Journey of a little girl


Emily is a ordinary girl.

When she looked in the mirror she saw a good girl who always listened to what her parents say.

Some times, her mother said to Emily that:

"It is very dangerous outside! You are easily eaten"

That’s why she still does not know outside well.

One night, she had “The world” dream.

Probably, it's will be influence on a book called "Journey of a girl".

It was such an exciting dream, with many things for the first time. There was a smile. There was a warmth of heart. She felt everything was really exciting that she had never felt before.

She awakens from her dream who decide to go outside looking up at the ceiling.

"I wanted to know the freedom of the world"

She got out of bed and then breathed deeply. There is a heavy stone laying in her heart with anxiety and hope, which opens the door and start her journey.

This story is telling what she learns by touching the world.

(Country,  name)




Emily opens the window and she saw a caterpillar. The caterpillar is trying to bite its cover to get out. Emily asks the caterpillar “It’s really warm inside, why you have to get out? It’s very dangerous outside, my mom taught me that!”

“If I continue sleeping inside this warm blanket I’ll die here! I want to see the beautiful world outside, no matter how dangerous it is! It’s useless dying in warmth!” said Caterpillar.

Emily realized that she wasted her youth inside her safe zone – her own room! It’s time for her to discover the new world now! She’s grateful to the caterpillar for such a meaningful lesson!

She decided that from today, she won’t let her time fly uselessly and she wants to make her life more meaningful. She asks the caterpillar “Where should I start?”

The caterpillar answered “You should start from a multicultural place to learn how to adapt”

Emily decided “I understood! I’ll think carefully about that and I’ll plan for it! Thank you for your advice”

(Vietnam, Cun Bong)



Emily started took out the paper from her desk and began to think how she would make a journey to find herself. 

"Where should I begin? Packing delicious chocolates? Should I wear fancy clothes?"

Emily tapped paper with a tip of her pencil. The clock ticked as her things-to-prepare list got more and more, until she didn't have anymore to think what she should prepare.

While she was twisting in the wind, a voice from downstairs broke the silence.

"Emily, the dinner's ready."

Emily heard the voice. However, her plan wasn't done yet that she didn't want to move. She didn't want to break the flow.

"I.. I'm not hungry mom"

The reply wasn't there. Soon after, door opened with a kind squeaking sound.

"Come on sweety. It's dinner time"

"But I don't want to eat now.."

Her mom had her face close and began to read through her small paper.

"What is this, sweety?"

"It's a plan"

Lips of Emily's mom trembled for a split second. 

"You planning to go out by yourself?"

Emily nodded.

"Yes mom. I wanna find myself outside! It.. It's like a caterpillar! I need to go outside!"

Mom's face was hardened. She suddenly took Emily's paper, saying with a colder voice than how she was.

"Outside is dangerous. You cannot go alone, and I will not let you do that"

(Korea, Yun Jihoon )




Devastated Emily goes back upstairs to her room with a sad empty soul, she thought to her self

“A Caterpillar’s life is easier than mine! It can break free any time but not me, I’m not a caterpillar I cannot do that!” 

Emily could not sleep that night, she kept turning in her bed thinking of a better way to convince her mother, When suddenly she had an epiphany..

Emily said to herself “A caterpillar struggles inside its cocoon before it goes out, it must be hideous inside! Now I know how to convince my mother” She said

Next morning as she woke up enthusiastically, she approaches her mother but before she could even utter a word, her mother shouts “No means NO! you are not leaving this house”

Quietly Emily says “A caterpillar struggles inside its cocoon to go outside and become a beautiful butterfly! Inside its cocoon, it looks hideous! It is similar to when a storm sets, the sun shines and the flower blooms! Mother, the moral of my story is that; It has to get unpleasant & hideous before it gets beautiful!” Her mother stared at Emily with a doubtful face.

(Lebanon, Bilai Karsifi)



Seeing the determination on Emily’s face, the mother’s face started to lessen. After a couple of minutes, the mother said in a hesitated tone “…o-okay.”

Emily’s eyes widened and she was overwhelmed with joy as soon as she heard the word.

The mother quickly continued “but it is only for one day and only with the promise that you don’t go far!”

Emily kept nodding and smiling as she listened to her mother “un.. un.. sure.. I promise”

She felt like she is almost flying and she kept imagining all the adventures she will experience with the first step she is taking outside her room to the point that she was no longer to her mother’s continuous warnings and advices.

Afraid that her mother would change her mind, Emily rushed to her room once her mother finished talking.

The mother’s voice came far as she was climbing the stars –almost running- “you better be careful!!!”

Emily opened her room’s door, grabbed her packed bag and rushed to the window. 

With great excitement she opened the window and took deep breath of what she called “the smell of freedom”

She stood out there and called with all her voice “caterpillar! Caterpillar! Come and take to me into a journey to discover the unknown …”

(Saudi Arabia, Ghadda Hayyat) 



But the caterpillar she saw before that day was gone, the only thing left  is an empty cocoon. Her smiles fades away, tears starts to falling off from her cheek. 

"so is this my fate? I could never see the possibly beautiful world outside, I could never experience the excitement of exploring, I could never gain... freedom." 

The backpack fell on the floor, same as her heart. Emily sat on the ground, feeling so discouraged like never before. 

"Honey, what happened? I heard someone crying." 

"The caterpillar has gone mommy, I could never go out again..." 

"No Emily, the caterpillar was gone but a butterfly is born! The caterpillar has gain a pair of wings to fly it ways towards freedom, look, there is a butterfly outside the window." 

Emily stops her tears, slowly stand up looking towards the window with doubt inside her.

(New Zealand, John Lau)



Emily’s shattered dream is now reborn: a butterfly can show her the wondrous of the world. But now her mother had to give her another day to go out with the butterfly.

“Mother you know I need to talk to the butterfly before she can take me around the word,” Emily Said to her mother.

The mother said, “Although I want you to enjoy the freedom of the world, I still warn you again: Don’t go far or you may lose yourself.” Emily replied, “Sure my mother.”

The night came and Emily had to sleep. She’s on her bed; thinking about tomorrow and how the butterfly could take her around and show her the freedom of the world.

The moral of the story is that whenever you feel you lost an opportunity; remember there’s always another beautiful way to approach life. Never fix your mind on one thing.

(Somalia, Mohamed Muse Hassan) 



Inside her dream, Emily saw a woman. A young beautiful woman wearing a white dress resemble a wedding dress, standing at the edge of stone beneath her was a big fire, burning ferociously over aggressive wind. The glitter and smoke from the fire flew into the sky as if it were to reach heaven. The young woman’s body shivered. 

“Hey! Stay away from fire”

Emily yelled as she tried to walk closer towards the woman. But before Emily could do anything else, woman in the beautiful white dress spread her arms wide as if she were about to fly into the bright blue sky. She lifted her head and jumped.

“No, don't”

Emily screamed. 

It was too late. The young lady fell in the middle of fire. She cried loudly like a pig getting slaughtered. The flames consumed her body. Her body was dancing inside the fire.

(Thailand, Naparin Prechachaisurut)



Emily suddenly wakes up filled with tears and all sweaty. Ignorant and unaware of the meaning behind such a frightening dream, she gets out of her bed as if it was just another weird dream. She thinks of telling it to her mother but fears that she might change her mind to let her go reasoning as an unappealing forecast. With all these mixing thoughts, she slowly takes a glance outside the window and what she sees leaves her staggered and shocked. The butterfly’s wings had withered to an unappealing brown. 

“What happened?!!” -her voice trembled with outrage. 

She rushes to see the butterfly and suddenly hears an indistinct voice.

“Please help me! Bring me back!” 

Dazed and confused, poor Emily couldn’t think of anything else and starts to cry again. 

She reaches out her hand to hold the poor butterfly and instantaneously a sparkle or say a glittering particle emerges out.

The small light then gradually brightens up showing her a way to go out somewhere. 

“Maybe it’s trying to lead me somewhere.” -she thinks.

Without any second thoughts, Emily then decides to go out right away to unravel the mystery of her dream, the butterfly and the mystifying voice.        

(Nepal,Peter San )




As Emily walks away on her way towards her dream world she suddenly remembers about her mother and every single word during their last talk.  She thought that it would be better if she could tell her mother about her leave for a moment but doubts stopped her from speaking again. While, her mother preparing a meal in the kitchen for Emily with bunch of images about her only daughter’s fate, she did not realized that knife slipped away from her hands and cut her finger. She continued cutting vegetables until she realizes her blood was spreading all over the place. She was hastening to stop the blood but suddenly Emily came to her mind. She went upstairs to see Emily with the fear of knowing that she would not in her room and she witnessed that she was right. The room was empty. She looked for Emily in every single room of house, unfortunately she was not there anymore…

(Uzbekistan, Abbosbek Yulchiev)



Her mother found a piece of paper on Emily’s table. The paper says:

“I am sorry for doing this without permission but I really have to go and meet my friend, the butterfly in outside the world. I promise you, I will be back within 2 weeks with the butterfly and a lot of presents that you will like from outside world. By that time please prepare the best meal you can make, I love you mom, take care :) ”

Those sentences brought her mom tears for hours. She had no idea how would she survive without her daughter for 2 weeks and she was not even sure if Emily would come back home or not. Feeling so stressful and had no idea what to do, her mom decided to write a reply to Emily’s paper, tie it on a very big balloon and fly it to the sky hoping that one day the messages would reach Emily.

(Indonesia, Robinson Gao)




The balloon flew away, with it Emily was already far from home. Staring outside the window of the bus, Emily was thinking of her mom's reaction to her leave. "Is my mom going to be alright without me? What if they need me back home?" Asking herself with a sad tone.

Emily had to clear her mind from these thoughts and try to focus on what she was doing and about to do, because she is already outside and can never go back home until she fulfill her dream. 

The bus was driving fast in the road, and suddenly she found herself jumping from the seat and hitting her head on the bus roof. As she was trying to know what happened, the bus driver apologized and said that they passed through a speed bump that he couldn't see. Saying to herself "Is this the start of the danger my mom was talking about?".

(Yemen, AL-Mogahed Tareq)



During that moment, many negative thoughts passed through Emily's head. In her head, there was a voice that left her with some fears and doubts! Such as:

Could the world be really dangerous?

Did I make the right decision?

Will not I get hurt all over the world?

As the doubtful voice echoed in her mind, with questions that made her think of giving up on her dream, something much stronger than the voice of fear and doubt said inside Emily's heart: Go on, CHASE YOUR DREAMS, if you do not do it for yourself, no one else will do it. You are strong; YES YOU CAN, face your fears and do not let yourself be dominated by them.

So, Emily heard the voice of her heart!

(Mozambique, Deolinda Zucula)




While the voice of doubtful was taken over by the adventurous and fearless one to chase her dream, Emily remembered that her journey might be more difficult and more challenging than the caterpillar's. On her way, she noticed something very beautiful in the sky that kept her mesmerized: " it was a rainbow" appearing after a slight rain. It was so multi-colorfully beautiful with color she had never seen before, that Emily could envision her life into it, as if every steps of the way will count, every newness will open another dream, every adventure will recede her fears. She asked the bus driver to stop right away. She got off and started running by tracing the horizon of the rainbow into the wood, head up whispering with a low voice: "rainbow! Dear rainbow! Please share your beauty mystery with me. Take me to your colorful world. Wow, wow you're so amazing." The rainbow replied with a musical voice: my dear Emily, I'm there for you. Please find me inside your heart, I will be waiting for you! Emily could not understand...When suddenly, she stumbled and fell on the ground. She did not want to lose the rainbow's view; when she realized it faded away while she was on the ground crying: "is that my destiny"? She said from a very sad voice. She burst in tears while looking up the sky. After a while, she thought it might be still the struggles of the journey. It's worth staying happy and courageous. She's slowly realizing what her mom was telling her about the danger of the world. Then Emily courageously swabbed her tears and looked around and noticed a beautiful little dog hiding behind the bushes, next to a garden...

(HAITI, Ralph Sander METELLUS)



Emily stand on her feet and walk to the bushes but the dog ran away and Emily follows the dog, as the dog ran faster Emily was trying to catch up her foot caught a tree root and she stumbled on to the bushes and the muddy ground.

 She cries in pain “my ankle! How can I continue my journey now?” 

As she sat on the ground aware that her cloth got dirt all over it she noticed that she was on someone’s garden and at the middle of the garden she saw a cottage house surrounded by a colourful flower that seems had been well maintained. As she approach the house there was a middle age woman wearing a white laced dress came out and stood at the front door.

“Are you lost little girl?” she asked. “why are you in my garden? And where is your elder?”

“I am sorry, I accidentally stumble into your garden, I was trying to follow this little dog but I end up here.” She replied “I am on my journey to explore the outside world”

The woman glances at Emily and noticed that Emily was injured and got dirt all over her.

“Please do come in my dear, you got dirt all over your cloth” the woman said as she invites Emily in “what is your name? I’m Miss Honey”

“My name is Emily Everdeen just call me Emily” Emily replied

But Emily hesitated to get in thinking that she barely know miss Honey but then there was the beautiful little dog came out from the front door looking excited with Emily presence. Miss honey pick up the dog and said

“This is my dog name Douglas, he is very friendly and love to play”

(Brunei Darussalam, Md Afif Naili Hj Md Ashren)




“I will host you tonight in my house, it is getting dark outside and it is dangerous for a sweet girl like you to stay alone in the woods” Said Miss Honey with a smile in her face, ”and tomorrow you can go continue your journey.”

Emily was for a moment confused and hesitating, that was her first time in her life that someone invited her in another house. Left with no choices she replayed “Yes. I will stay here for tonight. Thank you Miss Honey. You are a kind person” A small smile of enjoy was expressed in her face.

 Miss Honey took Emily to take a warm bath in upstairs. Inside the bath, Emily took a brief review of all the things that happened in the short start of her journey and was concerned about what is waiting for her in the future. As she stepped out of the shower room, she found clean clothes nicely folded on a small table. “Sweetie! You can wear those closes. They are for you for tonight” The voice of Miss Honey was coming from downstairs.

 Emily took the stairs down saying “Thank you Miss Honey for…” She stopped in the middle of the sentence, as she was astonished to see the dining table full of delicious food with a big plate of fish in the middle. “Come in sweetie! I prepare this dinner for you tonight. I hope you will like it.” Emily couldn’t stop thanking Miss Honey for the whole time. Emily was so happy about the treatment of Miss Honey that she didn’t taught about missing her home. Suddenly Miss Honey, with a sad face, was taken by deep thinking as she were looking at a photo on the wall…

(Morocco, Mohamed Hannioui)



Are you alright Ms. Honey; asked Emily!

Yes dear, I’m, replied Ms. Honey. Don’t worry about me

Who is that young boy in the picture? Curiously asked Emily 

Ms. Honey said with a sad voice: It is my son, Alexander. He went out in the woods one year ago and got lost. Douglas and I searched for him for months, but no sign of him. And now, I’m too old to continue doing it, yet Douglas haven’t given up. He was out there looking for him when you two met.

Emily said in compassionate tone: Oh, that is so sad, you must be missing him so much

Sighed Honey: from all of my heart, he was a very good and kind boy

Then I will help you find him. Said Emily excitedly

Ms. Honey terrifyingly answered, while waving her hands: No dear, it is too dangerous for you. It is your first time in the outside world, and I couldn’t let you go out there just by yourself. 

I insist, it is the least I could do to meet the kindness you showed me today. Said Emily in a determinate voice

Ms. Honey, impressed by Emily’s determination: Then, I wouldn't trust that you do without Douglas, he knows the woods very well, and he can keep you a company. 

Emily said: it is settled then. We will go first thing in the morning

Ms. Honey in a kind voice: up to bed now dear, you need to rest since you have a big day tomorrow.

Emily couldn’t stop thinking of her day tomorrow. Where to star, and what should she do? She stayed up for long time imagining that she found him, and how her mother would be proud of her. Until she fell asleep.

While Emily was falling asleep, drowned in dreams, her mother balloon fell in Ms. Honey’s back yard.

(Egypt, Heba Abbadi)



The balloon was pink in color

"Little Emily’s journey is a life time sweet path, full of memories that travel like sun rays, she was so amused of how she was received by the lady, as she goes through the picture, she remembers one beautiful and fascinating moment, as she was overwhelmed and captivated between the portray and her day dreams. She never knew her mental journeys would take her to unknowable world hanged on wall of Ms. Honey house". 

The balloon was pinky with awesome order of nice drawing of Emily on it, she was dressed beautiful rosy with cloth presented to her during her birthday. Douglas neck lace was with the balloon attached to it, now Emily got a company of Douglas after Madame Honey allow her to be escorted. 

Emily was so happy when she so the dog with a colorful and magnificence, chasing the butterfly in the garden. When they went to nearby forest, Emily saw the pinky balloon being heled at boy's right hand, the boy talks with mocking birds and starling' one year leaving like "Tarzana" in the frost was enough for the boy to speak their languages. The boy was Ms. Honey's  

(South Sudan, Lino Atem)



Emily was extremely surprised that she found the boy before she even started looking for him. She thought to herself: “is this how things work in the outside world? Is it always this easy?”. She was reluctant to approach him because after all, he did not even know who she was. However, before she even had enough time to make her mind about a way to approach him, the boy came toher by himself. “Excuse me, is this yours?” the boy asked while handing the balloon to Emily. “emm…yes, thank you. I am Emily. What are you doing here all by yourself?” she asked. “I am trying to learn about the outside world” said the boy, “you see, I used to live with my mother and I always wanted to explore the things outside, but she would not let me. She used to say that it’s too dangerous and that I should better stay inside. So one day I could not stand it anymore and left my house anyway and ever since I am wondering and learning about the things out there”. Emily was intrigued to know everything about this boy’s adventures but before she could ask him anything, a thought crossed her mind. She remembered how upset Miss Honey was about her boy and how much she missed him and then, she thought about her own mother. What if she was looking for her day and night? What if she was worried and upset? 

(Moldova, Nicoleta Ionita)




The girl glanced around the woods, noticing they still had a lot of daylight left. She thought, "This is a rare opportunity! I have not been in this place before." She decided that she would not immediately rush the boy back home through the woods and instead asked, "Why are you out here?" 

The boy, suddenly got a big grin and his face and exclaimed, "I was looking for my favorite bird! Have you seen it?"

The girl suddenly looked up at her balloon and did notice a bird perched on top of it, pleasantly enjoying a rest.

"Is that your bird!?", she eagerly asked as she gestured up to her balloon.

The boy was confused as he looked at the balloon, wondering why this girl could so easily confuse a balloon with a bird, but then he gasped as he caught sight of some purple feathers jutting out from the top of it. 

"Yes! That's my favorite bird!"

The bird suddenly woke up, startled from the boy's loud voice, and flew off deeper into the woods.

"Oh, no!", he said. "Quickly! We go find it again!", the girl proclaimed.

(America, Attanasio Chris)



Both ran after the bird and went into the deepest place of the forest. They understood that they lost the way back to home. What to do? They already forgot about bird and starting to search road back. Emily tried to calm down and think how to solute the problem but she could not. Suddenly boy took her hand and said: “Don’t worry Emily I am with you. We will find out our road because we are strong and not alone”. After this words Emily stopped panicking and follow boy`s decisions. Boy checked around of the place, looked to Emily with smile, and said: “Emily look to the ground and see we made signs on the grass by our steps so that will support us to go back!  Never give up Emily never ever))))”.

(Tajikistan, Oliya Maxudova)




Dusk had begun to take over the red crimson skies as the 3, Douglas the Bloodhound, Emily and the boy continued to trace their tracks back through the forest. Emily and the boy, lost in their conversation about “destiny” and how the boy had had managed to survive in the woods alone for the past year, completely lost track of time and dinner. Douglas on the other hand, had not. Douglas, who was leading the three initially, dashed back to Emily and began whining.

“He seems hungry”, the boy exclaimed. “His mouth is dry and is panting a little more than before”, he continued. Emily replied, “Oh no! But, I don’t have any food left in my backpack, nor any water left in my canteen!”. The boy, suddenly energized, “Come, let’s set camp for tonight and figure our way out tommorrow. Is that alright with you, Emily?” he offered. Emily agreed, but before following the boy off into an adjacent trail, she took off her red polka-dot scarf and tied it to a low branch of a Yellow Birch. “Alright, let’s go then,” she said as she quickly skipped to the side of the boy. The boy smiled, and thought to himself, “She is learning to adapt and she is catching on fast”.


The boy navigated the three down towards a nearby valley by following the sounds of water. He knew, after his one year alone in the woods, civilizations always have had been born and fostered by man’s needs to primary resources - water, food and security. Douglas quickly pranced into the ankle deep stream and began barking at the fish underwater. The boy chose a clean ground to set camp on and rapidly gathered firewood and timber to set a small overhead shelter. He also furnished a sharp spear from a fallen branch and headed off into the stream. Emily followed the boy and tried numerous times at tackling the fish, to no avail. The boy, on the other hand managed  to catch a handful of American shads. After easily setting up a small fire, Emily and the boy began to roast their meal over a spit. Douglas cuddled up beside the boy and napped. 


Night quickly took over the skies and a cool breeze caressed the canopies and branches of the trees. Breaking the serenity of the atmosphere, “What’s your name? - I don’t remember you mentioning it after all this time”, asked Emily. “I’m Alex”, he muttered. 

“Don’t you have any family? Why would you live out here in the woods- alone. Especially, for the past year?”

“I left my home, or rather - I ran away from home. I enjoyed and thrived on the liberty and freedom it had. Free to do what I want, when I want and how I wanted to. Isn’t it the same as you?”

Emily realized he had a point but held back her opinions and continued her interrogation.

“Yes, I know. At least that what the Butterfly I first met told me; then again I promised my mum that I would be back. Don’t you have any regrets or even simple thoughts to return?”,.

Calm and collected this time “I do, but I fear I would disappoint my mum. She took care of my all these years but, I just needed some time alone and I wanted her to understand it rather than I explain it to her, so -,” he cut off mid-sentence. 


“Can we just rest for tonight? Let’s head off once the sun rises, and I’ll send you home safely,” he said bluntly. Emily sensed he didn’t want to continue further into his dilemma and put her endless questions to rest and leaned against a log to get some rest after bidding him good night. Emily tried to rest, wondering how fate has brought her to Alexander by sheer luck; and if she was responsible for taking him back home. The outside world has been and is indeed the home to a myriad of tragedies and destinies. But is Emily willing to take on this journey? A journey that may trail her away from her own goals? A noble intervention to return Alex to Ms Honey or to simply explore further into an endless abyss of freedom?

(Singapore, Sakthibalan Balathandautham TAM)




Emily finally dozed off with so many questions on her mind. Suddenly, she found herself all alone in a forest. Alex and Douglas were nowhere to be seen. All was quiet, calm as if somebody had pressed the mute button on the world that surrounded her. She took a moment to look around until her eyes landed on something that was merely a few feet away from her. Emily's gasp was inaudible. It took all her willpower not to scream right then and there. She was looking at a strange form that looked like a shape of a human sprawled on the ground but only its legs were in tact. Emily could not see any arms because there was something covering it. Is it a blanket? But it seemed so silky, why was it red? Is it blood? The trail of questions seemed to nag at Emily's mind. Emily's feet seemed rooted to the ground of where she stood, she wanted to go closer but fear was starting to bubble up inside of her. As the realisation of what was laying there overwhelmed her, she urged herself to go closer. Her curiosity overriding her fear, Emily took a step closer to the deranged form on the ground. As if her stepping closer triggered a wire, the form that lay there suddenly twitched. It twitched violently.

(Samoa, Rose Tugaga)



Suddenly, Emily jumps up and finds herself in the deep darkness of the forest. This was yet another dream. She was sweaty and panting, her breathing hard. For a moment she could not come back to reality and was still terrified about what happened. After she saw Alex tightly sleeping near her, she realized that she was in the forest with Ms Honey’s son. She smiled and thought to herself that after being outside maybe you get used to sleeping tightly even in such conditions and in such darkness. It was clear that she was dreaming more than usual since she left her house to explore the world. However, it seemed that her dreams were trying to tell her something, as if they were trying to tell her of dangers and mysteries she might face on her journey if she continued it, of course. She could hear two of her voices speaking in her head. One was saying that she had seen enough of the outside world and it was best to go back to her mother, her sweet home and get back to her usual life. Another voice was trying to encourage her to go on a journey of mysteries and adventures to find out more about this amazing world outside. It was trying to convince that since she left her house, she met amazing people on her way and if she continued her journey she would meet many more of such people. Yet, there were still many dangers in the outside world. Then, she realized that she was getting used to outside world a little by little and dangers she might face on her journey actually would make her stronger and her life more interesting. Of course she wanted to get back to her mother and have a comfortable life. Then, an overwhelming enthusiasm of thoughts engulfed her mind. She was actually very eager to find out what her dreams meant, explore more of this outside world, make many friends on her journey and make many good memories which she would love to share with her mother and Ms Honey once they meet again. With all these determination and sweet thoughts, she went back to sleep. This time there was no dream…

(Uzbekistan, Shohruh Khan Sabirjonov)




A sound sleep was exactly what Emily needed to remedy the deja vu that challenged every fiber of her existense. Whilst lying half asleep at the break of dawn, Emily was showered with glistening rays of sunshine that jolted her to full consciousness. 'No dream?'  Emily was half relieved and yet half dissapointed for not having any devine epiphany. She fell back into a reverie about the course of events that brought her to this plane of existense. On a journey she feared she'd have to undertake alone, she found comrades that se could count on to have her back. 'The night is the darkest just before dawn' a howling voice sent shivers down her spine. Emily fought back the tingling sensation as it dawned on her that dawn was a long way down the road. ' I didn't come this far to get this far' emily was determined to rationalize her fears and press head on. She gazed at the heavens, fleeting flights of clouds that resembled cotton candy had replaced the star spangled sky that she grew fond of the last time she had her wits ti herself. However, there was a bizzare glow to the sky that Emily couldn't quite fathom. 'Am i heading into my very own impending doom?' Emily tried to muster all the courage she had to face the music; but little did she know who was playing the tunes.

(Bangladesh, MARTUZA Jareef Bin )



'Good morning sleepy-head'. A familiar voice accompanied by a sudden wetness in her face made Emily wide awake immediately. Jolting up she accidentally pushed Douglas away, who had been licking her face. 'How was your first night out in the open?', Alex asked from the other side of their makeshift camp. 'Surprisingly uneventful', Emily answered while stretching her tired joints. 'Pretty good actually'. She would never admit the pain she felt in her body from sleeping on the floor for the first time. Looking around, she saw that Alex had already packed all their belongings and was ready to go. Hastily she got ready and they started their way back. After walking for awhile in silence she suddenly heard a loud growl in her stomach. Alexander must have heard it too and he was snickering quietly. 'Hungry right? Well, we finished all the food we brought yesterday, so there will be no food today!' 'What?!', Emily exclaimed, horrified of the thought. 'Just kidding! You should have seen your face'. Alex was laughing so hard he couldn't even continue walking. 'Haha very funny'. 'Don't worry my friend, luckily I know how to find food out here. We can eat while we are walking.' And so they continued on, Douglas by their side, Alexander sharing all the knowledge he gained of the wild and Emily absorbing everything hungrily. After what seemed like hours Alex suddenly stopped. 'Strange. I could have sworn this is the way back.' Emily didn't know what to say; she had lost track a long time ago. 'Let's try this way'. They continued walking until the late afternoon. The sun began to set and Emily's little feet hurt like they had never hurt before. 'Can we take a rest please?', she asked. Without answering, Alex sat down on a fallen tree. 'This i really weird. The forest here looks really different. The animals, plants, even the smell is different!' Then it dawned on them. 'Is this really the same forest we entered yesterday?'

(Germany, Amélie Hörndler)



After wandering around for a while they realized that it really was a different forest. The atmosphere felt dense due to the loam of the earth and the silence was deafening.  The trees around them had thick trucks and grew so tall, as if they were fighting over for their share of the sun rays. The surrounding looked more animated than the one in the forest they had been before. 

However, what surprised Emily was how she was not at all baffled by the fact that they’d lost their way. From what she heard from Alex about liberty and freedom he encountered, she was now willing to indulge herself and explore the wilderness. She was now propelled by curiosity about what she’d been missing all her life; the places unexplored, the people unknown and the feeling unfelt. Maybe it had to do with the comfort she felt around Alex; the courage she now had to wanderlust. 

It was weird how she felt so close to him, despite the fact that she had met him only a day before. She felt like she understood why he chose the life he had and knew that he understood where she is coming from. “Hey, what are you thinking?” Alex asked. Emily had been staring at him unconsciously so she looked away. “Nothing, I’m just really hungry”, she replied.

(Nepal,  Jenusha Prajapati)



-Don’t worry, we surely find something to eat along the way.

Said Alex as they keep moving on the path, the smell of wet soil and the humidity in the air lead them to think that it has been raining recently. 

-You know, when rains is difficult to track your steps back and find the way where you came from

Mentioned Alex while Emily was enjoying of these new sensations, she could felt how every leaf of every branch they were passing was gently teasing her. It was like if the forest itself were telling her that she belong there, that this is what she always expected to find in the outside world.

-Sorry what you said?

Asked Emily, as she was lost in her thoughts.

-Don’t worry we have Douglas with us; he is very goodtracking and surely will help us to find a way out.

-Oh yeah, I guess so.

However, Emily did not seem to be too excited with the idea of leave that place so soon. “I still have to find the Butterfly, what if she is here? This seems a good place for such a beautiful butterfly” though Emily for herself, “Also, isn’t this just perfect, I never had felt such level of calm and satisfaction as here”

-Alex? Do we really need to go back?  You told me that you prefer to be here outside, away from home and be free doing whatever you want rather than go back, isn’t it?

-Yes, is true, but, what about you? You told your mother that you would be back in two weeks as long as I can remember.

-I did but I just can’t go back without have find that butterfly and gave her the thanks to have thought me that the world isn’t that dangerous, that life is actually out here and we need to look for it. Besides, were not you looking for your favorite bird as well?

-I see, then let us make a deal. We will not go back home until both of us had find what we were looking for

-I agree, at first, when I found you I thought that it was somewhat foolish to adventure so deep in the forest with a stranger looking for a bird. However, after all what has happened I realized that this what I always wanted to experience by myself. So please, stay with me until both of us find what we were looking for.

That small spark in the heart of Emily that moved her to leave home became a flame with this new opportunity. It was what she was always waiting for since her memory could trace back in the time. For sure, she felt some remorse for have leave her home, but the search for what really means live and explore the world had just began.

(Mexico,  Adi Moreno Cueto) 


“Oh, I finally found some food!” exclaimed Alex while heading to a colorful bush of flowers with red petals and white spots. Emily´s face looked astonished and then asked him “So are we eating flowers? Is this what you were looking for?”. Alex, no answering Emily´s questions, took one flower with extremely carefulness and gave it to Emily. Why don´t you take the branch, Alex? Emily asked again… These are called dream flowers, just as your dreams Emily, they won´t disappear unless they are completely taken from you; as long as there is a branch they will keep alive. Emily grinned and proceed to eat the dream flower. A perfect touch of sweetness and softness hugged her taste buds and seconds later, she was not hungry anymore. 

Emily couldn't believe that it was the first time she knew about dream flowers so she inquired Alex by saying... Alex, how is it possible that I have never heard of dream flowers before? Who told you about them, Miss Honey? Alex smiled and replied whilst looking at her innocent face, “Most adults can´t see these flowers. As they grow and forget about their dreams, the dream flowers also forget about them.” Emily understood in that moment, that this world has still many lessons to teach her. 

Lost in her internal thoughts, Emily hears the barking of Douglas. The eight year old labrador seemed to be anxious, Alex rushed to Douglas ‘place and opened his mouth when he realized that Douglas had found an exit for the almost never ending forest. –Good job Douglas but we cannot go back now, we haven’t found Mary, said Alex. –Who… is Mary? asked Emily. -My bird! Sorry, I didn’t tell you she had a name, replied Alex. 

(Colombia,  Fabian Garcia) 



Astonished and at a dilemma, Emily had to chose either to continue her adventure or to go back now that they had rediscovered the path home. She closed her eyes in deep thought and sighed as if to assess their situation. A deafening silence clouded them and all they could hear was the late melodious evening bird chirps. Alex eyes spoke of fear and sorrow, uncertain of what had befallen her companion-Mary. The beautiful yellow evening sun rays penetrated through the giant tall trees like a warrior’s spear. The wind was softly blowing through moving the trees in a harmonious dance.  Emily’s heart skipped a beat and she could feel the wind whispering in her ears as if alluring her to join in the dance. It was in this state that they suddenly heard mooing of cattles. “Let us check it out” Emily excitedly invited Alex. The two walked along a small stream that brought them to a herd of stripped gazelles and beautiful Zebras. At a significant distance from the herd, Alex was quick to notice Mary excitedly de-ticking the herd.  A permanent smile adorned Alex’s face, he showed a mixture of excited surprise, shock and a generous touch of disbelief. Mary seemed to enjoy the freedom the nature adored her. Alex mouth was wide open with disbelief. “There is so much out there to explore”, she uttered inaudibly. And as she looked at the ridges at a far distance, Emily’s knew what she was meant to be, a free bird.

(Kenya, Clinton Wambui ) 



For a few moments they just stood there, basking in the warmth of the sun, adoring the perfectly painted azure skies, then Emily looked Alex straight in the eyes. Without even having to utter a single word, he flashed her a knowing smile and gently nodded. In that very moment, it was as if they were having a conversation all through their eyes. As she inched closer to him, the earth began to shake violently. There were loud creakings coming from everywhere as the sturdy, giant trees rhythmically came crashing down one by one, disturbing everything that once inhabited them. Alex grabbed Emily by the hand in an attempt to rush to safety. Distraught and unsure of what to make out of everything, she glanced back and witnessed as the beauty that befell her eyes just moments ago vanished in mere seconds.

(Philippines, Abigail Rarugal )  


Once they saw it, they started to panic. Their faces were instantly pale on the spot. "What should we do?" Emily asked. "We have no choice! Let's get out from this place. Otherwise you know what will happen to us!" Alex replied and he pulled emily's hand immediately to escape from that beautiful place which then turned into a horrible place. The ground began to crack and suddenly the heavy rain came. They ran as fast as they could as the destruction came after them. As the rain made the soil slippery, it made Emily fell. "Emily!" Are you okay?! Let me carry you!" Alex shouted. Then he carried up Emily and rushed out from the forest. When they came out of the forest, they were really shocked that they were at the edge of the cliff where there is a huge waterfall. The destruction kept coming from behind them. Fears came up and tears fell down. "Alex, please don't tell me that we will jump from here.." Emily cried and hugged Alex tightly. "I'm sorry Emily... We have no choice..." Answered Alex in a small voice while looking into her eyes. Then he decided to jump from the waterfall while carrying Emily and at once they felt like the time freezed...

(Indonesia, Lenardi Firmansyah  ) 



But time can’t freeze, Emily thought to herself, as she felt Alex’s grip around her waist loosen and the closeness of his body disappear. For a moment, realizing that she was all alone, she panicked and stretched out her hand to find him again, but all she could feel were the millions of water droplets falling in unison toward an unknown basin. 

Looking closer at the droplets as she fell, she noticed how each and one of them seemed to hold more than just the blank, colorlessness of water; they were like palettes of life. There were the dream flowers Alex had given her and miss Honey deep in thought… 

Just as she allowed herself to wonder, if this was how she would leave this world, she felt the coldness of water hitting her back and wrap itself around her body as her consciousness drifted away.

(Sweden, Lisette Anderssoon )


In the dark, there was a butterfly, its wings glittering like jewels. It was fluttering, floating in one area as if beckoning Emily to follow, like a light within the dark. Compelled by some unknown force, she followed it, hands sweaty and tongue thick and leaden in her mouth. As she walked, she thought about the caterpillar and its cocoon, and for a moment thought perhaps the butterfly she was following was the caterpillar she first met. It’s not possible, she thought, shrugging it off. However, she began to notice that the light emanating from the butterfly’s magnificent wings were beginning to dim. Everything around her was pitch black except for that small fluttering light and her hands began to shake, her heartbeat quickening as the dark seemed to grow around her. How would she find her way out without the light? Suddenly she could hear her voice being called within the dark, a soft, familiar ’Emily’. She gasped, taking a step forward as if to run towards the voice, but the light went out and the butterfly was gone, plunging her into darkness. Then briefly, something warm pressed against her cheek. “Emily,” the voice said more strongly. “Wake up!” Her eyes fluttered open and above her Alex leaned across her face, deep brown eyes full of concern. “Oh Alex…I’m so glad to see you.” Emily sobbed. Alex gently pulled her into his arms and sighed with relief.(Australia, Martina Black) #36Wake up child, enter the wonderlandWondrous and mysterious, theres a twist at every turnIts a long road with a river, deep and wild. Today heavenwards and tommorow deep down.There is black pitch and there is white snow.There is a smile of a stranger Sweet music, and starry skies Welcome here, this is the carnival of life! In the deep dark silent cavern, there lay two lone souls, clasped in embrace. The comfort and warmth of being with someone, created a feeling of security and ease for the two. Feeling that everything would be fine. That nothing is lost. The journey would continue. The echoing sobs of Emily faded to a pitch silence. The expression on Emily’s face changed; a determined expression of a brave woman. Emily tightened her embrace, and whispered into Alex’s ears.“Alex, I have realized something.”She continued: “We came far away from home. We saw glimpses of beauty at its finest, and we saw the raging ugly aspect of the same beautiful nature. I experienced extreme bliss when I saw the rainbow and I was extremely delighted to see gazelles and the zebras. I was extremely frightened when I was lost and when we were hit by the raging storms; it made me regret that I left my home. I wondered if I would ever be able to return home; if I would be able to live a full life. But are they not the beautiful, different forms of the nature, the endless formsof the most beautiful?”Alex silently listened in the dark.“Alex, the beauty of this ride, these twists and turns, tempests and wonders, they are for a reason. Everything has its own place. Our meeting each other was fate. We have our purpose in this world. The butterfly led me to this journey; it was nature’s calling to me, to fulfill my purpose. Unless we find our purpose, our search will go on; a clayborn voyage without an end”

(India, Sarabdeep Singh Chaudhry) 



As Emily said this Alex took her hand and helped her stand up looking at the calm river in front of them. He then walked her up the river and asked her to just sit and breathe. Take some fresh air in. Emily felt his hand like a touch of bliss, she needed his support and that was all she was going to get. Away from home, from her mother she didn’t know have anyone else to rely on. The brave Emily who left for her journey on her own from her house was now slowly starting to rely on Alex. They sat down on the river side and dipped their feet in the water looking around the forest around them. Emily’s determination towards reaching her goal had really empowered Alex and now he was slowly falling for her confidence and independency. Sitting in silence for a while with Emily looking around at the nature, Alex was staring into her daring eyes full of potential to beat this world. He was completely lost in her power to stand against evil, the world itself. “Something about her is just so beautiful that I could stare at her all day”, Alex thought to himself as he stared and then Emily turned to him staring right at her. She was spooked at the way Alex was looking right her with such passion. 

“Um.. Alex? Are you ok?” said Emily.

“What? Huh?” said Alex back coming back to earth.

“You were just staring at me like crazy eyes I mean.. are you okay?”

“Yes, I am fine. Just something about you that makes me feel so…” 

“So.. what?” 

“I don’t know. It’s just.. I felt like you’re my Mary for a while. She is just gone and she really was someone who I thought brought out the best in me. And the way you just let out your determination was amazing and it made me feel much empowered. I have never seen that in a woman.”, he said looking straight into Emily’s eyes.

Emily felt this for the very first time. It was the first time someone came up to her and telling her all these things about her. She felt closer to Alex as he spoke. She was left speechless. She didn’t know what to say to all this except for just see Alex slowly moving towards her. Maybe this was normal in the outside world. Maybe people did that in the normal world. She was left motionless. 

Alex moved closer to Emily putting his hand over her and holding it ever so softly. The touch of his hand was so hard from all the word that he did living alone in the forest. Just one touch made Emily feel all the hardships he had gone through alone in this forest like fighting for his life, lifting weights, making temporary shelters for his safety. All that came from just one touch while Emily’s hands were ever so gentle and soft. Her hands were ever so soft which had never seen any hardships of life. Just as it happened, Alex leaned in and kissed her very softly on her lips as she stayed still and frozen in her place. 

Just as it happened, the both kids knew, their adventure to seeing the world had just taken a whole new step.

(Pakistan,  Syeda Minal Zehra) 



A bush rustled behind our wayward young heroine as her eyes fluttered open. She was still in the midst of an embrace, her hands wrapped around naught but air where once, just maybe, there may have stood the warm body of a dashing young lad. He had a name which each passing moment ensured she could never recall. Her sole intact memories appeared to be her name and childhood, with all the adventure, mistakes, weakness and courage since then, now but a distant echo.


Disoriented and groggy, Emily blinked in confusion, her body numbing as a gust of icy autumn wind sliced through the core of her being. She was now in a forest of some sort, with ancient, wizened trees standing guard around her. Shining blue dewdrops, floating through the veil of mist obsuring the darkened forest made it look almost etherial.


With nowhere to go but forward, through a neat little opening amongst the trees, Emily took a deep breath and ventured forth, marching along to the song of the unknown tomorrows.

 (Sri Lanka, Kavish Weerawardane)


As she struggled to gain her footing, Emily couldn’t help but fixate on the feeling constantly nagging in the back of her mind. She knows she’s forgotten something very important, but no matter how hard she tries she can’t manage to recall whatever it was.


She stops in her tracks as she hears a soft grumbling sound. Finding nothing suspicious in her surroundings, it took a moment for Emily to realize it was her own stomach, begging to be fed.


I got this, she thinks to herself.


Her hands move on their own, carefully selecting between which berries and plants were safe to eat. Exactly when she gained all this knowledge about survival, she couldn’t clearly recall-although it has only been a short while after she left home, Emily feels confident about surviving in this forest alone. As she feels her stomach getting full, Emily looks down at the leftover berries in her hand and realizes that she had instinctively gathered enough for two people.


Hm? Two people?


The nagging feeling behind her head kicks in, followed by a searing headache. As she fell to the ground, a faint voice could be heard behind her.


“Did you have fun?” 

(Indonesia, Savanna Segra )





Emily woke up and found herself standing in a maze. She turned around and found no trace of Alex and Douglas. Emily started to panic.


"Where are they, and where am I?" Emily tried to catch her breath while running to find the exit route.


Frankly, she heard that voice again.


"Did you have fun?" 


The creepy voice of either a man or a woman echoed all over the place. Emily stopped and turned around however she couldn't see anyone around her. Without any hesitation, the young girl was trying to run faster as the voice repeated.


While running, Emily saw a letter in front of her. Emily was hesitating at first, however she finally picked it up. As she tried to open the letter that stated to nobody, Emily heard that voice again.


"Did you have fun"


Now this time, Emily turned back and she found out that voice is belong to her mother!!!


"Mom" Emily shouted out while dropping the letter on the floor.


"Did you have fun, my dear daughter?" 


Then, Emily realized this lady with eerie smile in front of her was certainly not her mother.

(Thailand, Aliz Alisha Rabuepin)




“Who are you?” Emily cautiously asked.

The lady did not reply. Emily noticed the lady had old scars across her face and arms.

After a short pause, the lady still wearing the eerie smile started approaching Emily very slowly.

Emily started feeling very nauseous from the anxiety building inside her, she started running away in the opposite direction. Her heart was racing and head pounding heavily as she tried to find her way around the maze. No matter how far Emily ran and every turn she made, she would always find the lady in the next corner.

“Get away from me!” shouted Emily while still trying to make her way around the maze.

Fatigue was starting to catch up on Emily, and she noticed a dense mist was slowly encasing her surroundings making it difficult to navigate. 

Emily finally tripped and fell down on the hard concrete ground scrapping her elbows.

She felt large burning tears flowing out of her eyes. Despite the emotional confusion and the pain around her arms, she rallied her strength to get up. This was when she felt a touch around her shoulders helping her to get up.

“There there, my child. There is no reason to be afraid.” said a gentle voice.

Emily turned around, and to her surprise it was the same lady she was trying to run away from helping her up.

“My my… I mistook you for my own daughter, you bear uncanny resemblances to her” said the lady.

“I apologize if I scared you, what is your name?” asked the lady.

“My name is Emily, and I have no clue where I am right now…” Emily replied while still trying to wipe away her tears.

“Nice to meet you Emily, my name is Katherine. This maze is my home” said Katherine whilst trying to treat Emily’s wounds.

At this point, Emily suddenly felt a stabbing sense of guilt in her heart. Emily misjudged Katherine by her appearance and assumed she was dangerous. A small but important lesson she will keep with her forever; There is more than meets the eye.

Emily explained to Katherine how she suddenly woke up and found herself in this maze.

“Ah… you must’ve eaten the wrong combination of berries and plants to have gotten your spirit here.” Katherine said with amusement. 

Emily’s heart sunk. “Am I dead…?” she quietly asked.

Katherine bursted out laughing. “No my child, not just yet” said Katherine trying to control her laughter.

 (Hong Kong, Andreas Yasaratne)



     “What do you mean by not just yet? And how can eating berries carry my spirit here? Please tell me what’s going on!” demanded Emily. Thousands of questions revolved around her head, with the constant dread of not seeing Alex ever again. “Where is Alex? How can he leave me without saying anything?” she questioned over and over again. Well, young lady, only if you allow me to speak!”chuckled Katherine. “I am here to help you. You’re just like my daughter after all! But for that you have to come with me.” Emily mindlessly adjusted herself, all set to follow Katherine. She did not have any alternative anyway. Where was Alex? Where was she herself? Their adventure had just started; how could the beginning of the chapter draw the epilogue? As she followed Katherine into the deepest corners of the maze, the letter drifted away with the autumn breeze.

(Bangladesh, Tamanna Alam Navila ) 





The maze was tall and ginormous, seeming to stretch farther than Emily could have ever imagined. Every turn they took lead her farther away from her starting point and deeper into the epitome of the complex puzzle. Emily could not help but wonder, how a woman, mysterious and frail, could live here all alone.


“How can you live here by yourself?” Emily mistakenly uttered her thoughts.

The lady gave a small smile. “My daughter… sometimes we humans must learn to live with our inner being, away from the world.”

“But how do you survive? Where do you get food or water to drink?” Emily pressed.

“Nature provides. The birds bring bread and corn from the fields for my meals. As for water, there is a fresh stream nearby.”

Emily looked back behind her, the paths giving way to other directions.  “It’s so impossible to go back where we started…”

“Which is why we keep moving forward, child. There is a start and end to everything.”

Emily looked worriedly at the front path. “Is it safe here?”

“I’ve lived here for a long time. Look at me, still alive and kicking.” The lady chuckled. “Yes, so far I have encountered no problems in this maze. No enemies, no thieves, or such. I remember I was scared just like you before.” Suddenly her face grew serious. “However, child, I must warn you. There are sometimes stories and legends about howls in the maze. Nobody knows where it is coming from, but when intruders hear this sound, they try running around to escape it, but are never found. So, the howls are known to be dangerous. Please be careful, and always stay close to me.”

Emily gulped. This was getting far from what she had hoped. 


They crossed an intersection and the woman took a right turn. She looked at Emily again, whose face was seemingly tired from the walk. 

“Have you eaten?”

Emily shook her head slowly. “No, I haven’t… It’s been such a long day.”

“Let’s stop here for now and rest. We can begin our journey tomorrow.”

The lady reached into her cloak bag and pulled out a small mat. Then she laid out bread, fruits, and chocolate.

“These should keep you full and energized for tomorrow’s walk” she smiled.

Emily, delighted to finally see the sight of food, dug in to the food. 

While eating quietly, the woman broke the silence. “So… who is Alex?”

Emily stopped mid-chew, and blushed. “Oh, well... he’s this guy... I met him during…”

They exchanged stories late into the night. Emily was tired and the woman suggested they both get some rest. 

Emily curled into her blanket and dreamed of herself as a child running through maze blocks.

After what seemed like hours, Emily was abruptly woken up. 

“Emily… Emily! Get up!”

Huh… What is it?” Emily rubbed her eyes.

The woman’s eyes were crinkled with fear. “Do you hear it?”

Emily perked her eyes, and to her horror… howls echoed from the distance. 

The woman quickly packed the things and took Emily’s hand. She looked into her eyes.

“We have to go”.

(Nigeria,Blessing Temitope Thomas ) 




Emily was following Katherine. Inside the forest, they were running. She has no idea of what is really happening, whether it is real or not. Her notion of reality is now altered. Everything around her seems to be from something else between reality and dream. Every sensation is multiplied. Her feet on the ground. She even hears the complaint from each part of the grass.


- don't listen to them

- What?

- The complaints are not real

- Issues and Confusions tried to play with your emotion, unfortunately, humans have plenty of emotions

- I don't understand, she was still running not far to have a heart attack. And Katherine seems to slide along the soil

- Issues and Confusion are two hunters in the maze. By finding you, I deprived them to be feed by your emotion of Confusion, because of issues always brings confusion

- And now?

- You have to leave the confusion, your imagination is your weapon and…


Emily did not let Katherine finish what she was saying. She tries to catch up with her at the same speed and suddenly jump then grab Katherine who witnessed the wings appear on her back and she flies letting behind them, under her feet the shade of the green forest that looks alike dots on the plate of surrealist painter. Katherine was looking at Emily with à feeling of half being impressed and not surprised by what she's witnessing

- you said my imagination is my best… Oh not now


Something just envelope them...

(Senegal,Ahmed Hosni )


It’s a giant hand filled with tons of transparent unknown liquid, God knows what that is, from the bottom of sky where you have no idea of along with a voice, oscillating the trees and small creatures on the ground.

-       No cheating. ( My little princ………..)

The voice wore off quickly but still, Emily captured the ending.

-       He called me Princess? What on earth is happening here?

The whole thing is a mess , She even doesn’t know why agreed with Alex’s proposal to explore in the beginning. It is a dream? No, it can’t be as she pinched herself and feels the badly strong pain. When the massive mysterious hand sends her to the ground and disappears, her wings also vanishes like a group of fireflies clustered briskly scatters and gradually fades away from the sight. As she continues to ponder the whole thing, fortunately or unfortunately she hears the several dwarfs are whispering in the South, 1.7 miles away. Then she just realizes how ridiculous that is:  How come I can hear something this far away? Even herself has no clue why she knows it is exactly 1.7 miles away. Minutes later, she comes to a conclusion: it must be that odd hand. When it took my wings away, it also gave me something which should be this incredibly acoustic ability. Little does she know that the power she received from mysterious hand is far beyond her imagination.

However, in this moment of delight, someone is approaching silently. Katherine.

Oh my little Katherine, See what I got! Wait! Why are you bleeding??? 

(China,WANG Junjie)


Emily wanted to help Katherine, but that was the first time she saw Katherine has a fear in her eyes. Katherine completely forgot about her bleeding. She was just looking around with her terrified eyes. Emily asked to Katherine.

- Where are we ? Ive never seen this kind of place before

-We are at the mountain of the giant and she continued.. imagination never works in here we will never escape from here. Emily was scared and regretted so much because she left her home. She closed her eyes and prayed for going back. She wanted to wake up from this nightmare.

Time was running out for Katherine. Because of the bleeding, she started to lose her vision. Emily knew that Katherine havent got so much time if she dont do anything to save her so she got her caurage back and asked to the Katherine how they will escape from the mountain.

- There is a chance to escape from here but no one ever done that before.There is a giant living in the cave at this mountain.He is protecting 3 pomegranates in his cave. those pomegranates can make your wishes come true. If you can steal them from the giant, we can wish to runaway from this place.

Emily was really scared but this was the only way to escape from that mountain. so she accepted to go to the cave of the giant alone and steal those pomegranates.

-Before you go to that cave.. Katherine said... you have to remember the most important thing. If you can steal the pomagranates from the giant, open them only when you are near to the water.

Emily didnt understand the reason why she have to open them near to the water.But she had no other option except to trust everything the Katherine said.

(Turkey, Furkan Kaya)


Seeing her friend breathing heavily, fighting for her life, Emily had no time to think of possible dangers in the road ahead. She knew she had to get pomegranates from the cave asap. Walking up the mountain is not easy, with every step higher she could feel the temperature drop and it was harder to stay concentrated. It was her first time up so high. She had heard stories in her village about white fields, air as cold as death yet in some mysterious way the most amazing landscape one could ever dream of seeing. Beautiful and dangerous mountains, could it be the last thing she sees in this world? It was getting dark and Emily understood that if she doesn’t find shelter soon she will freeze to death. However besides some evergreens she could not find anything around. It was too quiet. She sat under one of the trees, cuddling around her knees to keep last body warmth with her as she felt slowly loosing her conciousness. “This is the end. I should have not left home.” was the last thing she remembered before black out. —— Emily felt something cold touch her back, yet her face was touched by warm air. She opened her eyes and saw something she had never seen before. It was a round room, in the middle there was fire with cauldron on top of it. The walls were made out of white blocks that felt ice cold when touched. She could see a small entrance. The room was furnished with leather and fur, herself also wrapped in fur. “Little girl, you are lucky to be alive.” came a deep calm voice from her right side. She hadn’t noticed there was an old man sitting next to her. He was dressed up in leather and fur just like rest of the room making it hard to notice him.

(Estonia, N.R )



The man slowly walked towards Emily and greeted her with a cheerful smile, “Hello there, fair lady”. Emily looked up at the man and she could tell he was really good looking despite his age. But what stood out more was his aura that little Emily could feel. It was strong yet gentle and it was also very warm and familiar. She felt so safe and secure being next to this unknown man. Did they ever meet before? She wondered. Obviously no since it was only her mother and herself to live in the house. 

“I think you still need some time to relax. In the meantime, would like to get some juice or tea?’

But Emily didn’t want both. All she wanted to find out why she was there and how did the man find her. She also wanted to know his name as well. 

“Excuse me but-” Emily was disrupted by a huge roar from outside. It sounded so loud and powerful like anything she had ever heard. The roar came again, and again and again. Each time, it got louder and louder. Emily was speechless and then with the final roar Emily knew it was right above her head, above the place she was in. And then with a thud, it landed shaking the entire place. She was nervous at this point and also a bit scared. She looks at the man who’s just looking at the ceiling and then looks at Emily with the same cheerful smile and said, “Looks like my friend is back home

(Bhutan, Lepcha Pema Tshering)



The roar from outside was deafening. Some primal instinct inher was telling her to run, to go back and just forget everything. Emily could not imagine what was making that sound. It was like an earthquake, but the aftershocks were getting stronger. Emily figured out it was best to hold on something, but could not figure out what, as everything inside the room was shaking.The safest option for her was to go outside.  As she rushed out through the rough-hewn door, she was simply stunned: at first she could not comprehend at what she was staring at.

It was a massive humanoid body, 20 feet tall, legs like tree trunks and bulging arms that were simply dangling to its knees. It was big as a house, body mixture of red and blue color. “Well, I see Bob surprised you, but don’t be scared. Giants might have a bad reputation, but that’s just gibberish people tell little kids as a bedtime story”.

Emily opened her mouth, but instead of saying something she just whistled “Fweeet”. Recovering from her shock, she managed to squeak out, “That’s… huge”. The giant’s huge black liquid eyes were focused on her, and as she looked into them, she recognized intelligence there that she simply was not expecting. She expected it to speak, but it just looked at Emily for a few seconds before turning around and starting to walkback. “Thump”…”Thump”… the impact of its huge footsteps started shaking the ground again. 

“Sorry about that,” said the old man. “He doesn’t like strangers and mostly hangs out in the cave, only comes out for hunting and occasionally pays visits to me.” Emily was amazed by giants. “But come now, where are my manners! We don’t really get lots of guests here. You must stay for dinner, there’s food in the cauldron and you must be hungry. My name is Björn. Lets go inside.”

It was the first time Emily took a good look at the old man. The first thing that struck her was the eyes. They were of the purest bluebluer than sapphire, bluer than the ocean. He had a warm grandfatherly smile. While he was dressed in leathers and fur, it looked clean. 

(Georgia, Beka Ghoghliani)






Should I go inside or should I not? Emily asked herself a hundreds time before making decision to enter the cave.


“Please make yourself comfortable” Björn said as he was guiding Emily into the cave.


The cave is huge, yet well decorated. There was some holes allowing sunlight to get in. Emily observed the surround very carefully.


On the wall of the cave, there were carvings which looked like it was telling a storyline. As she looked around carefully, Emily spotted a man holding 3 pomegranates carved on the wall. She suddenly remembered the story about 3 magic pomegranates which could make any wishes come true that Katherine told her.


As she continued to walk while observing the carvings, she saw some dead bodies carved on the wall. She suddenly closed her eye, not wanting let her fear scared her anymore and continued following Björn’s steps.


“Our last guest was 1 year ago, we are very pleased to host you. Please have a seat!” 


When Emily opened her eye again, what she saw was a huge stone dining table filled with a lot of food and fruit, and the excitement of Björn from his eye.


“You must be very hungry, eat as much as you want, please!”


Emily started to feel relieve after feeling the kindness of Björn. They talked and laugh together as they eat until the laughing sound turned into silence when Emily picked up a pomegranate from the fruit bowl. 


“No. Not this pomegranate” Björn looked into Emily eye.

His voice became very serious.

(Cambodia, Disovankiri Boung)



The change in tone of voice took Emily by surprise. Looking up slowly towards Bjorn, his face portrayed a sternness similar to that of a teacher telling their student off for misbehaving. 

‘What's wrong with this pomegranate?’ replied Emily, trying her best not give off her slight feeling of uneasiness.

‘They’re not quite yet ripe, I apologize for having putting them on the table’ chimed Bjorn casually, his arm simultaneously reaching across to take the pomegranate from Emily. Emily instinctively backed away, immediately giving away her feelings of apprehensiveness. 

Bjorn, with a mixed expression on his face, looks to ask ‘What’s the problem Emily? I wouldn’t want you eating those now, would I? You are my guest here and I look to offer the best that I have!’ he replied grinning. 

Then as quick as his hospitality had made Emily feel at ease, he shot across ‘Or perhaps you’d like a glass of water with that to help your bleeding friend outside, you are in a bit of a rush now aren’t you?’ Bjorn replies with a scheming look across his face, slowly sipping his wine.

(Tonga, Kathy Sika)


Emily understood that that was one of the magic pomegranates. With an innocent voice, she asked Björn: “Oh, why? It looks so delicious!”. The old man remained silent for a moment, and then answered in a grimly way: “It is a long story, my dear. You would be bored by it. Why don’t you eat this exquisite apple instead? It comes from the valley behind this peak.” Feeling the sudden change in Björn’s attitude, Emily decided not to ask anything else about the pomegranate, and she gave a bite to the apple. The rest of the dinner was spent in a lighter and friendly atmosphere, and Björn offered Emily shelter for the night. Emily accepted, and soon after she was covered in a leather blanket, close to the warmth of the fire. Björn retired in his room, wishing Emily a good night. But Emily could not sleep. She had to find a way to take the pomegranates and run away, and that night was the moment.

(Italy, Sabrina Migliorini)

#51 Emily couldn’t sleep thinking about how to run away with the pomegranates that night. It’s midnight and the old man was far asleep and Emily though it is the right time for her to sneak away. She got out of the bed with caution not to make noise and she finally made her way to the pomegranates. Something stuck her mind that her friend is hungry as well as she knows that he didn’t have anything for a long time. So her eyes gradually move to the apples. She was determined to grab both pomegranates and apples and make her way out. As soon as she tried to reach out for the apples, she noticed that there was a book lying under the apples, Emily was surprised to discover that it was an old diary almost looking like an ancient manuscript. She wondered as to why this old man who is living off a cave would prefer to write a diary. Does he know how to read and write? Lot of other questions were going on in her mind. Emily decided to open the diary and read what was written in it. She opened that diary and she saw a beautiful handwriting that she ever saw before. To her surprise the old man, was actually living a decent life before and had his own family, was happily married with one kid.\ 

(Tanzania, Haji Rehani Omary )



As Emily was deeply immersed into reading the diary, she heard some noises coming out from Björn’s room. Emily hastily put down the diary and hid under the table while hoping that Björn wouldn’t come out of his room.

 She waited patiently for everything to go back to silence but the noises went on for a few minutes which felt like hours. Emily knew that she was running out of time and must not let Katherine wait any longer at the other side of the mountain. 

As soon as Emily decided to make a dash for the exit, Björn’s room was lit up. Emily’s heart was racing, fearing that the old man will notice her. “Where has my hat gone?”, said the old man, grumpily. While he was busying looking for his hat, Emily quickly got out of the table and ran for the exit as fast as she ever had.

“Emily…”, she heard someone was calling her from behind as she was about to reach the exit. She ignored it and kept on running until she got out of the cave. “Emily, I think you dropped something.” 

Emily turned around and saw Björn, in a pointed hat, was holding a pomegranate in his hand.

(Malaysia, Lee Ka Yan)



     Emily was embarrassed to have been caught escaping in the middle of the night. Shyly, she reached for the pomegranates. It was at that moment that she really noticed the old man’s pointy odd looking hat but she did not say anything because she was embarrassed. 

Bjorn then said to Emily, ‘you ought to be careful out there young lady.’ With a tap to his hat, the old man disappeared into the night. Emily was yet again intrigued by this man, she was contemplating going back to the cave to learn more about this old man or going forward since she now had the pomegranate and she must get to her friend who must be starving by now. 

And so Emily continued into the night and went to find her friend. All of a sudden this daunting feeling that she was being watched came upon her. 

(Botswana, Maddison Harris)



Emily began her journey to find her friend in the midnight darkness through the foot of the mountain. Her heart was full of anxiety and uneasiness. Near the foot of the mountain, she saw a crystal pool to which water was flowing from the highest mountains. As Emily was tired and thirsty, and on the other hand, the very calm and smooth voice of water attracted her mind and attention to go close.

Emily sat near a tree which was near to the water and sparrows were sitting on its branches.

When Emily looked at four of her surroundings, she saw a strange view of calmness, and when she looked into the water, she saw the full moon and stared into the moon in the water and drowned to her dreams. 

And everything around her dominated in the form of a moonlight of her dream, and every wave of water gave Emily the feeling that everything is good and God will help her to achieve her dreams. 

In that midnight, the silence was sweeping everywhere, and Emily drove her dreams on the moon's face on the water surface.

The moonlight stood in its place, and Emily, who had feeling happy and smiled on her face, talked to the moon about her dreams: 

“I want to make my dreams come true- I want to know the freedom of the world, and I want such a joy and happy face that I have, always stay in my face”.

Suddenly, there was radiance in the water.  

Emily felt that her dreams turned into reality, and that moon could easily read her heart. Emily closed her eyes and opened her big heart to accept from the bottom of her heart and let all the friendship of moonlight into it and give thanks to them, but a bit of the radiance get inside into her heart and suddenly the radiance on the water went back.  

Went away the smiley face of Emily and she remained frustrated. Fear surrounds all over her body. 

The old man came near to Emily and asked her what happened to my pretty daughter?

Emily told him the story.

The old man clasped on the head of Emily and said:

Calm down! Take a deep breath. Everything is fine. This is the reality of the world. When you want to give more love - more respect - they give you a bit or drop that does not heal any wound. It means to be moderate in everything.

Emily told the old man:

Thanks. You must be grateful to your God, who has given you both the eyesight and the open heart.

The old man was smiling and disappeared. Emily took the pomegranate and kept it close to her chest, did nothing just a tear in her eyes. Took a long breath. She left with pomegranate and began her journey to find her friend.

(Afghanistan, Saffay Mohammad Haroon)



May while at home, Emily mom’s motherly instinct was starting to kick in. Lia had just returned from her long day at work, she was unpacking the groceries she had brought home from the supermarket, ah! Emily favorite rainbow candies, thanks Jesus I did not forget them or she would have killed meshe thought. Then sheremembered that she hasn’t seen Emily since morning and she had leftthe house without the usual kiss on the forehead. She’s been home now for three hours or so she thought, the house is unusually too quiet.Emily! Emily! She raced up the stairs to Emily’s room, but to her surprise there was no Emily. Where’s she? She should have been back from her little adventure trip with Butterfly by now. OR maybe she’s is at the neighbors. She circled the neighborhood asking after Emily but no one seems to know her where about. 

Perhaps I should check her room properly this time, she’s probably playing hide-and-seek with me. Confused and scared she ascends the stairs again and entered the room. Emily, I know you are in here she called faintly but received only an echo of her own voice. she searched under the bed, in the Woodroof. this is no more fun and games. Shifting her gaze from the woodroof her eyes met lake through Emily’s window. It was twilight, and the sky hanged in its glorious form over the lake soaking it with its radiant, as if heaven and earth was going to emerged and become one. There, in the distance she thought she could see a figure moving on the bridge over the lake. but it’s all a mind game. I am only seeing abstract things because I missed my little girl and the lake is her get away spot, she sights. Funny how she thinks it is Butterflyfavorite spot too. Even I over this lake, in this little town I have create memories that are now closed up in a little box. 

Lia realized she been falling into a trace again, a trace of memories she often chooses to neglect because she has to be strong for Emilyshe tries to shake of the thoughts but suddenly it felt like her bones were frozen, she couldn’t move and the room was being engulfed by his presence, the sweet ,soft smell of his  perfume filled the if he was actually there whispering in her ears, “Lia be easy on yourself “ you know, they grow up fast, one day unlike you and I she will leave this little town in search of answers ,She is a ‘WILD CHILD” Maybe he was right she started to reflect, like every mother I am over protective, she mumbled as she walked towards the stairs. Over the years I have watched her transformed from my baby girl gradually into a beautiful young lady, the thoughts of her growing up and going away someday hunts me. I don’thow long I have been at sleep or what date it is, but it certainly feels like forever since I saw her, for who knows, she could be lost somewhere! I must Find her! I have to find her!

(Liberia, Martha Turkett)



 The night seemed to grow colder with every step. The darkness made everything seem familiar and as Emily went on with her search, she couldn’t help but wonder if she had gotten herself lost. She began to question herself. She asked herself whether it was worth it making a trip this late of the night. She wondered if her “dear” friend would  do the same for her

Emily tried to distract herself. It was no use of thinking like that. She needed to focus on finding her friend.

The path now barely visible seemed to be getting narrower. The faint whispers of the wind seemed to form words. As her mind wandered, she remembered a tale she had heard as a child. A tale her great grandmother had often told her. A cautionary tale of the old Mivule tree (the great forest god) and his thirst for the souls of those who were careless come across him in the dark….

(Uganda, Keith Ongaria)





With each uncertain step she took, the trees seemed to press incloser from both sides of the path. Emily felt like she was being swallowed by the forest. She kept moving forward slowly but she was scared, cold and lonely – a perfect targetfor the great Forest God looking for lost souls. Her grandmother’s story had only taught her not to wander into the forest alone. Now that she found herself in a situation like this, Emily thought that the story was not helpful in anyway. It just made her feel extremely nervous. She wished her grandmother had told her more stories that had step-by-step guides on how to find her way out of a forest or how to make it out alive from an encounter with the great Forest God.


After a while, Emily thought it was no use worrying over things she could not control. If the great Forest God found her, so be it. She would figure out how to deal with him when the time came. Likewise, she decided she needed to stop feeling sorry for herself. She made the choice to step out from the confines of her house and learn more about the world. This was what she wanted so she should be brave enough embrace this experience – enjoy the good times and learn to overcome the difficult times.


Changing the way she thought about her situation made Emily feel better. She focused her attention on the task at hand: to find Katherine who needed her help. To keep her mind away from the darkness and strange whispers of the wind, she started singing loudly.


Twinkle, twinkle, little star,

How I wonder what you are!

Up above the world so high,

Like a diamond in the sky.

.     .     .     .     .     .     .     .     .     .

Then the traveller in the dark

Thanks you for your tiny spark;

He could not see where to go,

If you did not twinkle so.


Her mother used to sing this song to her every night when she tucked her in bed. The thought of her mother filled her heart with warmth. She felt happy at the thought of recounting all her adventures to her mother. As Emily continued her journey, her footsteps felt lighter and she didn’t feel lonely any more.


(Myanmar, Kyay Mon)

#58 After walking a bit more, even with the lighter heart, Emily slowly started to feel tired. Her footsteps grew heavier as she grew drowsier. The dark of the woods only encouraging her tiredness, fear of the Forest God long gone. Even with the path of the trees, the ground was bumpy and roots tangled in the ground. Blink..step...blink….step Emily slowly started giving in to sleep. Blink...step...blink..ste- whoosh. The rush of adrenaline Emily felt as her center of gravity changed woke her up just in time for her hands to catch her fall and barely save her from face-planting on to the forest grounds. Emily glared back at the big root rising from the ground. She got up and dusted her scraped hands on her shirt and walked up to the offensive root. “Stupid root” she kicked her feet at it. After calming her heart down from the sudden scare, Emily realized just how tired she was from the day’s activities. She looked around until she found the perfect spot to sit down and take a small nap. She patted the dirt with fondness as she leaned back against the tree and slowly let her sleep take over. Her eyes easily closed and stayed closed even as she saw the 2 eyes staring at her from afar. “Must be seeing things.. Too tired”


(Mongol, Anu-Ujin)

She woke with a start, the morning sunlight streamed through the forest trees as the


Sunlight streamed through the pine needles, casting spiked shadows along the forest floor and Emily woke up with a start. The uncomfortable crunch of leaves and droppings made her wonder how she had slept through the night in such conditions. Exhaustion must have kept her trapped under the veil of unconsciousness. The moments spent considering her surroundings were wasted as she realized that she wasn’t alone. She rocketed upwards, spinning erratically in an effort to track the long gone, onlooker. Whistling filtered through the trees, wrapping her in its eerie embrace. All the while whispers scuttled beneath the fallen leaves, filling Emily with an unshakable feeling of being watched. It wasn’t until she turned around that her worst fears were realized. Just beyond the layer of pines stood the outline of a shadow. There was no face and no mass, only the shimmering, inky remains of a familiar shadow.

Shaking her head once again, to clear the cobwebs from her sleep clouded mind, Emily tried to bring the figure into focus, only to realize that it was the shadow of something big. Her eyes then slowly followed the shadow to its original source. Oh no! she thought and gasped in silent horror.


The shadow belonged to a fearsome looking giantand she felt that it was way too close to herThe sunlight shining through the trees giving it an ethereal look. When its dark eyes fixed on her, recognition sparked in her brain, it was BobHe must have been following her this whole time, waiting for an opportunity to take back the fruit she’d taken from Bjorn. 


Emily turned to run, her only desire now was to get to safety, to get back to Katherine. YOU THERE! HALT!!! yelled out the Giant, Instantly Emily froze with fearshe thought I’m done for now, I really should’ve listened to my mother and stayed home where I was safe and protected….


(Niue, Kalavatagaloa Morrissey)


Emily trembled with fear as she suddenly realised she had made a wrong choice. She could have listened to her mum’s advice before. So with a deep sigh Emily thought to herself with courage there is no regrets in life, and to make things right with the fearsome giant. Emily was so scared and situation was precarious, but she had to swallow all her fears and politely asked the giant if she can do anything to earn her freedom. She continued on to explain why she wanted to get the pomegranate. The giant was touched by her story and offered her a job to earn her way. 


She eventually worked in the giants pomegranate farm clearing and trimming the trees. By the end of the term the giant was so happy with Emily because she is a loyal worker. This time the giant was so kind and gentle and he rewarded Emily with three magical pomegranate fruit to show his appreciation. With humble heart he wished Emily a memorable and safe Journey. 


(Solomon Islands, Ella Lynthia SIMATA)

Nov 10: Niklas Tawast (Finland)

Nov 14~ Lynthia Simata (Solomon Islands)

December~Sverre Brakstad (Norway)



Please share this story!