by Catherine Pahljina, Age 11
(Melbourne, Australia)

Hi, my name’s Katrina and here is one word to describe me: Trouble. Non-stop trouble. Even at home. You see, I’ve got a younger sister, Holly, and she thinks she’s so cool, but really, she’s just my dorky sister who just can’t stop getting me into trouble. It’s like a game for her.

She thinks it’s hilarious. It may be for her, but it’s not for me. Like the time she flushed my hat down the toilet and mum said that I lost it and that I made an excuse, because she didn’t believe that Holly would do such a thing. Holly just smiled at me as if to say, “Ha-ha!”

I don’t just get into trouble at home; I get into trouble at school too. It’s like when kids see me they see an imaginary label that says “TROUBLE!” so they stay away. Even the teachers stay away. It’s very annoying. I mean, it’s not like I do stupid dares that set the fire alarm off and sends everybody running for their lives out of the building. O.K, maybe I lie as well, but that’s not my fault is it? Urgh!

There I go again! I lie all the time! Well, not all the time. And that wasn’t a lie!
I sort of look like trouble as well. I have short plaits down to my shoulders and I have a scowl on most of the time.

I haven’t always been a trouble maker. Only since Holly was born, and that was six years ago. I was four when she was born. I think it’s strange that when Holly was born I was the trouble maker. O.K, I don’t blame her for splashing honey all over her face. That was me.

I also found an escaped porcupine when mum took us to the Zoo for Holly’s second birthday and I loved it so much I wanted to take it home. There was only one problem, I didn’t have any pockets. Then I found Holly’s pushchair. Mum had picked up Holly to have a look at the lions. So when no one was looking, I grabbed the porcupine and put it in Holly’s pushchair.

When mum put Holly back in it, she was looking at the shop, so she didn’t see the prickly animal. Holly sat back comfortably. She sat smiling until the porcupine put up its spikes. Then she screamed and screamed and screamed until mum came over to comfort her. After a few minutes, mum put Holly back in the pushchair. Then she turned round and glared at me. I glared back.

Then she came over to me, turned me round, picked me up and gave a great big SMACK on my backside. Right there, right in the middle of the Zoo. People stopped to stare at me. I was now the one screaming and crying. My mum picked me up and carried me home. She was carrying me on her side, so my legs and arms were dangling. I didn’t stop crying until we got home.

Anyway, I don’t want to go on with that anymore. It was embarrassing. Especially when mum smacked me right in the middle of the zoo. You know something? Mum has never ever smacked Holly. I think that’s pure evil. I was thinking about running away, but then Holly would tell on me. She’s a very light sleeper so I couldn’t do it at night. Mum wouldn’t be nicer to me if I did run away, though. Little kids can get away with anything. Mum doesn’t value justice I’m afraid. It is annoying, but I’m used to it.

Anyway, today Holly wrote “Katrina” on the wall in permanent marker. I stole fifty dollars from her because she did that. She also cut the head off one of my teddy bears. Don’t get any stupid thoughts about me though; I never play with silly baby dolls and bears, but I like to collect them.

As I expected, mum came to me and asked ‘Did you do that Katrina?’ I shook my head and said ‘Holly did it mum’. Mum went straight to Holly and asked her the same question. Holly started to cry. She wasn’t really crying. She just wanted to get me into trouble. She said that I did it and made her swear not to tell anyone or I’d strangle her. I felt like strangling her now. Mum came over to me again and gave me another SMACK on the backside. I wailed and wailed and wailed. Mum may not value justice, but she definitely values super strength because her smacks hurt a lot.

I screamed and screamed that Holly did it, but mum didn’t believe me. No surprise there. Holly smirked nastily at me. I scowled at her and she told on me. She told on me for scowling at her. At that I ran and ran and ran. Well, I ran as far as I could go in the hall way. There aren’t many places to hide in an average size one storey house. I decided to hide in the nearest door. Well, that was a big mistake because the nearest door just happened to be Holly’s room and Holly got a dog for her birthday and guess what? The dog was a ROTTWEILER! I am terrified of Rottweiler’s and that’s why Holly got one, to keep me out of her room. It’s called Shredder.

Well, I ran into Shredder alright. He sleeps by the door. For a moment I Just stood there, staring. Then I screamed. I heard mum in the kitchen and I ran out the door. Mum was running down the hallway with a knife. I screamed louder. I thought she might kill me. Mum looked scary.
‘Where is he? Where is the murderer?!’ She shouted, obviously thinking I was being attacked because I screamed so loudly. Holly came running down the hallway as well.

‘You were in my room weren’t you? You know you’re not allowed in there!’ she screeched.


Holly had obviously trained Shredder since he came running out of the bedroom when he heard his name, his slobber splashing all over the place. You might be thinking that an eight year old girl can’t train a dog? Well, Holly has her ways.
‘Get her!’ ordered Holly and the dog started to chase me. I ran further down the hallway. I threw myself into my bedroom just as the dog bit me. I yelped in pain as blood trickled down my shin. I slammed the door and locked it. I wanted a dog to guard my bedroom as well, but mum said I couldn’t be trusted. I got a lock instead.

I could hear Shredder outside my door and mum and Holly running down the hall. I decided I’d had enough of this family. I quickly stuffed some underwear and clean clothes into my backpack along with fifty dollars I stole from Holly.

‘You stole my money you thief!’ she was yelling from behind the door.

‘You come out here this instant young lady!’ mum was shouting.

I opened the window, ready to jump into the garden. Don’t worry; it’s a one level house.
I wanted mum to see I’d gone though, so I grabbed a metal horse shoe that I’d got as a souvenir from a school excursion and threw it hard at the lock. It was a good aim and I broke it. I grabbed my backpack and just as Holly opened the door I jumped. When I was in the garden I hid in a bush.

Holly and mum were looking out of the window.
“Mum, she might be hiding in a bush!” said Holly. That’s what’s so annoying; Holly knows all my hiding spots. I quickly ran round to the front. I heard mum and Holly searching. I ran up the street and round a corner. I was safe.

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