Katie Stewart - Mar 2012
Excerpt from “Samuel and the Imugi”, a work in progress, by Katie W Stewart.
Samuel was tired of being different. Every morning he looked in the mirror, hoping that during the night his eyes might have turned blue, his hair might be blond and curly and his nose might have grown a centimetre longer. Every morning he was disappointed. He still had the same ‘funny’ eyes the kids teased him about at school, the same ‘floor brush’ hair and the same ‘squashed’ nose.
His Mum kept telling him he was the most handsome little boy in the whole world and she wouldn’t want him to look any different. He still wished he could look like the other kids in his class.
One Monday, after Mitchell Johnson had been particularly mean to him, Samuel stomped in from school, threw his bag into the corner and shouted, “I’m never going to school again! I wish you’d never adopted me! I want to go back to Korea!”
His mum came out of the kitchen and gave him a big hug. “It sounds like you’ve had a bad day.”
“I don’t want to talk about it!” Samuel yelled, and ran off into the garden. He knew he would tell her later. Right now though, he was too mad to talk.
He ran straight down to the back of the garden where there was a fishpond and an old persimmon tree. Dad told him once that when they decided to adopt a baby they had started looking for a new house. As soon as they saw this persimmon tree in this garden they knew it was the place for them, because it would have a little bit of Korea in the garden for their baby.
Samuel loved the tree and often sat under it when he was feeling unhappy. Now he plonked himself down on the garden bench under the tree and started throwing small stones against the rocks around the fishpond. One splashed into the water. Suddenly, a head popped out of the pond. It was silvery and scaly, but it wasn’t a fish. The head began to move up into the air, followed by a long skinny body. A snake! Samuel leaped onto the bench.
The snake came right up out of the water. It arched over the edge of the pond and slithered slowly towards him. Samuel watched it, so frightened that he couldn’t move. The snake stopped by the bench, raised its head and looked at him with its big green eyes.
It wasn’t like any snake Samuel had ever seen before, even on television. Its head was flat and its nose was beaky, like an eagle. Its eyes were much bigger than a normal snake’s eyes, and very bright. At the back of its head, it had frills that wafted backwards and forwards as it moved.
Then it spoke.
“Tell me your name,” it ordered.
Samuel gulped. “My name is Samuel.” His voice came out as a croak.
“Samuel?” the snake hissed. “That is not Korean name. What is your Korean name?”
“How do you know I’m Korean?” Samuel asked. Usually, people who didn’t know him thought he was Chinese.
“I am Korean,” said the snake. “My name is Dong Sun. What is yours?” ...