The Water Gophers

Written and Illustrated by Andrew K.

Chapter One:


The Water Gophers live in Chinsapo village in orange puddles.

My name is Jack and I’m going to tell you a story about my life. I work in the Water Gopher army. My mission: get maize. That’s what I want most. I’m a Water Gopher.

Water Gophers have actually sharp ears and webbed feet and hands.



Chapter Two:

The Scout’s Report

Oh, by the way, we have a bunny as Scout.

And I’m one of the top five generals.(see below)

This is what Carrot (our Scout) said, “Sirs, this is what I found. In the corner of the village, there is a HUGE pile of MAIZE. But there is a small army of Village Dogs guarding it.”




Chapter Three:

Get Prepared for War

“Everyone, get your weapons and armor,” said Commander Paul.

Everyone got their six-piece armor on. The six pieces are: leg flexible armor, two flexible arm armor pieces, one body armor, and a helmet.

All two hundred troops were at the camp they made for the night.


Chapter Four

Take Positions and Fight

“Everyone take positions,” I said.  Everyone took positions.

And the first War of the Maize Pile began.

Five minutes later, “We are already down by 50 troops,” said Commander Jacob. “Thirteen troops injured, 37 dead.”

There were twenty dogs total, but only one dead. Soon we had 143 troops left.

Then we had a total (including injured but not dead) of 120 troops left.

We had to retreat.


Chapter Five

The Plan

“Commander, I have a plan,” I said.

“What is it?” Commander Jojo said.

I said, “Joe, you take your troops forward. Paul, Jacob, take your troops to the sides so you are facing each other. Me and Jojo will take the back. Then shoot because the Dogs are surrounded! Oh, actually, YOU are reinforcements for everyone, Jojo.”


Chapter Six

The Second Battle of the Maize Pile and Carrot’s Report

Carrot came in the room running. He said, “Sirs there are 50 dogs guarding the maize!”

I said, “Well, let’s get to war.”

The war started and we took positions.

“Commander Jack, something’s wrong here. There’s only 45 dogs. AHHHHHhhh…”

Four minutes later, “They were spying on us,” I said. Then I whispered in everyone’s ear the plan. It was the same plan.


Chapter Seven

The Third battle of the Maize Pile

Everyone took the same positions as last time. And shot. This time there were 100 dogs!

Ten minutes later, only 23 dogs were left. And 97 Water Gophers were left.  Sadly, commander Joe was one of the dead.

Four commanders left, 23 troops left, and 34 injured Water Gophers, but there was…. ZERO DOGS LEFT!

We won!

The End.


Hello, I’m Andrew. I wrote Water Gophers. I’m 8 years old. My birthday is June 25. I like writing short stories like Water Gophers. Just so you know, Chinsapo Village is real, as well as the orange puddles there. And I live in Malawi.

Andrew’s’ story is the FIFTH in a series of stories written by kids in Malawi, Africa. These stories came out of a 2-day Workshop on Writing that I taught to 3rd-7th grade home-schooled kids. The stories were conjured up and written in only FIVE DAYS! They listened to the teaching and went to work! I am really proud of them.

Andrew’s story came about as he and I walked deep into a nearby Malawian village. It had rained recently, and the typical red dirt in Malawi had turned the puddles in the trails to a deep orange color.  We imagined that perhaps creatures lived beneath the ground, coming up now and then in the puddles to look around – or even using periscopes. We decided that some of the puddles were just regular puddles, to fool anyone who was looking for the creatures. Andrew came up with the Water Gofers (his original spelling) and their quest for maize. (Maize – a staple crop in Malawi – was being harvested and dried in big piles throughout the village, waiting to be ground into meal.)

Andrew drew the tiny pictures of his characters, and I’ve attempted to enlarge them for his story. 

IF YOU CAN, leave a comment or word of encouragement for this young boy. I know it would give him a true thrill. Thanks!


3 thoughts on “The Water Gophers

  1. What a wonderful story. I enjoyed it very much. It’s very creative and I really liked the pictures too. Great!!

  2. Nothing like a story about spies and a counter battle plan and keeping a secret in order to win. Terrific plotting and a perfect solution to the problem. Nicely done, Andrew.

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