6 Apr 2012

Writing in the jungle

Continuation from previous post (where we focused on photography).

This year's been a slight struggle for Nel, as far as story writing is concerned. Some of you have read, she's my dreamer who loves reading and fixing things. It's funny how she loves reading, but finds writing a dreadful chore. To help change her perception about writing I decided on something different, thus a  trip to the jungle to inspire creativity. (can't believe it took me this long to do this!)

Our first stop was the deer farm. The children spent a lot of time here, just feeding and petting deer.
 


As we continued to trek we also stopped to collect leaves for our collage project and gave the leaves special names like "star leaf", "sparkly purple leaf" etc. (all part of creativity.)
10 minutes into the forest reserve, the road became quieter, with hardly anyone in sight except for the occasional passerby on bicycle.  I whispered to my children, "Let's pretend!"

Putting on a worried face, I said,  "Children!! We're....we're lost in the jungle! I think we've lost our way...it's getting dark, we've  hardly got any water left....."

Jo replied in a practical, logical voice/face, "Mum, the way out is the other way. Just turn back."

"Shhhh, Jo!! (Act along will ya!!) If you talk loudly, the magic black panther is gonna get all of us, he will EAT Us UP!! Quick, we must seek shelter!"

Just then, an aeroplane flew by and I shouted like a mad woman "An Aeroplane, an aeroplane! Wave children wave!!! Stop airplane ! HELP US! We're LOST! We're here!!!" My children grinned as I waved my hands wildly.  Of course, the air plane flew by not stopping for us, and I acted upset and worried.

With that, Jo and Nel got sucked into the story and we began our imaginary journey through the forest. It's funny how when acting scared all the sounds in the forest become alive. Alas, our imagination came to a halt when Jo, over excited, tripped, fell and cut her knee against the tar road. ;(      *sigh* Well, the poor girl cried, while I gave her tissue and told her to press it hard to stop the bleeding. You'll see later, how she used this learning experience in her story.

Once consoled, we continued by looking for the magic dragon (bus/tramp) which would transport us magically back home.

Back at the entrance, we sat down, had  lovely ice-cream, and together Nel and Jo wrote a story. It's wonderful to note how they included their experiences in the story, (the leaves, deer, the falling down, ants and all).  Here's their work for the day (edited once with Nel). Not perfect with lots of room for revision and correction...but a good start to creativity!

 I'm glad to say in  the end Nel said "Mum, I never knew writing could be so fun. I enjoyed it." That's all I wanted to do, to inspire her, and I think we succeeded in doing that today. :)

Story by Nel and Jo.
 It was a nice and glorious day when 3 friends named Rose, Marigold and Cheese decided to go for a walk in the forest. Strolling hand in hand, Marigold, the oldest girl with dark brown hair, talked gently to a baby squirrel on her shoulder. Kind-hearted Rose, who was 10 years old, chatted with Cheese, the youngest, about cheese and mice.

While  walking in the forest, they chanced upon a baby deer. Marigold tried to coax it towards them but it ran away. The frightened deer thought they were trying to trap it when actually they just wanted to play with it. Because it was so adorable, Cheese decided to follow the deer, and so the girls followed. Without realising it, they went deeper and deeper into the dark forest.

Feeling tired after walking, Cheese sat down on a broken tree  trunk. Unbeknownst to her, an invincible, blood-sucking spider lived in that trunk. Suddenly, Cheese cried out in pain, as her legs began swelling and bleeding profusely! She had been bitten by the spider, and slowly she began to pass out. Rose panicked and quickly took a giant leaf and pressed it hard on Cheese's leg to stop the bleeding. Marigold splashed water on Cheese's face, but Cheese did not wake.

Cheese lay motionless, her face was pale, her lips dull purple. They didn't know what to do.

Suddenly a fairy appeared in the sky and asked "What happened?"

"Something bit Cheese on her knee, we don't know what it was." said Marigold.

"I've got eyes all over the place, I know who bit her. It was the nasty, mischievous spider, always biting everybody! Well, to help Cheese, you have to collect star leaves, fern leaves, purple and rainbow leaves. We'll use these to make a magic potion.  This potion will stop the bleeding. Then, go find Mr. Dragon and ask him for a drop of his tears and wash it over Cheese. Cheese will wake then."

Quickly, Rose and Marigold rushed to find the dragon. While looking for the dragon, it started to rain. Strangely, it rained only on them and nowhere else.
"Something's wrong around here" said Rose.

They looked up and saw a dragon crying, sitting on a branch because there was a thorn in his foot. "Quickly put up their bucket to collect the tears," said Marigold to Rose.

While Rose collected the teardrops, Marigold looked up and saw the thorn. She took pity on the dragon and asked the dragon if she could help him. Mr. Dragon said "Yes" and let down his long tail so Marigold could climb it. Marigold had a difficult time climbing the dragon's tail, and kept slipping. Finally she got to the top and tugged the thorn out of the dragon's foot.

The dragon was so grateful
The dragon lived in a big gigantic tree, and in this tree there was a  gigantic nest which belonged to him. And in this nest were all sorts of leaves!

"Awesome man!" said Rose. "Where did you get all these leaves?"

"Oh I went to Korea and collected all this during autumn. But these are heavy. I don't think you can carry all these back by yourselves. Need help?"

"Yes," said Marigold. So the dragon carried the sack of leaves in his mouth and flew the girls back to Cheese. They took the bucket of tears and poured it all over Cheese. 
Cheese woke suddenly and asked "Where am I?"

They gave the leaves to the fairy who put it all in a hot pot of boiling crystal purple medicine. It formed a greenish concoction. The fairy warned that if human hands  touched the medicine, their fingers would drop off and only a hummingbird could touch the medicine.

So Marigold whistled a little tune and a little hummingbird came flying. The little bird dipped its claw in the medicine and hopped on Cheese's wound and suddenly the bleeding stopped. They cried "Yippie" and thanked the fairy, bird and dragon.

Wondering how to go home, they saw some marching ants on the floor and asked if the ants could lead them home. The ants nodded their heads and led the girls safely home.

The end.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Some other random shots by yours truly.

 Saw this beauty a drinkin when we passed 'im by

 This is not funny . I called em deers and said "Heiya, could I take a picture of you guys and gals?" and they all turned their backs on me.

 This was the sweetest thing there...a little babe, shy of us but observed us from a distance. So pretty indeed. :)

 To end the exciting day, we decided to make fire
using a magnifying glass.

3 comments :

gail said...

Oh, Martha! Such a delightful spin of a story! A beautiful way to end my day.

Divoo said...

What a treat this little story is! You did a great job of inspiring Nel to write, Martha... there's so much to learn from your family. :) Have a great weekend!

Mini Mocha said...

A great idea you had to inspire Nel. Love that. I also have a child who wants to read book after book but is not so interested in writing. He has the ideas/creativity however not wanting to take the time to write it all down. Hopefully with age comes a love for writing also.

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