Thursday, February 19, 2015

Week 6 Storytelling: Chatterbox's Worst Day EVER

 Just a few years ago there was a happy little family just outside of town. This family lived a wonderful life. They had everything they ever could need. The mother and father had only had one child, and this child was a very quiet child. The father often being gone on business and the mother busy with housework, the poor little boy learned how to play nice and quietly by himself. The mother often went to check on him just to make sure he was still there he was so quiet! This family was very calm and collected and happy…. But that was soon to change.

One snowy winter day, the time came for the mother to give birth to a beautiful little girl. The parents were so in love with their new child. They were sure she would make a wonderful addition to their quiet family.

Everything was well. The siblings played and laughed, filling the mother and father’s souls with joy. They lived such a peaceful life, that is, until the little girl began to talk. She slowly picked up words taught to her by her family and loved it. Her family was beginning to wonder if she was ever going to stop talking! The older she got the more words she learned, and the more and more and more she talked!

The peaceful, quiet brother was becoming quite annoyed with this. He liked his quiet time by himself and his rambunctious little sister kept pestering him.  She would barge into his room, asking him questions. He wondered if he would ever experience quiet again! He just wanted one day to be alone.

One afternoon, the brother being much older and manipulative, came up with an idea. He would trick the little girl into thinking she would lose her voice forever if she talked at all for the entire day tomorrow.

“You’ll never talk again if you say even one word tomorrow,” said the brother to his poor gullible little sister.

“What? Nu-huh. You’re lying!” the little girl retorted.


“SHUSH! If you tell mom, you’ll never EVER be allowed to talk. Tomorrow is a special day, and you can’t talk. There once was a turtle that couldn't keep quiet and he tomorrow is the day he DIED because of it,” the brother continued, slowly convincing the little sister.

"Anyone under 10 has to keep quiet the WHOLE day or they won't talk again," the brother added, conveniently excluding his 11-year-old self.

The brother hardly ever lied to her; in fact, he often looked after her like another parent. 

"Surely he isn't lying about this," she thought.  "Surely he would lie about something this serious." 

The little sister thought about the things her brother told her and realized that she must not talk tomorrow. After all, she couldn't imagine losing her voice forever!

The next morning, everything seemed to start well. The little sister was, however, unusually quiet.

“It’s working!” thought the brother. “I can play the WHOOOLLEEE day by myself without any noise!”

A few hours passed by, and the little girl became rather frustrated. She had so many new things she wanted to talk about!  The mother, too, became suspicious of the unusual quietness.

“Honey, what’s wrong? You seem rather down today,” the mother said to her poor, frustrated, quiet child.

The little girl just shook her head and looked away.

“You can tell me,” the mother went on…

The little girl gave no response.

“Well, alright, I’ll be in the kitchen if you change your mind,” the mother said as she continued to worry about her child.

 A couple more hours passed by and the little girl couldn't stand it anymore! She began to cry as she walked up to her mom, pointing at her mouth. Thinking something terrible had happened, she asked her son if he had seen her do anything.

“Uhhh nooo! She’s fine. I don’t know anything!” he said nervously.

 He would definitely get in trouble if his mother found out of his little trick.

The little girl cried and cried as the mother tried to figure out what was wrong. Feeling guilty, the brother finally confessed.

“Uhhhh Mommy…” he began, “I kinda tricked sister into not talking… I told her she would lose her voice forever if she talked today.”

Instantly, the mother ran to her crying daughter informing her of her brother’s trick.

“I have an idea…” the mom said trying to cheer the confused little girl up. “Why don’t you go take your new book to your brother’s room? I’m sure he would LOVE to hear ALLLL about the things you read this morning.”

“OKAY!!!” the little girl screamed, grateful to be able to talk again.
 She instantly ran to her brother’s room chatting the evening away.

Image of my family. 
(Provided by Chon Henderson, my mother)

Author’s Note: This story was inspired by the story “The Talkative Tortoise” in the collection of Indian Fairytales by Joseph Jacobs. In that story, a tortoise needs to be transferred to another pond. Two birds offer to help him by carrying a stick he has held onto with his mouth. In order for them to successfully carry him he must not talk or else he will let go of the stick and fall to his death. The Tortoise ends up cracking in half because he cannot force himself to stop talking long enough to be taken to another pond. While I found this story a bit brutal it is such a good reminder that sometimes silence is the best form of speech. Upon reading this story, I was immediately reminded of my childhood; being nick-named “Chatterbox,” I couldn't help but laugh at the memories of being told that “Someday your words are going to get you in trouble” by my father.  This story, while I may not exactly remember, is more than likely to have happened to me growing up.  Being the pampered gullible baby of the family, growing up with a brother who is seven years older than me, he often managed to trick me into doing things even if I had no idea why I was doing them. The image I chose may seem a little random, being that it is a picture of my family but it is actually one of the few family photos that we have that I don’t have my mouth wide open trying to say something (being the little chatterbox that I am), so I found it quite fitting for the story.

Bibliography: Indian Fairy Tales by Joseph Jacobs, with illustrations by John D. Batten, (1912). 
Indian Fairy Tales by Joseph Jacobs


  1. Hi Gloria. I had a little sister who was also quite gullible so I can somewhat relate to this story. I would trick my sister all the time. I think the older brothers plan was very ingenious. The introduction was very detailed and you set the stage well for the addition of the little girl. I liked that you added a lot of dialogue to your story. Great job on this one.

  2. Hi, Gloria! I really enjoyed this story! I was a quiet kid, so I never got into much trouble for talking, but I definitely relate to the sibling aspect of this story. My older sister always made me do things that never made sense to me, all in good fun. Your story is really well-written, and I enjoyed your characters’ personalities. Great work!

  3. Gloria, I LOVED this rendition! It really fleshed out a rather simple fable. I also enjoyed how realistic it was. That is exactly the kind of thing an older brother would tell to a younger sister who was talkative and annoyed him. My older sister convinced me and my twin sister that we were aliens and my mom had adopted us once. It went on for at least a few weeks. Anyways, great great job! I really liked the dialogue as well.

  4. Gloria,

    I enjoyed reading a new story of yours! I related to it because my older sister and mom would do evil things to me (all in good nature, but I will never forget…haha). Once they both acted like they lost their teeth by putting their lips around their teeth and talking…I didn’t fall for that one. I did, however, fall for eating dog food when my mom told me if I ate a piece I would turn into a dog. Apparently, I really wanted to be a dog. Anyways, I really loved that I could relate to this story. I also love that you came up with your own story from the talkative tortoise. The only thing that was the same was the amount of talking (very creative)!

    One mistake I saw was in the fourth sentence of the first paragraph, I found the use of two ‘hads’ didn’t sound as smooth when reading it outloud (‘The mother and father had only had one child’).

    Great job!

  5. This is a cute story! I like the idea of a family being extreme in some way (extremely quiet and peaceful in this case) and one of the new family members is the opposite. This is actually very realistic, as no family can be without a "black sheep" or outlier ;)

    Some edit suggestions:
    I would add a comma after "manipulative" in the fifth paragraph.
    You accidentally typed "would" instead of "wouldn't" in the middle paragraph.

    This sentence in the first paragraph could be more concise: "The mother and father had only had one child, and this child was a very quiet child." I would do as Emily suggested and also change the last part of the sentence to "this child was very quiet". After "housework," there should be a comma.

    I think it is so cool how you incorporated your experience with your family into this story, and completely made it your own. I would never have guessed that it was based on a story about a tortoise whose life depended on him being quiet for awhile!

  6. Hi Gloria,

    This story is great! I can tell that you probably love to talk. This may even be a personal experience for you. I actually have the same problem! I could talk an entire day away. I never get tired of it. I would consider reviewing your story for comma mistakes. There were several points I saw that could have used a comma to create a pause for words you added for dramatic effect. Also, I saw a couple spelling errors that could have easily been fixed by simply reading it out loud to yourself. I think you did a great job with paragraph breaks to make the eye to read. You did a great job. The author's note is really necessary for explanation when you find a new story in a book that no one else read. It allows the reader to understand where the story came from to begin with!

  7. Hi Gloria,
    I love how you didn't just tell a new version of the fairytale, "The Talkative Tortoise". Instead you took the key aspects front the fairytale and applied it to your very own story! I love all the dialogue. You wrote how little kids talk perfectly! It was just refreshing to read a cute story like this because it is unlike anything in our class and sometimes you just want to read a short little fairytale.
    I especially love the title. I was a talkative child myself and can attest to not talking can be the WORST THING EVER. Also, I love the mom's solution at the end. She gave her brother exactly what he deserved! And it makes since that you made your story happen on a snowy day because the kids could be stuck inside for most of the day avoiding the cold temperatures.
    Overall, great story and I can't wait to read more from you!

  8. Hello Gloria!
    As soon as I saw the title of your story, I knew it had to be based off of the "Talkative Tortoise" story in the Indian Fairy Tales unit. It was such a good unit! I thoroughly enjoyed it. I think you did a great job adapting this story to that of a modern feel. I can honestly say that I have fallen into the category of the brother. I have two little siblings and growing up I couldn't get in a word edgewise between the two of them! I think it's funny the different perspectives and experiences that people have that help them to relate to your stories in a different way.
    As far as corrections go, I can see that people have pretty much already commented on all of the corrections that need to be made to your story. There is nothing wrong with the writing style, just a few sentences that need to be tweaked. However, they have already been pointed out, so I will let it be.
    I think your style of writing and creativity is really refreshing! I am not as creative when it comes to these types of stories, so it is always fun to read others' stories to see different settings for them!
    I look forward to reading the rest of your posts!

  9. Hey Gloria,

    I love this title! Great job on the emphasis, it made me laugh. You did an excellent job describing the demeanor of the family and how quiet they were, which was very helpful in seeing what a drastic change they went though. Did the siblings play together, or just in general? Also, check your placement of commas in your fifth paragraph and the wording. It sounded a little bit repetitive at the end of that paragraph. Breaking up your story into several little paragraphs was an excellent way of breaking up your story to show transitions from one situation to the next, as well as making it easier to follow and read. Who said Moo? I thought the story about the turtle was a little random. It sounded like he was in the middle of one topic and then literally started talking about another topic mid sentence, which made things very confusing. Overall, I enjoyed the story and the dialogue between the children. Very cute.

  10. Hi, Gloria! This is such a fun story! I have a brother who definitely tricked me more than once growing up, so I found it very relatable. You did a great job providing a good amount of background for the story so that the reader understands the family dynamic and why this trick was so noteworthy.

    It's neat the way you tied in the story of the talkative tortoise. I haven't read that one, so it was really helpful that you explained the story in your Author's note. Also, you chose a really engaging title for this story in your portfolio. When I was looking for stories to read, I saw this title and I was instantly curious. And the story lived up to it. It was very enjoyable to read, and the writing is great! I think it is an excellent addition to your portfolio project. Nice job, Gloria!

  11. Gloria this story is so fun! I didn't do any reading from the Un-textbook, so I'm not aware of the Talkative Tortoise story. I really appreciated your summary in the author's note, that really helped me understand the context of what was going on! I also like how you made a subtle reference to the talkative tortoise using the brother! Very clever! You did an excellent job with this story. Grammatically it looks great to me, and I don't see any errors! The way you broke up the dialogue and story made everything flow nicely and was very easy to read. My favorite part in the story is your writing about the young girl trying so hard to not talk. You did a fantastic job bringing that scene to life! I also really like how you made this story something that directly relates to your childhood, that makes it really special. It sounds like that sister and brother had some pretty typical sibling rivalry going on, and that definitely hits close to home with my childhood! Great job!