Dear Grandad

Year 4 student Rafael Siemer shares his winning entry in this year's WriteOn competition.

Image: Brothers Rafael and Gabriel Siemer enjoy back to back wins in a statewide writing competition. Photo: Jo Coleman Top Wire Photography, Walgett.

Dear Grandad,

I have some good news and some bad news. The bad news is I can't drive you to Hebel today for a beer like we planned. It's probably for the best because I am only 10. The good news is that Mum and Dad bought me that puppy you said that a young boy needed.

He's a ripper Grandad! He's brown and white and in some parts golden like a ripe wheat crop in spring. He's playful too. He follows me on my bike to the mailbox. He tries to catch his tail in the air and does a full 360 degree turn. I call him Trick. Do you think that's a good name for a dog?

Where are you now Grandad? I wonder if you can read this letter? I missed your voice today when they sang me Happy Birthday. The melody didn't quite fill my heart all the way up to the top like last year.

I was on swings when you died. Holding the cold metal rods of the chain. It was a grey autumn morning and I could smell rain in the air. "Go get in the car" Dad said urgently "the ambulance officers are bringing out Grandy". I ran to the car and waited. Then I saw them wheel you out over the rough ground. Dry and cracked after years of drought. I didn't see you after that Grandy because Dad came and drove us away.

Mum's eyes are still an ocean of sadness. Dad says it's not the kind of sadness you can cheer up. Grief washes over her like a heavy summer wave crashing on the shore. I don't want you to worry. I'll look after her. I bring her your watch when she looks sad to remind her of good times.

I have to go now Grandad, Trick is already asleep snuggled in my bed. Peacefully snoring under that fluffy red blanket I've had since I was a baby. It is a cold winter night here but Dad has lit a cheery fire in the next room to warm the house.

You always liked a cheery fire. Goodbye Grandad. I miss you.


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Read more about Rafael and his brother's creative writing success.

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