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John Dyer Exhibition I Official Limited Edition Print I Art & Storytelling Competition

‘Long Way Home’ by Molly Johnson, Aged 12

We’d just left the mouth of the Thames and that’s when I saw the big, black, stormy clouds coming towards. I tried to turn back but it was too late, me and my dog Bilbo were swept away by a huge greeny-blue wave. We were tossed and turned from side to side the water beginning to pour in. All of a sudden a huge flash of lightning covered the sky and then the thunder rumbling like a hungry person’s stomach. Before I knew it I was swimming in the icy cold water of the sea, Bilbo paddled to me howling and shivering. Our little boat, The Mary Lee, named after my mother, who died in a storm, had been over turned by the strong current of the sea. The sky was getting darker and darker, the rain began to tip down in buckets. I managed to catch hold of a piece of driftwood from our boat, then in the distance, I caught sight of a ship, but this wasn’t any old ship this was one of the tall ships. Its masts so tall and the flags flapping wildly in the wild wind. I shouted ‘HELP! HELP!’ Fortunately one person aboard the ship heard us and as the ships drew nearer a piece of rope was thrown out and Bilbo and I were pulled in. Once aboard we were wrapped in warm towels and I was given a nice hot chocolate to drink. One girl aboard called Matilda came over to us, sat down and said, ‘you were lucky we saw you, in this storm you would have drowned to death’. She patted Bilbo and took us down into a tiny little room with a single bed and a basket, a little port hole let a bit of light through. After a few minutes Bilbo and I were fast asleep.

Hours later I woke to the sun beaming through my window and Bilbo yapping in my face. I then realised we had stopped. I had no idea where we were. All of a sudden Matilda came storming in, ‘its time to get up now breakfast is ready up on deck,’ she said with such a calm voice. We were then left. In silence. The only sound was of the sea gently lapping against the tall ships side. I quickly got up and dressed. I opened the door to the glorious smell of freshly baked croissants. I ran up the stairs to the deck with Bilbo at my heels. I then sat down and started gobbling away at my absolutely delicious breakfast. This is the best breakfast I’ve had in ages, I thought to myself. As I sat there seagulls soared over my head calling to each other, the salty sea lapped against the boat and the waves rolled onto the beach nearby. The smell of seaweed wafted past my nose. Everywhere you looked bunting was hanging from every house, every shop and every boat. Red, blue, green, purple, orange and pink. I then suddenly had the awful thought, Dad is going to be so, so worried about me and Bilbo.

After breakfast we hopped off the boat and went for a look around the town. When we walked into the bakery to buy some bread we asked the person at the till where we were, they replied ‘welcome to Falmouth.’ I then thought, I could text dad and tell him where we were, but then I remembered I’d lost my phone at sea when we were tossed by the waves. Instead, I asked the person at the till if I could borrow their phone, they said yes, so I called dad. As soon as he heard my voice I could hear he was so, so pleased to know that I was safe. I told him about how we were rescued by the tall ships and what a lovely breakfast we had. He then asked me when we’ll be back, I said around some time at 6 o’ clock this evening. He was even more pleased then. After that phone call I went and had a look around some of the other shops and bought a postcard with a painting on it called ‘Tall ships’, I then looked at the artist and saw it was by John Dyer, and then I remembered he had come to my school one day to talk about this painting.

It was about 4 o’clock in the afternoon when Bilbo and I boarded the Tall ships once again. I had enjoyed my adventure, but was looking forward to going home now and being tucked up in my own nice, warm, cosy bed. I think Bilbo was too. I stood on the deck leaning against the edge of the boat, listening and watching the seagulls calling and soaring around in the sky. I watched as some dolphins leaped out the water spraying my face. As the air began to get cooler I went down to our little cabin and lay down for a bit but before I knew it I was fast asleep. I was woken to the voice of my dad and a big, warm hug, I was so glad to be home again. Before I left I said my goodbyes and thank yous’ to everyone on board and then I went and sat on a wall with Bilbo, and watched as the Tall ships left the harbour, and now every night I watch the boats from that wall and will forever more.



The John Dyer Gallery is strictly by appointment only. Telephone: 0777 339 7503.

Artist Information: John Dyer I Joanne Short


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