The surrounding city was silent now except for a few of the early working farmers, milking the cows and goats, and their wives cooking and churning the creamy thick lemon yellow butter.
I tied up Lupus and Nubia (our horses) and patted their soft, silky hazelnut coats, After that, I led them a long way from the field, into the wooden boarded stable, They happily trotted in through the loose-
hinged door, eager and hungry to eat their morning meal of mouth-watering hay.
I grabbed a hard wooden pail, skipped to the little river and scooped a clean fresh pail of water. By now, the sun was scorching down on my pale light skin. As I headed back to my house, I could hear the noisy chattering children charging out of their thatched cottages, like excited bulls heading for the ring, hoping to meet their friends on the way to the market.
Suddenly, I noticed the sky was darkening. Great, thick, gloomy clouds seemed to appear in the huge sky and partially covered the mid-day sun. I heard crackling sounds. 1 started running as fast as my legs could carry me, back to tell father that Mount Vesuvius was rumbling. A layer of thick, grey, puffy soot up to three feet high fell onto the hot stony ground
"Father, Father!" I puffed. "I’m pretty sure 'Mount Vesuvius is erupting!"
My father immediately rushed off to get the big wooden boat out of the shed I followed, out of breath. He carried it with my help, onto the old cart, which had four, large, iron wheels.
Father quickly called for my mother, and of course my two sisters, to hurry into the wooden cart. We all sat on the edge of the cart feeling frightened of the monstrous mountain, the wind was rapidly blowing
like a tornado.
My father was speedily hitching up Lupus and Nubia to the cart. When we were all ready, father steered the rocking cart towards the turbulent, rough, angry sea.
When we arrived near the water's edge it was so windy that Cleo and I had not enough strength to drag the boat onto the sandy shore so, my mother gave crying baby Flavia to Cleo, and she, father and I shoved and pushed and shoved again until finally the boat slipped into the shadow water, with us jumping and leaping into the boat that tossed against the choppy waves.
As we all sailed away, I looked back at the huge volcano covered with laughing flames and cackling lava bursting out of Mount Vesuvius. As I turned to tell Cleo to look hack at Pompeii, we saw poor slaves and farmers choking on big, heavy puffs of thick, dusty grey smoke. Some were being submerged with ash, others were being hit by painful, rocky, hard pumice stones and all were suffering from the heat.
"Aren’t you so glad that we escaped that big moment of terror? Don’t you feel so bad for those poor suffering people? I find it so sad!" I said solemnly.
"Yes, I agree. It's very sad. Imagine if we were those terrified people!" replied Cleo.
"We're lucky, aren't we?" We both agreed at the same time.
No prizes for guessing why I love this winning entry of the 2012 Golden Sponge-stick Writing Competition by 8 year old Aya from Pembridge Hall School for Girls. But a prize for Aya in the shape of a Golden Sponge-stick Trophy!