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The Blue Ribbon

by Dylan Clements, aged 8

The Blue Ribbon

Read by Rhiannon Neads from the BBC Radio Drama Company

There is a man in a land far, far away, who makes the most delicate blue ribbon and it is sold all over the world. Once a year, when the westerly winds blow, off-cuts of his ribbon are swept up into the sky and float gently away, like soft waves on the sea…

Deep in Kenya, there lived a boy named Jamba. He walked for a staggering hour, just to get to work on time. Jamba was lonely and never had company on his journey. One day a cooling soft breeze blew through the warm air. Something came hovering over the mud, sand and brick houses, it seemed to have a nice glow to it, so Jamba reached up and grabbed it. A gong sounded in the distance which meant that Jamba needed to get to the mines.

When Jamba reached work, he remembered he had been holding the blue ribbon and went to put it in his pocket but it fluttered out of his hand and landed on some mud a small distance away from where he was working. He felt it was the only special thing he had, so he jumped down and retrieved his ribbon but then something started to gleam. It was the rarest and most precious thing you can find in the mines, a diamond! Jamba would receive a huge reward from his employers – 100 gold nuggets perhaps, which would be life changing. Jamba returned home a happy boy sharing his prize with his family. That evening, he looked for his blue ribbon on the window sill but it had floated away on the soft breeze...

Mina is 7 years old and lives in a wooden and cardboard slum in Mumbai. She enjoys great comfort from her family. She has water to drink and in the summer, if she is lucky, boiled curdled milk. Mina gets up at 4am to fetch spring water from a memorial statue to add to the ground oats and rice. Then at 5am Mina sets off to work for a very difficult employer.

Over the Indian Ocean there rose an elegant blue ribbon, which floated gently in the air and landed at the feet of the little girl as she walked to work. Mina picked it up and tied it around her wrist. At work her mean employer barked, “No bracelets!” He snatched the ribbon and threw it on a pile of rubbish. But Mina fished out her special treasure when he was not looking and to her surprise it had expertly wrapped itself around even greater treasure – a piece of gold. Her eyes gleamed as she glared at it in happiness. Mina tied the ribbon in her hair as a good luck charm and secretly tucked the gold into her pocket, excited about telling her family the good news. Later that evening she remembered her ribbon but it had slipped away from her hair…

Jia is 6 years old and lives in China - he is walking to the factory…

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