Tuesday, 22 July 2008

Narrations by Anna and Joshua

These narrations are for The Frog Who Wouldn't Laugh by Cecilia Egan, which we bought at the aquarium last week. I remembered this book from my childhood, and so did Jeff, so we decided to buy it. Any book that sticks in your memory for over 20 years (and is also still being published) has to be good.

By Anna (4y3m):
The frog who never laughed.
This is a story from the Aboriginal people of Australia.
Tiddalik never laughed. He loved everything but he wanted to drink every bit of water one day. So he made a plan with all his might and strength.
Tiddalik was a frog. A big giant frog, a giant. Tiddalik began to search. He looked over low trees, he looked over mountains, even some low clouds he looked over. He was as giant as a giant mountain.
Then he woke up and drank all of the fresh water. He drank so much water that the other animals could not find any water. He drank up a puddle, a billabong, a lake and a river. Oh dear – he drank up so much water that all the other animals could not believe it. “I can’t believe it!” said all the other animals. “What a mean, mean frog.” The trees and plants and grass and animals and birds could not find any water and started to die.
All the other animals begged, “Would you please open your mouth and let out the water?” But Tiddalik didn’t open his mouth.
Then a wise old wombat began to talk. He spoke to all the other animals and said, “If we could make Tiddalik laugh, he would have to open his mouth.” He told them his plan and he whispered it in their ears and they whispered in his ear. “The lyre bird will have to tickle with a feather last and all of the other animals will have to go first. I will see if Tiddalik laughs.”
“Yes,” said the other animals.
Then the kangaroo jumped over the emu. Then the kookaburra told all of his funny stories. Then the lizard walked on his high heels with his tummy sticking out. Then all of the other animals began to laugh. Even the lyre bird tickled Tiddalik with a feather. He didn’t laugh. He didn’t even smile. Oh dear.
Then the eel began to dance and dance. He tied himself in all kinds of funny knots. The frog began to shake and shake and shake.
All the water gushed out of his mouth like a fountain. None of the water was left in Tiddalik. The water went to the puddle and the billabong and the river and the lake and all the fresh water went back to everything.
Then, all the animals congratulated the eel. “Hooray! Hip, hip hooray! Hooray, hooray, hooray!”
The end.

By Joshua (5y5m):
Tiddalik was as big as a mountain. He looked over some trees and over some low clouds. In fact, he was not just big, he was humongously big.
Tiddalik one day when he woke up from his sleep was feeling thirsty. Not only that, he was humongously thirsty, gigantically thirsty. He drank up a billabong, a pool and a puddle. In fact, he drank up all the fresh water in the world.
All the Australian animals started dying and the plants and the grass and the trees did start dying and also the bushes started dying. The eels, the koalas, the wombats, the lizards, the birds, even the kookaburras (they were very funny), the kangaroos and the emus started dying. Tiddalik would soon be the only animal left in Australia.
They begged Tiddalik, “Please open your mouth and let out the water.” But Tiddalik stood there with his mouth closed and didn’t even open it to reply. He was swollen with water so much that he couldn’t even jump.
They started thinking. No one could think until a wise old wombat said, “If we make Tiddalik laugh, he’ll have to open his mouth.”
The kangaroo jumped over the emu. The lyrebird sang in people’s voice and the kookaburra told his funniest stories. The eel began twisting, the wombat clapped and the lizard walked on his hind legs with his stomach sticking out.
Even the lyrebird tickled him with a feather. Tiddalik sat there, swollen up with water, didn’t even laugh or smile.
The eel started dancing in slow, dignified ways. But danced faster and faster and faster and faster. And he was putting himself in the strangest of shapes and the strangest of all knots.
Tiddalik began laughing like a big rumbling was beginning from his tummy.
All the water that he had drank gushed out like a fountain and all the other animals congratulated the eel for being the only animal that could make Tiddalik laugh.

It is interesting to compare which phrases stuck in both of their memories, such as "gushed out ... like a fountain." It is even more interesting to consider where they each diverted from the original with their own interpretations; Anna added in extra conversation and Joshua added in some wonderful adjectives.

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