Monday, May 11, 2009

Story Beyond the Story (True Story)

I like to tell stories to listeners as well as write them down. I did a "dry run" of the story below with my nieces, nephew and extended family last night. When I tell the story (not read it), it has fewer words from me but a lot of interaction and side comments from the listeners. Here's how the telling went (M = Me, A = Adult listener, C = Child listener).

M: "Who wants to hear a new story I'm going to write tomorrow morning?"

C: "I do! I do!"
C: "Memememe!"
A: "Let's hear it."

M: "OK. This is a story about three little pigs."

C: "Can I be a pig? We'll make it a princess pig who loves the color pink!"
C: "I want to be one too! Named Platypus. Oh wait, can we make it a platypus instead?"

M: "No, there are just three little pigs in this story."

C: "Why can't one of them be a platypus?"

M: "Because it's based on the story of the Three Little Pigs; there are no platypi in that story. We can name one of the pigs Platypus if you'd like."

C: "OK"

M: "So there are three little pigs, one named.."

A: "George"

M: "... one named George, one named Platypus and the porky princess who loves pink. These three pigs lived in southern California."

C: "We're gonna live there. We're moving to San Diego in ... ummm... six weeks!"

M: "I know. So let's say these little pigs lived in San Diego. Now the first pig wanted to use some local building material and he built his house out of straw."

C: "That can be C---'s pig; she's not in the room."

M: "OK So C--'s pig named George built his house out of straw. Then the Santa Anna winds came and guess what happened."

C: "It blew away."

M: "Right. And the second pig, built his house out of wood."

C: "That will be Platypus because my Princess Pig will have bricks - pink bricks."

M: "Fine. Platypus built his house out of wood and when the Santa Anna winds came, what happened."

C: "It stayed up."

M: "Right. But then the fires came down the hill. What happens to a house made of wood?"

A: "Uh-oh"
C: "It burnt down."

M: "Right. And the porky princess made her pink brick house using brick and stone. What happened to this house in the Santa Anna winds."

C: "It stayed up."

M: "Right. And what about fire?"

C: "Nope."
C: "It stayed up."

M: "Right. But then after the fire there was an earthquake. What happened to the brick and stone house?"

C: "It fell down. CRASH! Like that."

M: "Right. That's when the three little pigs figured out that working by themselves they could not build a house that would stand up. So they decided they were going to work together. George showed them how to use local materials; Platypus showed them how to make the house flexible for earthquakes and the porky princess who loves pink put up some stucco and brick barriers to protect the house from fire. When the Santa Anna winds blew now, it stayed. When the fires came, it stayed. When the earthquake shook the ground beneath them it stayed. Then they thought they had beaten all that Mother Nature could throw at them. Mother Nature said "Oh yeah?" and the rains started to come down."

A: "Oh no."

M: "Yep. A mudslide came and washed the house away."

A: "Boy, Tara! You're never going to let these poor little pigs have a house, are you?"

M: "Not yet... So, when these little pigs were sitting together in the shelter thinking where had they gone wrong..."

A: "Well pissing off Ma Nature didn't help!"

M: "They realized that they were missing one important thing for their house. They needed to have a solid foundation. Do you know what they used?"

C: "Concrete?"

M: "Close. L--, can you guess?"

C: "Ummm..."

M: "I'll give you a clue: Christ told Peter that He would use it to build His church."

C: "Ummmm..."

M: "Since it's late and been a long day, I'll give you another clue. It starts with the letter 'R'."

C: "Oh... Ummmm...."
A: "Come on, L---. You know this one. It's a four-letter word."
C: "Ummmm..."

M: "One more clue. The second letter is 'O'."

C: "Oh! A road! They built their house on a road!"
A: "It was a rock, L--. A rock, not a road."
A: "Well, Peter did take it on the road, didn't he?"

M: "Yes, but I think the California Highway Department would be a bit upset if the three little pigs built their home on one of their roads. :P"

- ESA

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