Team, collectively selected 21 finalists from touching submissions. “Saturday School” by JF Garrard and O Garrard, aged 8, received the “Creative Writing Excellence Award”. This creative narrative beautifully captures the essence of learning and family bonds. Take a moment to be inspired by their incredible story, offering a glimpse into global Chinese experiences.
Every Saturday is dandy,
For Peter, Tom and Mandy,
They watch cartoons as they please,
Without making their mom’s brow crease,
And I imagine they must be eating candy!
The story is diﬀerent forme,
Every Saturday I cry,
As my mom packs my bag,
Which I try to snag,
And run away like a crab,
Howling “Why, why, why, do I have to go to Saturday school?”
My tiger mom says, “You will learn lots,
Unlike those other tots,
Who waste their Saturdays,
On silly television plots!”
But just for once I want to bail,
So I can watch “Harold the Snail,”
Mom shakes her head and gives me a kiss,
“It will be worth it in the end,” she says with atsk.
Saturday school is quite far,
Over giant hills as we drive in our car,
Up and down, up and down,
I sob, I yell, I frown.
The teachersmiles and waves mom goodbye,
And I settle into my seat with a sigh,
She teaches me words in a language I don’tuse,
With my friends or teacher at normal day school.
The day is long and my head is swimming,
Learning words as the day is dimming,
But it’s not all bad, there are kids in class,
Who play with me and that makes me glad!
One day, mom and I travel to a town that’s far,
I see colorful buildings as we drive by in our car,
When we order a lunch of yummy noodles, to my surprise,
The waiter spoke in that Saturday school language to Mom and me!
Next, we visit grandma who greets me with lots of kisses,
And gives me treats with names like “Lollipops and Fizzes!”
Then sitting on the lap of grandpa, he tells the stories of places afar,
Using Saturday school words I had learned last week, such as “jar” and “star.”
We then visit a wonderful fair with elephants and rides,
But suddenly, my mom went missing which made me cry!
Frantically I ran around looking for her,
Before I bumped into a police oﬃcer.
“Are you lost little kid?” the police oﬃcer asked,
Using Saturday language words I’ve learned in the past,
I answered back “Yes!” between sobs,
As I gulped down fresh air in gobs.
The police made an announcement through bighorns,
As I stood there with wet cheeks looking forlorn.
“Oh oﬃcer! This child is mine!”
A woman’s voice made me look up to the side.
It was mom carrying balloons,
In the shapes of circles, stars and moons.
“Thank you, oﬃcer,” she sighed.
I realized she was speaking in that Saturday school language and now I know why.
Going to Saturday school is really useful,
If I get lost, want to talk to my grandparents or eat noodles,
Saturday language words open another door,
To lots of exciting towns and cities galore.
Now every Saturday I jump out of bed,
And eat my breakfast quickly instead,
To learn new words to prepare for another exciting trip,
So I can use this awesome language to buy exotic icecream and dips!
“Yummy, yummy, yummy! Learning another language is better than watching TV!” says my happy tummy!
Thank you for reading “Saturday School,” a tale woven with the threads of creativity and family love. JF Garrard and O Garrard, at the age of 8, have earned the Creative Writing Excellence Award for their imaginative storytelling. Through this unique narrative, they bring to life the experience of learning and the importance of family bonds.
Their story is a testament to the creativity and wisdom found in the youngest members of our global Chinese community. We express our gratitude to JF and O for sharing their vibrant narrative and contributing to the rich tapestry of global Chinese stories. May we continue to share and celebrate these unique stories that make our cultural heritage so wonderfully diverse.
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