31 July 2017
This is part of a green writing competition Thomson Reuters held with Calder High School in Yorkshire, UK. Here is Fig Latimer’s piece on creative ways to prevent the valley from flooding.
Fig Latimer – Special Mention, Year 7, 2017
Green Writing Competition
A white blanket covered the sleeping valley. Nothing moved. Everything was silent. And on the hills watched an army, an army of snowmen. They came in hundreds, in thousands, in all shapes and in all sizes. No word could describe their masses, they lined the hills, flooded into horizons, and cascaded down the hills. People stared and the snowmen stared back.
The trickle of water was hardly noticed as it curved its way down a single snowman. Just hours ago its stone smile looked happy and content, and it might have been my imagination but as the sun rose it seemed to turn to one of anxiousness and worry. Now that smile was no more than a puddle at its base.
A boy of about seven sat in a dazed manner, looking around guiltily to see if someone else had noticed the obliterated snowman at his feet. The sled that had brought him crashing into it was still underneath him, but in the many waterproof trousers he couldn’t tell how whole it was.
The white terra-cotta army was not merely a stunt, though. After Calder Valley was engulfed in snow one winter, people thought that it might flood when it all melted. So the council decided that something must be done. Reminded of last year’s green writing competition winner, they started to further research how building snowmen could prevent flooding after snow in urban areas. The compressed snow takes longer to melt and so the flow of water is more steady. Thinking it was an idea worth trying, they soon got volunteers in the community to start building snowmen on the hills. After that it just sort of snowballed (pun intended). Soon there were hundreds of volunteers and thousands of snowmen that all lined the valley. A spectacle like this wouldn’t be missed by the press, and soon the news of Calder Valley’s extraordinary way to prevent flooding made headlines. There were tourists from all parts of the country, some from abroad, but it wasn’t just the public who were interested by the story. Soon there were all types of sculptors wanting to get at the action.
Click here to see original piece.