Your Dog Does What?

Let’s set the scene.

It’s Friday morning after two snow days from an early spring Colorado blizzard.   It’s Friday morning after two snow days from an early spring Colorado blizzard AND it’s the last day of school before spring break. It’s Friday morning after two snow days from an early spring Colorado blizzard, the last day of school before spring break, AND it’s Friday morning in a first grade writing workshop.

Six and seven year olds sit in a circle swapping stories like flies buzzing around a juicy watermelon in the late summer sun.  Stories that can only come from super-sized imaginations and build on giggle after knee-slapping giggle.  Storytellers who try to one-up the last storyteller with a little more first grade edge, the kind of “peek- out-of-the-corner-of-your-eye-to-see-if-your-teacher-will-frown-at-your-choice-of-words” edge. The kind of first-grade-funny that is truly a brand of it’s own to bottle up and keep in old wooden trunks for sadder days.  Genuine and true first-grade-funny.  

As the stories slip off their tongues faster than the snow melts outside, a little boy, whose turn is last, with his t-shirt on backwards and pants riding high, belts out:

“My dog leaks pee.”  

Silence.

Giggles.

Eyes glancing to and fro: teacher-storyteller-teacher-storyteller.

“Your dog does what?” chuckles Jimmy, from across the room.

Giggles.

Slaps on the knees.

A few brave actors even start to reenact what the little storyteller just said!

More giggles. This is not done. Yet.

Jimmy, clearly on par to be the captain of the High School football team in 11 years, shushes his teammates with his arms and with a glimmer in his eyes repeats:

“Wait, your dog does what?”

Eyes return fast to the storyteller with the backwards t-shirt and pants riding high.

Muffled giggles are caught in little first grade hands while big wide eyes focus on the boy to see if he’ll say it again.

And he doesn’t disappoint:

“My dog leaks pee.  We just found out last night.  She leaks pee ALL OVER THE HOUSE.  And my mom ain’t happy ’bout it.”

Giggles. Guffaws.  First-grade-funny.

It’s Friday morning after two snow days from an early spring Colorado blizzard.   It’s Friday morning after two snow days from an early spring Colorado blizzard AND it’s the last day of school before spring break. It’s Friday morning after two snow days from an early spring Colorado blizzard, the last day of school before spring break, AND it’s Friday morning in a first grade writing workshop.

This is how writers are born.

 

 

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15 thoughts on “Your Dog Does What?

  1. Amen. First graders have the best quotable quotes. You literally need to keep a notebook with you to write down all the wisdom that flows from them. Very funny.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I wish I had written this! I love the taffy sentences you use to introduce your slice and how you use the same ones to end it. I love the long hyphenated phrase. The phrase itself is first grade-ish. It reminds me of first graders bubbling over, words and thoughts tripping over their tongue. And I can see it. You brought me right in that room with you and them. Is there anything more magical than a first grade writing workshop? I don’t think so. Love this piece!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. OMG! This grabbed me when I first realized what you were doing with your sentences in the first paragraph. Then it only got better and better. You know how to turn a phrase into pure gold. This was one of the best pieces of writing I’ve read today, certainly gets the prize for entertainment factor. I eagerly await you to post a slice, you are incredibly gifted in writing. These are lucky first graders to learn from a master.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. My favorite line: “First-grade-funny” even though I am smiling through this entire slice. The way you control the scene with repetition and size keeps me reading to see what will happen next.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. The building on of the root sentence is highly effective. It reminds me of the voice over from a film building the tension of a first-grade writing workshop; which, as revealed here, can be quite engrossing and climactic. Why not hear it twice.?! Fabulous detail brings your students to life. Being in your classroom, two days after a Colorado blizzard cancelled school, and on the verge of spring break is kind of magical.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. A magical insight into the minds of young storytellers and writers. We know that writers are storytellers and that it is a practiced art. You are laying a great foundation for these young and wonderfully curious learners. Your piece has honesty, humour, real voice and surprise. I loved the use of simile- ‘Six and seven year olds sit in a circle swapping stories like flies buzzing around a juicy watermelon in the late summer sun.’
    Congratulations on having the presence of mind to identify this moment as being worthy of capture. Precious.

    Liked by 1 person

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