Prizdale Times, a leading children’s magazine for school students, young writers and budding artists, organized a free creative writing contest. It was open to Middle (Class 5 to 8) and Senior (Class 9 to 12) groups. Here are the winning entries. Topic: What If Humans Had Tails?
Anwesha De, Class 9
Paul George Global School, New Delhi
Would you believe me if I told you that once there was an era of tails? Long years ago, when humans still had tails, they tended to hide them. They used to tie them behind their hairs to disguise. You know, humans used to have those ridiculously long hairstyles. I really don’t know who came forward with that idea, but I am pretty sure we could not have managed to hide our tails without having a gigantic hair mountain tower on the top of our heads.
Once, while having tea with the Queen of England at the Buckingham Palace, a minister’s tail accidentally fell from his hair. The poor man had not properly tied his tail to his hair. And then the whole hell broke loose. What a scene it was — an absolutely flabbergasted minister hastening to hide his tail, the other ministers laughing hard, and the Queen’s teacup frozen halfway to her lips with a scandalized expression on her face. But it turned out that the Queen wasn’t shocked due to the ‘tail reveal,’ but was scandalized about the fact that other ministers were laughing at the poor man.
So she reached up to her hair and in one swipe, pulled out her tail. Everyone froze in shock and awe. The queen’s tail was so elegant. A white tail with a perfectly clipped end, the body of the tail covered in a beautifully embroidered cloth, bedazzled with emeralds and sapphires. The other ministers, without hesitation, pulled out their tails, and that’s how they walked in the streets of London. Everyone saw their perfectly tailored tails and then pulled out their own tails. And that’s how the era of tails began.
This went on and on for about five decades, thanks to Queen ‘Tail’izabeth. Beautiful tail covers were on sale, humans were judged on the style of their tale. Models signed up, and some tails even appeared on magazine covers. But you must’ve noticed that an era like that should have lasted for at least a century, but it just continued for about five decades. Do you know why?
At the annual Christmas ball at the palace, the baroness of Baskerville looked simply gorgeous with a white dress, golden curls but above all a wonderfully decorated tail. A white silk cloth, with swirls of melted gold and platinum, covered it. Expensive yet elegant diamonds adorned her beautiful tail, sparkling at the sunset. The queen, on the other hand, was wearing a simply ridiculous tail, with lots of ruffles and feathers at that point. Word quickly flew around that someone had a better tail than the queen.
And the queen simply got mad. She got up, took a scissor, sneaked up on the baroness from behind and snipped off her tail. The baroness was not amused, to say the least. People said that she even threw the wine she was drinking in the queen’s face. There were many whispers about the queen being cruel. The queen ordered everyone to have their tails chopped of. And that’s how humans lost their long bushy tails, and how the era of tails ended.
You might be wondering about the fate of people with plain and hairless tails. Well that’s a story for another day. May be you would hear about tails causing a world war. But control you excitement until I come back to you to narrate the next interesting story.
Tanvi Chaturvedi, Class 10
Shanthi Nagar High school
Humans are still in an evolution phase. We used to have tails at some point, but it has gone extinct now. Sometimes we hear that some newborn babies have got tails, but those instances are rare. Now when we think about tails, the first impression comes about animals. Tails help them climb trees and balance their bodies.
But what if humans had continued to have tails? Would the Earth have been the same as it is now? If you ask me, the answer is a big no. Our fashion sense would have been different because of our long tails, we would have been walking in a strange way, our behaviour wouldn’t have been the same and our gestures would have changed.
Our tails would have grabbed similar attention as our lovely faces, beautiful hairs and attractive finger nails do. Many companies would have specialised in making products to keep our tails shiny and hairy. They would have launched special oils, moisturisers and grooming creams. It could have been a Billion-dollar market. With the help of all those creams and grooming devices, we would have been flaunting our tails more often. The gesture of lowering our tails in front of elders would have been considered a mark of respect.
People’s attire would have been totally different, with some preferring to proudly show their tails or while many others deciding to keep them hidden under cloths. Probably the younger generation would have preferred to keep them hidden under cloths.
And if humans had tails, they would have been part of the animal kingdom. The Earth would have been free from humans. Animals would have been ruling this planet and having an animal government. What a lovely thought. Probably they would have become better administrators and taken care of everyone. What a lovely thought.
Am I day-dreaming?
Pritam Roy, Class 10
Delhi Public School, Farakka
If humans had tails, they would have used it in different ways at separate occasions.
Mothers would have been using it for spanking and disciplining kids, instead of using other objects like combs, while fathers would have been killing annoying mosquitoes by their tails and utilising their free hands to continue reading newspapers.
Students would have preferred to use their tails to put below the words they read, instead of using their fingers. When fighting with their peers, they would have also relied on their tails. On the other hand, it would have created a lot of difficulty in sitting on a chair or on the ground. The posture of humans having tails would have been a lot different than those having no tails.
There was a risk that humans would have used their tails in unnecessary ways. They would hurt and killed others by using their tails to hold guns. Some selfish ones would have held heavy machines with the help of their tails to cut trees and destroyed other things to make their life comfortable. Humans with tails would have become like animals in this world, the humanity would have slowly vanished and the mother Earth would have got destroyed at a faster pace.
Thank God, we don’t have tails.
Harshita Chaudhary, Class 8
Sagar Public School
Heads or tails? What would you prefer – a person with or without a tail?
You see, if I ever had an option of having a tail, I would have gone for it because I had a chance of being popular all over the world and maybe held a world record for it.
Our ancestors did have tails, and, at some point, probably you too had one. You can find the evidence of our 5-limbed past in the skeleton of human beings. Each of us has a coccyx, or tailbone. In other primates, this coccyx leads to a tail, except in humans, apes and chimps.
Tails could reveal a lot about sentiments and show how people feel. The movement of a person’s tail could also signal if he or she is telling truth or lying. It may also help deaf people to express their opinions by wagging their tails.
The way of wagging tails could express several emotions — happiness, anxiety or insecurity. Tails could help babies in balancing, crawling, jumping and walking, and maybe, could assist children with swimming too. Tails could help shoo flies and other annoying bugs, which keep buzzing around or biting us from behind. And don’t mind if we use it as a broom.
As people find fashion for everything these days, they might start it with tails too by getting tattoos on it or go for stylish tail cuts. However, it would become awkward to sit on a chair. Clothing companies would have to start designing pants and underwear to accommodate our tails, while toilets would need to be redesigned as well.
But eventually, we would learn to adjust and live with our tails. And that’s the end “the tale of a tail.”
Adithi R. Shetty, Class 5
Vidyaniketan Public School, Bengaluru
If humans had tails, they would have looked like monkeys. We would have used our tail as a third arm or leg. We could have done a lot of mischief. Our tails might also have been a helping hand (or a tail). They could have held plates, books or even extra shopping bags.
Our tails might have invented a whole new game like hanging from trees, eating bananas with the help of our tails, using them to play jump rope or even tail fights! But our tails could have been a barrier for some activities such as wearing pants, sitting on a chair and tripping and sliding all over the place. Our tails would have been getting stuck between doors and windows. Oh boy, that would have been painful.
Probably our skeletal system had extra bones and muscles for our tails. Someone could have set the world record for strongest tail, or a person could have found his or her name in the Guinness Book of World Records (or the Darwin Book of World Records, or something similar at that point) for hanging on a tree using tail for the longest period of time. Tails might have also brought some new diseases. Some tails would have required regular exercises too. People might have been stepping on tails of others my mistake, or kids would have been pulling someone else’s tail for fun.
Another great advantage of having tails would have been multitasking. Gymnasts would have invented new flips and tricks using their strong tails. There could have been some kind of special cloth to keep our tails warm in the cold. Picking up things from a distance with our long tails would have been easy.
But we could also have faced some problems because of our tails. Our pants would have needed a hole for our tails to poke out. We would have needed extra time to groom our tails – pretty hard work. Isn’t it? We could have used our tails for puppet shows or shooing flies away.
If I had a tail, the first thing I would have done is to keep my naughty little brother at one place. It would have helped me as presently I keep running here and there after him to keep him safe when my mother is busy.
V.M. Prasitha, Class 8
Agurchand Manmull Jain School, Chennai
This is the time of the year when I regret not having a tail. If I had one, I could curl it around my nose as did Nellie and Polly this morning, with the temperature descending towards the single digit. Better yet, I could use it to wag around my shoulders like Willie does when Jim comes home. Or perhaps I could raise it up into the air, stiff and straight, and leave a committee meeting in a huff, with my tail holding a high standard as in medieval England.
I’m not sure where that image comes from, given that I’ve never left a committee meeting in a huff in my life. But it doesn’t mean I never wanted to, and if I did, wouldn’t a raised tail make it more effective?
Still, if humans had tails it would have been a disaster. People would always be knocking things here and there. It would have been uncomfortable to sit down. We would have been sleeping with our face down, like dogs or cats do. Overall, it seems we are just fine without a tail.