IGCSE narrative essay | 2011 Oct-Nov | Write a story that includes a practical joker as one


You are advised to write between 350 and 500 words on the following topic:

Write a story that includes a practical joker as one of its characters.

Model Essay

Ethan had always been the practical joker of our friend group. From swapping salt for sugar to placing fake spiders in our lockers, his antics were legendary. But one prank would go down in history as the one that went too far.

It was a crisp autumn day, and the leaves had just begun to turn shades of red and gold. We were seniors in high school, enjoying the last months of our carefree youth before the looming pressures of college applications and adulthood. Ethan had been conspicuously quiet for a few days, which should have been our first warning. When Ethan was quiet, it meant he was plotting.

“Guys, you won’t believe what I have planned,” Ethan announced one Friday afternoon, his eyes twinkling with mischief. We gathered around him in the school courtyard, curious but wary.

“What is it this time?” asked Sarah, who had been the victim of Ethan’s pranks more than once.

He grinned, pulling out a small remote control from his backpack. “I’ve rigged the school intercom system. At exactly 1 PM on Monday, it’s going to play a pre-recorded message I made.”

We groaned collectively. “Ethan, you’re going to get us all in trouble,” I said.

“Relax, it’s just a harmless prank,” he insisted. “No one’s going to get hurt. It’ll just be a funny message to lighten the mood.”

Monday arrived, and there was a buzz of anticipation among those who knew about Ethan’s plan. The day proceeded as usual until the clock struck one. Suddenly, the intercom crackled to life, and instead of the usual monotonous announcements, Ethan’s voice boomed through the speakers.

“Attention, students and faculty! This is Principal Johnson. Due to unforeseen circumstances, school is canceled for the rest of the week. Please pack your things and head home immediately.”

The halls erupted into chaos. Students cheered and grabbed their bags, teachers looked bewildered, and Principal Johnson stormed out of her office, a furious expression on her face. It only took a few minutes for everyone to realize it was a prank, but by then, the damage was done.


Ethan was summoned to the principal’s office. We watched from a distance as he walked down the hall, shoulders slumped but a mischievous smile still playing on his lips. We knew he was in serious trouble this time.

The aftermath was worse than we anticipated. Ethan was suspended for a week, and his parents were livid. Our friend group faced the brunt of the teachers’ anger, and we were all given extra assignments as punishment for not stopping him.

But the real consequence came a few days later. As Ethan sat at home, bored and regretful, he received a call from his dream college. They had somehow heard about the prank and decided to rescind his early acceptance offer. It was a crushing blow.

When Ethan returned to school, he was a different person. The twinkle in his eye was gone, replaced by a somber seriousness. “I’m sorry, guys,” he said one afternoon as we sat together under the big oak tree in the courtyard. “I didn’t mean for it to go this far. I never thought it would mess up my future.”

We forgave him, of course. Ethan was still our friend, and everyone makes mistakes. But the incident served as a sobering lesson. Practical jokes, no matter how harmless they seem, can have serious consequences.

From that day on, Ethan’s pranks were no longer part of our daily lives. Instead, he focused his energy on more constructive endeavors, determined to rebuild his future. And while we missed the laughter his jokes brought, we understood the importance of responsibility and the impact of our actions. Ethan’s story became a cautionary tale, reminding us all to think twice before acting on impulse.

Word Count: 631