School: Penicuik High School, Midlothian
This is the tale (no pun intended) of Andrew the Armadillo.
Now, I know what you're thinking. (no, not THAT!!) “An Armadillo? A story about an Armadillo? What a bad choice of creative story!” And to that I answer…
Absolutely!! (but seriously, hear me out)
Andrew had a fairly sheltered life, just havin’ some good family time with his, well, family. Doing what armadillos do and being content with it. That was until the fateful day when he was picked up, and kicked like a football.
He was launched so far that not only did the person that kicked him have to book a doctor’s appointment that day (for a broken foot in case you were wondering) but he was also separated brutally from his family. His wobbly nose flopped in the wind as he spiralled towards the ground like a rugby ball, (A round, strange rugby ball, at that) and landed right next to a 75 year-old man, who promptly made a confused noise and went on his way. All-in-all, it wasn’t looking too good for young Andrew.
Then it rained in the most cliché way possible, and I think the hit song ‘Raindrops Keep Falling on my Head’ played, just to really sink in how much he got origin story’d. (I realize how uncomfortably self-aware this is, but just hang tight)
After being horribly mistreated by the example I just told to you, Andrew decided to become an advocate for animal rights, standing up to the humans, and making sure no animal is ever mistreated the way he was again. (see, now you get backstory for the rest of the plot! Magic, isn’t it?)
It’s rough livin’ on the streets as an Armadillo. People don’t respect you, and you can’t do anythin’ about it. Andrew had to do something that would get him noticed, get him respect, and he knew exactly how…
(Don’t question it, he can speak, okay?)
“Yo, wassup my cool doods!” Andrew cried (in his north London accent, because why not?) getting many confused glances. “I need someone to help me out. I’m needin’ somewhere to live, but I’m not goin’ to be a pet. I’ve decided to dedicate my life to advocating for animal rights, and I can’t do that if I look like I’m a zombie. Any volunteers??” Then a burly man, covered from head to toe in tattoos, came up to him and said in the nicest Italian accent, “Let’s a go!”.(He’s not called Mario. He’s called Gino!)
Living with a weightlifter was strange at first for Andrew, but being there ‘lifted’ a big ‘weight’ off of his shoulders (get it? Sorry, I couldn’t ‘weight’ any longer!) to be in a safe environment, with some good gourmet bug food for him. He’d been preparing his speech, with his friend helping with writing down. It had turned out he was also onboard with the cause, saying “Animals are spicy, why make the spice fade?”, which just spurred Andrew on more to fight vigorously for his cause.
Andrew decided he would start his protest a week later, and planned exactly how and when he would present it. He had meticulously scoured all of his planned speech to fix any typos or incorrect grammar, and once he was happy with it, he told Gino to rally troops, getting anyone around the world who supported his cause to join him in his fight for justice! (Keep in mind, he’s an armadillo. Takes a bit of punch out of his argument, doesn’t it?)
Gino had, as he said, “A’many contacts”, making Andrew very confident that his message would be heard, and would cause an effect on the people in power, possibly preventing the pain he suffered from happening again.
In these moments, he reflected on how much he missed his family, wondering how they’d feel about what he was doing, whether they’d approve of his fight for something that seemed so unreachable, (ha-ha, armadillos have small arms) but he distracted himself in some way before he got too deep in those thoughts. (Who knew armadillos were so deep?)
It was the night before the protest, and Andrew was really nervous. He had just realized he would have to lead at least a couple hundred people, whilst being aware he was around a quarter of the size of a normal person. He suddenly felt quite unconfident that he would be able to do what he had made it his life goal to do. He didn’t get much sleep that night, and what little he did get was filled with nightmares of what horrible things would happen the next day. (Was I just serious for a bit? Let’s fix that!)
THE NEXT DAY
When Andrew woke up, Gino came to his room and gave him a hearty hug, his (beautiful) curly moustache rubbing up against Andrew’s snout lovingly. He was even more joyous than normal, which calmed Andrew a lot. He figured if Gino was happy, he was happy. (Gino’s so great, isn’t he?) Anyway, Andrew, with a new boost from Gino, got his suit on (Coz’ why not?) and set off with Gino to the location of the protest.
It didn’t take long to get there, but there was a massive surprise waiting for him when he did get there. Turns out, the ‘contacts’ Gino was talking about consisted of three hundred animals from all around the world, from flamingos to, somehow, sharks! (WHAT A TWIST!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!)
Andrew charged towards them and greeted them with the biggest smile an armadillo could ever muster. He was so excited, until he saw a small group of armadillos in the middle of all the chaos. He saw them, and felt relief flood his heart. He ran towards them, screaming, “I MISSED YOU SO MUCH!!!” Then, with them, he lead the protest, gaining attention from news channels, and sharing his message to all that would listen.
(AAAWWW!!! A happy ending! Shame they’re all brutally murdered!!!!)