This year, Alex started going to our local public school. I must say that so far, I'm very impressed: Alex is enjoying her class, her teacher, and the parents of the students are very involved. Twice I've been asked to come in as a "Mystery Reader" -- the kids have no idea that I'm coming (that's the "mystery" part), and once I arrive, I read a couple of chapters of a chapter book to Alex and her schoolmates. It's been a lot of fun.
Like a fool, however, I signed up to be a "Mystery Writer." Little did I know that being a Mystery Writer not only involved showing up unexpectedly, but I was required to actually WRITE and ILLUSTRATE a story for the class. "It's really easy," said Alex's teacher. "Just write a little story, 8 pages max, draw some pictures, and come and read it to the class. It's about inspiring them to want to become writers themselves."
The thing is, I can't draw. Not even a little bit. Children laugh at my stick figures. I'm totally incapable of it. And while I can write, in our house, Marcus is really the storyteller. Each night he weaves these wildly elaborate tales for Alex before she goes to sleep. I always default to the tried and true method of reading actual published books to her before she goes to sleep. But come up with fiction on the spur of the moment? Not I. So if *I* was the parent to come up with a story and draw pictures to illustrate it, the last thing those kids would be is "inspired."
You know where this is going, right?
Two nights before the story was due, I pleaded with Marcus to come up with a story. He groaned (as I knew he would), but then whipped out a story in about 3 minutes flat (as I knew he would). The next day, I pulled out my camera and shot the images for the story, using items we had around the house. I'm rather pleased with how it turned out.
Sadly for you, however, because we worked so hard on it, I didn't really have a post ready for today. So instead, you get to witness our handiwork. Sit back and get comfortable, children, for you are now about to read the story of:
Chewfus* the Dragon Slayer
story by Marcus (Alex's dad) photographs by Karen (Alex's mom)
This is our dog, Chewfus.
He likes to chew.
He chews his dry, boring dog food.
He wishes it was turkey.
He chews my shoes, my dress
and my mom's computer.
But Chewfus has a secret identity. He becomes a different dog when he sneaks through the hole in our fence ...
... he becomes Chewfus the Dragon Slayer!
He defends our garden from the dragons who live outside our fence.
He doesn't use a sword to slay them. He uses his voice to scare them away, with a mighty "WOOOOF!!!"
Okay, maybe he doesn't really do that. But I wish he would fight dragons, and stop chewing my shoes.
The children may never recover.
*Name changed to protect the very, very guilty.