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Thanks to those who took part in our recent Secret Life of Objects Story Competition. We were blown away by the creativity and writing skills of the entrants, which made judging a very tricky task!

On this page we announce the winners, and share their winning stories.

First place
Mayor Moa, by Hannah, Zara and Danny McDermott

Hannah, Zara and Danny receive a $150 Prezzy card for their winning entry.

Everyone knows about the stunning Giant Moa in the New Zealand bird display at the Auckland Museum, but did you know she has a very important job? When she first arrived in the museum in 1913 she was appointed Mayor of the Museum. Every night she leaves all the other flightless birds to walk around visiting all the other creatures and objects on display in the galleries. Her job is to check if they are safe and happy and she has always done a great job. 

However, in lockdown as there are no visitors to the museum, she saw that the objects were getting worried and she knew she had to do something to help. So one afternoon just before 1pm she crept into the historical costume display and put on a colonial mayors costume.

Nervously she went and stood in the middle of the Atrium. Creatures left their displays, butterflies flew down from Weird and Wonderful, ancient pots and chairs hobbled in and even the mummy came to listen. Everyone gathered around as Mayor Moa gave the first ever Museum 1pm announcement!

All of the objects and creatures listened quietly as she told them that everything was going to be ok. We just needed to stay in lockdown to beat an awful virus called COVID-19 but if we followed the rules and all worked together the visitors would be able to come back soon. 

After her announcement it was question time. “How long will lockdown last?” asked Rajah the Elephant.  “We still don”t know” explained Mayor Moa, “it all depends if the humans take action”. The objects looked worried.  “I’ve heard that the team of 5 million have to stick together to fight this virus”. Everyone was silent….”and I know they can do it!” exclaimed the Mayor. All the objects cheered! 

Everyday now, there is a 1pm announcement to reassure the museum creatures and objects that everything is going to be ok and that the visitors will come back soon. 

So next time you go to the Auckland Museum (after lockdown of course) make sure you visit Mayor Moa and thank her for all the hard work she has done in lockdown making sure the objects feel safe. 

Kia Kaha Aotearoa! 

Second place
A Night at the Museum, by Tigiilagi Eteuati Rankin (10 years old)

Tigiilagi receives a $100 Prezzy card for their winning entry.

My friend and I had brought tickets to the Auckland war museum for a special event. We thought that we would be able to get inside at night. When we arrived at seven p.m. we saw that the door was still open. We thought that the museum was still open, but as soon as we stepped inside the door slammed behind us. “What was that?” I asked. “It was probably just the wind,” My friend Mike replied.
When we looked around we saw that we were in the dinosaur exhibit, and the worst part was that the dinosaur bones were moving. The T-rex skeleton was looking at us with a hungry grin.

“Run,” I yelled. We ran as fast as we could, but no matter how many turns we took or how fast we ran the T-rex was only a few paces behind us. Suddenly a herd of triceratops came rushing towards us with big thundering steps that shook the ground. We thought that we were doomed, but then we realised that the triceratops weren’t going for us they were going for the T-rex. While the T-rex was distracted we turned the corner and breathed a huge sigh of relief. “Well I’m glad that’s over” I puffed. “Me too” agreed Mike.

Slam! I was pushed down by a giant wave. That’s when I realised that we were in the pacific island exhibit. As I swam up I felt the sea salt burning in my eyes. As fast as I could I swam over to a waka. When I got into the waka I saw Mike climbing into the back seat of the waka. I felt the power of my ancestors coursing though my  blood and as I paddled my muscles knew what to do. 

All of a sudden the water started bubbling. Then a kind of sea monster rose out of the water. It was about ten feet tall, with flippers as big as great white sharks, teeth as sharp as daggers and coal black eyes. “Start paddling as fast as you can,” I barked. We paddled as fast as we could into a random door, but the monster kept following us. “Look out,” yelled Mike. A flow of lava came rushing towards us. I managed to get out of the way just in time, but the sea monster got hit on the neck. It roared in pain a horrible haunting roar.

“Look there is a house over there,” Mike said. Once we got to the house the ground started shaking and books started flying off their shelfs. One very heavy book landed on my foot. The pain felt like getting cut by a knife. ”It’s an earthquake get under the table,” I yelled. We both tried to get under the table but then we started sliding downward. Crash! The door broke under our combine weight. I dived out of the way of a sofa from the house. I dived as if I was saving a goal, but I got hit by the T-rex skeleton. It slammed into me and I fell right off the balcony and as I fell everything swirled.

Beep! Beep! Beep! “AHH” I screamed. I looked around and found that I was in my bedroom. Thank  goodness  it was just a nightmare,” I said, but that nightmare got me thinking …. what really does happen when it is night in the museum.