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2018 Story Competition Winner Middle Primary Lily Grant

The Forgotten Name

There was once a girl who had had a nickname since she was born. The nickname was Jellybean. In her family it was normal to use real names only if you got into trouble. Jellybean had never gotten into trouble, so her parents had never used her real name. Her sister Mika always got into trouble.

On the morning that Jellybean was filling in her school enrolment she realised that she needed her proper name. The name that was never used. She went to find her mum, but once she did she kind of wished she hadn’t. Her mum was telling her messy sister off for intentionally leaving wee on the toilet seat. It seemed that Jellybean had walked into the kitchen, at the worst time possible.

“ …And you should know better than to say ‘ Oh never mind I left wee on the toilet seat!”

Jellybean shuddered. It was a horrible thought. Her mother had finally stopped yelling but was still fuming under her breath.

“Mother?” asked Jellybean.

“Oh yes honey, didn’t see you there,” said her mum but she was actually staring at the floor.

Jellybean thought that her mother was trying to ignore her but she pushed that thought away and then continued.

“Well I’ve been wondering, if you’re putting me in school they need to know my name, and we kind of need to figure it out because you can’t enroll me as Jellybean!” said Jellybean patiently.

She knew that her mother had forgotten her actual name because a few days before she had
accidentally overheard her mother and her father trying to guess her name. Each parent blaming the other for their forgetfulness. (But she was never going to tell them that she had overheard them. It would be so embarrassing.)

But then she realized that her mum was looking very uncomfortable about her last question. It made Jellybean feel sorry for her.

“Not that you have forgotten I was just wondering,” she said, her voice getting more mumbly as she said it.

“Well I am ever so sorry dear but it seems that your whole family has forgotten your real name,” said her mother blushing a fiery red.

“Oh ok, I’ll ask Sushi,” replied Jellybean brightly.

Sushi was a 5 year old fish that had been with her since she born. He was a gift from her Uncle Garry and it was a family joke that the goldfish was the reason she hated sushi. Surely he must remember her real name. Her mother thought otherwise.

“It’s a goldfish honey. Goldfish have a memory of about 3 seconds then it is out of their brain forever.”

So Jellybean slumped off to bed, thinking that if her best fishy friend had practically no memory then how did he ever recognise her or know her name! Disheartened, sad and with a brain buzzing with questions Jellybean finally fell asleep.

The next morning she asked her dad and her sister what her name might be, but unfortunately she had no luck.  So later that day she went to see her grandmother and grandfather to see if they knew her mystery name.

“No dear, I’m so used to calling you Jellybean that I seemed to have forgotten,” said her
grandmother.

“No sorry mate, I ain’ remembering. I go’ almost no memory a’ all,” said her grandpa when she asked him.

After a whole day of running around to all her family’s houses she still had no luck. The only
companion left that had known her for her whole life was Sushi, her pet goldfish. But he had a memory of only 3 seconds. He would never be able to tell her her name…even if he could talk!  She complained to him that night and finally drifted off to sleep. Even though she was told that he would never understand her she still talked to him like he was her own pet diary.

The next morning she got up and asked him.

“Do you know my name?”

He made a sound. The type of sound that doesn’t have any word or any onomatopoeia that can describe it. But it sounded like he said Bluth. Jellybean thought for a moment then thought, that could be my name. She ran to her mother who was pouring over all the books in the house trying to find if one of them was for Jellybean and said her actual name.

“Darling, you know when I hear the name I’ll remember it,” said her mother.

“Well I think that my name could be Ruth” said Jellybean.

Her mother’s eyes widened and her smile became a beam.

“Yes that is your name!” cried her mother.  She was so happy that tears had filled her eyes.

Now she could enroll for school!  Ruth thought for a long time about how many goldfish have a great memory like Sushi!

By Lily Grant

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