Read the winning stories below and read all other entries on the YP forum
11 and under
1st prize: Sam Kaiser, 9, Canadian International School
Sam wins four tickets to Hong Kong Disneyland.
Once upon a time, on a Mother’s Day not so long ago, there was a woman so powerful all villains feared her. Her name was Iron Mom!
Iron Mom fought all evil with her metallic suit made of titanium alloy frying pans. She had a large plutonium chocolate chip cookie for a heart.
She defeated the vilest of villains, especially the evil Homework Makers. She beat them with the swiftest of moves. This is what she said to them: 'Stop the homework factory! Don’t make me do something I’ll regret.'
The king of the evil Homework Makers replied: 'You DARE disrupt my creations? I will destroy you!'
'I don’t think so!' Iron Mom said, pushing the button on a strange-looking cannon sprouting from her arm. Then, as quick as speed itself, she shot a large batch of cookie dough right at the evil king, trapping him in a chocolate flavoured net.
That’s the story of how Iron Mom beat the evil Homework Makers and saved Mother’s Day. That is also why I love my mom, AKA Iron Mom!
2nd prize: Timmy Sham, 9, Kennedy School
Timmy wins a dinner for four at Super Star Seafood restaurant.
One day, in a little town, there lived a family called the Shams. A special person in that family was mummy, a spectacular mum who treated everyone equally well, and by my rating, was the best mum in the world.
She was nice to everyone and she soon became famous. She won the lottery and got a lot of money. She was so generous, she shared the money with all the villagers. Every day, she wanted to spread her niceness around the world, so she asked the government whether she could fly around the world for free with her family and funnily enough, they agreed.
They visited different countries every day, and months passed; and soon enough, they were back in their own town, and the whole world seemed happier. It soon occurred to me that Mum had some kind of power over happiness. Wherever she went, everyone seemed happier than ever, and she kept wanting to spread happiness everywhere until one day, she became really exhausted, so she lay down and slept for a week.
When she woke up, Mum had no more happiness – all of it was replaced by tiredness. No one knew why it happened. Some people thought that she had all her happiness away, because she was really good to other people.
Many months passed, and she was still very tired and miserable. One day, someone said that he might have the solution to her problem – he said she should go to all the countries again to get her happiness back. But she refused because she didn’t want other people to be unhappy, and she’d rather be sad herself than make other people feel sad.
Then suddenly, as if by magic, she became happy again. No one knew why – but I think this was she passed the test by not being selfish.
3rd prize: Charlotte Chan,11, German Swiss International School
Charlotte wins a Kerstin Florian Aromatic Salt Scrub for her mum at the Intercontinental Hotel spa.
Most mice adore cheese, but my mom is different. She doesn’t just adore cheese: she’s crazy about it! My mom is a photographer for the local newspaper, Mice Daily, and she goes click, click, and click on her camera all day long. That’s why she’s so obsessed with cheese. She tells mice to “Say Cheese!” and then clicks away.
You might say, “That’s not too bad”, but no, Mom even decorates the house with cheese. Cheese-patterned wallpaper and stickers fill the walls. Carpets in cheesecake shapes decorate the floors. A gigantic cheese stuffed toy sits on the sofa, waiting to be played with. Cheese-shaped candles flicker on the tables and pictures of cheese are hung on the walls.
Every day, Mom dresses in bright yellow clothes with wide pockets where she stores her cheese-patterned notebook and her cheese-scented pen. Mom has earrings too. The left one says, “Say” and the right one says, “Cheese”. Mom always carries her backpack, one that has cheese key chains dangling from the zipper. That’s where she stores her camera, batteries and film. Everyone stares at me like I’m the one who told my poor mother to look cheesy.
But even though my mom is strange, it doesn’t mean she’s different from other mouse moms. In fact, I think she has lots of magic in her. She cooks amazing grilled cheese sandwiches and cheese burgers. Mom can clean up a mess of spilled cheese latte in no time. And with a snap of a camera, she can put stunning photos in our local newspaper. So, happy mother’s day, magical mouse mom! And before I forget to say, just remember to “Say Cheese!” when your family takes a happy mother’s day photo at home.
1st prize: Sarah Saatori, 16, Christian Alliance International School
Sarah wins four tickets to Hong Kong Disneyland.
Neither once upon a time nor far, far away does this story begin. Rather, it starts in the middle of nowhere. A strange place to begin, yet one where a girl named Iris lived.
This tragic little girl, unable to control her emotions, would cry, stress, or fall apart at the simplest things in life – the cancelling of her favourite TV show, tripping on the pavement, or even not being able to understand her physics homework.
It wasn’t that she was alone in the world: she had a family, and a mother who always told her that she searched too hard for what was right under her nose. It was just that nothing went her way. Troubled, she searched for help.
Far and wide she went, all over the city, until she met a little man, about four-foot-three, with a big cane almost twice his size. According to the townspeople, he was the one to go to when anything went wrong, for he had all the answers.
Timidly approaching him, she asked, “Excuse me … I hate to bother you, but could you spare me a moment?”
Roughly the man answered: “I’ve got a-many things to do, so hurry it up.”
“Well,” she began, “I was wondering … would you happen to know how to solve my anxiety problem? I get worried about the littlest things, and the townspeople said you had all the answers."
“Anxiety problem? I’ve got just the thing! Many a time have people come to me for these pills. I give them out sparingly, so be wise!”
“Oh, thank you, thank you so much!” she exclaimed, relieved she had found a solution.
“However, it will cost you,” the little man said.
“How much?” she asked, worried again.
“Only a small amount: give me your shoes, and I’ll give you the pills.”
Iris quickly agreed, not worried about losing a pair of shoes. She took the pills, making sure to follow the man’s directions. But after a couple of hours, she started to feel even worse than she had before! She had been cheated! Extremely troubled, she went home and cried for hours, until she finally fell asleep.
The next day, feeling let down, but yearning for a solution, she prowled the streets until she found a spa with a sign saying “Relaxation is the only sensation”. Eagerly, she ran into the shop and asked what they had for people with anxiety problems like hers. “Well, we’ve got the supermegarelaxing massage.”
“Perfect!” she exclaimed. “But,” said the woman, “it’ll cost you.”
Iris exclaimed “I’ll give you anything!”
“Right then, I’d like that bracelet.”
Looking down and suppressing a sigh, Iris handed over her favourite piece of jewellery. Three hours later, the massage was done. But rather than feeling relaxed, Iris felt tense, for she felt she had wasted her time and didn’t have enough to study. Utterly defeated, she dragged herself home, where she lay on her bed and cried.
She heard a soft knock on the door after a couple of minutes, but Iris didn’t respond – she was too upset.
“Darling,” the voice said, “don’t cry – I love it when you smile.”
Iris looked up – it was her mum! Expressing a long sigh of relief, Iris ran into her mother’s arms and told her about all that had happened. But it wasn’t until her mum said, “I told you, you look too far”, that she realised, all she ever needed was her mummy! Her mother’s love was the strongest remedy of all, for it was unconditional, everlasting, and 100 per cent free.
2nd prize: Daphne Poon, 15, King George V School
Daphne wins a dinner for four at Super Star Seafood restaurant.
Have you ever built something up so carefully, only to have it broken down?
I was seven years old when my parents divorced. Custody was denied to my mother, who suffered from alcoholism, smoking addictions and unstable mental health. Nevertheless, I ploughed on. “I have a whole life ready in front of me,” I told myself.
The anger wasn’t all quenched, though. And from anger came resentment – resentment of the mother who had seemingly abandoned me for personal reasons. I did not wish to see her.
Soon my 10th birthday rolled around; I was surprised to find a dark-coloured piano for me, a red ribbon wrapped around it.
“Happy 10th, Vicky,” Dad greeted me. “An anonymous person sent this to you.” “Who?” “No idea.”
A small fire started to dance inside me; for years I had dreamed of a music career. Over the next few years, as I started to perfect my skills, part of me secretly kept hoping that the mysterious sender would send something else … someday. And so, I wasn’t entirely surprised, but nevertheless ecstatic, when I received a bright fiesta red Fender Stratocaster for my sweet sixteenth. A Stratocaster!
“You seriously don’t know who sent this!? They didn’t leave an address or anything!?” I screamed. The helpless look on Dad’s face said it all; I responded by twanging the strings of my new guitar excitedly.
Time flew by, as it always does when you are enjoying yourself. In my last year of high school, I received yet another delightful surprise: I had won a scholarship to the Royal College of Music in London. Wait … what!?
The principal smiled at me encouragingly. “Vicky, there’s no reason for you to be feeling doubtful at all. Now, go home and celebrate.” ******* The crowd outside roared as the stadium’s blinding, harsh lights sliced through the swirling darkness, illuminating all that was in reach.
“Vicky! 15 minutes left until we're up on stage,” yelled one of my band members. I rummaged through Dad’s backpack for a spare guitar plectrum he had. Pouring the bag’s contents out, I noticed a letter addressed to Victoria. My mother! I started to read.
Dear Victoria, Vicky’s first music tour concert starts next Saturday in London … she never knew it was you behind the piano, the Stratocaster and the “scholarship”. Thank you for helping her live her dream…you should come. Regards, Dominic
Right below, an unfamiliar hand had scratched the two words:
I felt the tears streak down my face before I even knew they were there. Where was Mum, if she was here…?
Vicky?” a voice called softly.
I whipped around. Standing in the doorway was a woman with eyes and hair uncannily like mine, her expression inexplicable. She struggled to find words. “I – I’m sorry I came … I know we’re not on the best of terms. I just wanted to see you so badly…”
Sometimes God answers prayers incomprehensibly fast.
The rest of her words were muffled as I rushed at her. “Good luck,” Mum whispered, patting me as I hugged her tightly.
How could you ever explain the funny things about love? Should it matter how it’s shown? Mum, in spite of her personal problems and my negative attitude, had sacrificed so much for me. As I sang my heart out that night, I realised that I never needed a mum to spoil me, or a glamorous mum, or even a mum who could do magic…a mother’s steadfast, persevering love in spite of all obstacles is the most magical thing that anyone could ever ask for.
Happy Mother’s Day.
3rd prize: Vanessa Hung Yat-hei, 17, Ho Fung College (Sponsored by Sik Sik Yuen)
Vanessa wins a Kerstin Florian Aromatic Salt Scrub for her mum at the Intercontinental Hotel spa.
As I recall, when I was a little girl, this kind of things always happened. “Mom…I...” I’d murmur. “Darling, you want that balloon? Alright, let me get one for you.” Mom responded swiftly with tenderness. Or: “Mom…I…” “Sweetie, I know you’re starving, just wait a moment, supper is almost ready.” She still sounded kind, even though she was bustling about cooking.
Somehow, my mom invariably hit the nail on the head. I couldn’t figure out how she managed to do that when I was little. Whatever I had in my mind, she just knew what I was thinking. She was like a detective to me; as if she could read my mind by the traces I left and put them into a puzzle. As time passed, I found her more like a magician than a detective, as she seemed effortlessly to see through me.
When I was 10, I tried doing some tests and tricks on my dear mother. I was dying to know whether she could guess me even my mouth was shut. One day, I tiptoed to her room mischievously. Then I knocked on her door, and stood there without saying a word. “What’s wrong? Got problems with your homework?” she questioned. Silence. “Starving? It’s only been an hour since breakfast.” She took a quick glance at the clock. Silence. “You want to go out to have some sun? It’s such a pleasant day today, isn’t it?” She was still going on with her own conversation. I tried very hard not to smirk and pretended to be indifferent. Here comes the magical moment! She started to approach me slyly and said, “Or are you just teasing me?” She tickled me hard and we both burst into giggles.
Since then, I became even surer about her real identity: an anonymous magician who was willing to sacrifice everything in her world and came to earth to take care of me, the little vibrant, adorable girl. She had to start over and deal with things that magicians normally wouldn’t even bother doing. From cooking, ironing clothes, doing household chores and driving me to school, to dealing with domestic financial stuff and having a part-time job, my mother managed to get through every single item. She was all-powerful to me, and I was sure she had magical powers. “She is definitely a magician,” I thought. “She must have put a spell on me! ” I was almost 100 percent sure.
As I grew up, when I stopped watching Sesame Street and believing in fairy tales, I looked back, I began to question the so-called magic. Last mother’s Day, I couldn’t help my curiosity anymore. “Mom, I’ve always wondered why you could guess what I was thinking all the time since I was a kid. Have you … have you read my diary or something?” I stammered. She simply said, “ I am your mother; you were born to have connection with me. Surely I know what you’re thinking. Ha! You think I’m a witch?”
Though she denied it, she is still a magician to me; but a selfless, loving and thoughtful one. Under her spell, I was raised and taught about what’s right, and dignity; under her spell, I was told not to put a foot wrong; under her spell, I was so thoroughly understood.
The spell is love. And that’s Mommy Magic.