Friday, November 21, 2008

The Three Billy Goat Gruff Marine Biologists

I told this story for the first time about a year ago, I think, as I was sitting in a grocery store parking lot with my nephew, waiting for my sister to come back to the car. I was pretty bored of the usual way of telling this, and he asked for the story to be underwater, so this is what I came up with.

Once upon a time, there were three billy-goat-gruff-marine-biologists who were studying the habitat of the coelecanth. (Do you know what a coelecanth is? It's a kind of fish that scientists used to think was extinct, but then they found out that there really were some still alive. The billy-goat-gruff marine biologists were studying this amazing fish.) Unfortunately, there was a giant clam who lived at the mouth of the canyon that the billy-goat-gruff-marine-biologists had to swim up, and this giant clam was very grumpy because his water was so polluted. (Have you heard of giant clams? They are very big-- a meter across-- longer than the arm of a grown man. And if they are grumpy, they can trap your foot and keep you under the water until you drown.)

So, as the littlest billy-goat-gruff-marine-biologist went to swim past the grumpy giant clam, the clam said [in a burbly voice-- this is very important for this story to be told properly], "Who's trying to swim up my canyon?"

"'Tis I, little billy-goat-gruff-marine-biologist."

"Well, I'm going to trap your foot."

"Oh no, please don't trap me, get my bigger brother, big billy-goat-gruff-marine-biologist."

"Well, be on your way then."

And he went as fast as he could, in a swirl of bubbles.

Next along came big billy-goat-gruff-marine-biologist. "Who's trying to swim up my canyon!?" asked the giant clam.

"'Tis I, big billy-goat-gruff-marine-biologist."

"Well, I'm going to trap your foot."

"Oh no, please don't trap me, get my bigger brother, great-big-billy-goat-gruff-marine-biologist."

"Well, be on your way then."

And he went as fast as he could, in a swirl of bubbles.

Next along came great-big-billy-goat-gruff-marine-biologist. "Who's trying to swim up my canyon!?" asked the giant clam.

"'Tis I, great-big-billy-goat-gruff-marine-biologist."

"Well, I'm going to trap your foot."

"Well, you just try it!"

And as great-big-billy-goat-gruff-marine-biologist swam past, the giant clam did indeed trap his foot, but not really; great-big-billy-goat-gruff-marine-biologist had attached a rope to his foot, and once the clam had clamped down on it, he pulled, and the other two pushed from behind, and they moved the giant clam to a place where the water was much less polluted, and it became much less grumpy, and they swam up the canyon every day after that, and were able to learn many useful and interesting things about the coelecanth's habitat and were able to help coelecanths very much.

Author's note: I just looked it up, and found out that people USED to think that giant clams were dangerous, but now they realize that clams probably close so slowly that they aren't really dangerous. OK, so that's what it says on wikipedia, but as far as I know, no one has a reason to lie about this, so I'm believing it.

2 comments:

Day said...

Have you considered taking some workshops, and then maybe signing up for the amateur section at the storytelling festival?

SAC said...

I have. But I only have so much time, and I don't really know anything about the storytelling festival.