Janie’s teacher gives the best writing assignments.
Last week, she had each of her students give her a noun, and told them to write a story using all the words, ten of which needed to be possessive.
Believe me when I say that this particular combination of nouns could only be supplied by this specific fifth grade class:
Moon, Skittle, Turtle,
Hair Tie, Tortoise, Nintendo,
iPhone, Platypus, Hair Ball,
Wii, Abraham Lincoln, X-Box,
Chalk, Apple, Chair,
Pencil, Book, Lip Balm
It’s like a chance poem, isn’t it?
Janie—who contributed Abraham Lincoln to the list, instead of hair ball, much to my surprise—sat down with her notebook and wrote this, giggling the whole time. It needed to be tweaked a few times for a missing noun or two and again after I won a short argument about the definition of a possessive noun* and lost a debate about the possessive form of platypus.**
This is the final result, shared with the author’s permission:
Never Loan Abraham Lincoln Your Lip Balm
By Janie Wesson (©2014)
Once upon a time there was a Skittle named Bob who lived on the moon, and since the moon doesn’t have Wi-Fi The Skittle named Bob’s iPhone could not make calls to his friends, Tortoise and Turtle, Platypus, and Abraham Lincoln. But his computer worked, for some strange reason, and the Skittle named Bob invited his friends.
They had a big party. First they played with Platypus’s Wii, X-box and Nintendo, until they broke the X-box’s console. Then they played Hide the Apple, which turned into Keep Tortoise’s Hair Tie away from him (Tortoise didn’t have hair, but he did keep a hair ball as a pet). Next they played Hide Abraham Lincoln’s Chair.
Lincoln had a temper today and he got mad at Turtle for using his pencil in Turtle’s coloring book and for losing his chair’s cushion. After that they played with The Skittle Named Bob’s sidewalk chalk.
All was well, until Tortoise stepped on Turtle’s chalk drawing, and he got mad and stepped on Tortoise’s drawing, who got mad again and stepped on Platypus’s drawing, and she sued Tortoise for being a sore reptile.
The Skittle Named Bob couldn’t take it any more so he had to end the party. While he was cleaning up, he found the hairball’s tie, the apple’s core, the Wii’s controller, and realized that Abraham Lincoln had stolen his lip balm.
The writer in me would have added an em-dash to the last phrase for dramatic impact, but parents are supposed to keep their mitts off the punctuation, unless asked, which I wasn’t***—and I probably shouldn’t pass my addictions to my children, if I can help it.
But the Reader and Mommy in me?
They think this is awesome.
*By using her own, handwritten notes. Her expression was something I will treasure.
**My expression, I’m told, was mostly confused. It’s right, but it doesn’t look right.
***Jane wants you to know that I wasn’t asked for help very loudly, with hands on hips and a very stern look. That isn’t how she phrased it, but that’s what she looked like when she absolutely didn’t ask.
Images have been released into the public domain by their creators, according to Wikimedia Commons.