When she was around four, my granddaughter Ellie once stayed with me for a weekend while her parents were off gallivanting. What a great time we had! Ellie is into making up stories, so my grandmotherly ambitions went soaring – another writer in the family! She told me her stories while I scribbled them down. We wrote quite a few about Rapunzel, Tinkerbell, MuLan, and other heroines. (My favorite was the one in which Rapunzel went to San Francisco to buy a pretty dress and finally have her hair cut, leaving the Prince behind.)
We also wrote a “round robin” story in which Ellie told a piece of a story, then I told a piece, then Ellie, then me, and so on. We called it “The Chicken Story” and here it is:
Ellie: The chicken went to the park and he slid on a bumpy slide.
Grandma: Then he fell off the slide and hit his head on the ground at the end of the slide.
Ellie: Then he goes on a tire swing, and he fell off and he bumped his head again.
Grandma: The chicken said, “This park is too dangerous, maybe I should go home.”
Ellie: No, he said “I’m going to find another park.” But then he was hungry, so he said, “I’ll go home and have lunch.”
Grandma: But when he got home, there was no food to eat. He said to his mom, “Where is all my food?”
Ellie: His mom said, “We ate it all up. So the chicken said, “Okay I’ll wait while you go to the grocery store.” But then he remembered he was a big chicken and could go to the grocery store himself. So he did.
Grandma: At the grocery store, the chicken looked at all the food. He couldn’t decide what to buy, there was so much.
Ellie: He waited too long in the aisle and then everybody else bought up all the food, and then there was none left.
Grandma: So the chicken thought, “Maybe I can go outside and see if there’s any chicken food I can peck up. He went to the parking lot to find food.
Ellie: Some kid spilled his McDonalds french fries in the parking lot so the chicken ate them. They were good. Now the story is all done.