Tuesday, 10 May 2011

Olly the Octopus and Tom the Multi-Coloured Sea Monster at Ravenstone School

Olly the Octopus, relaxing
To Gloucester Road, on a delightfully sunny day, to give a reading to a small group of children at Ravenstone School, ranging from 6 to 10. They listened very attentively to some readings from The Other Book (the scene in which Edward is chased by a monster, and also about half of the first chapter in which Tristram de la Zouche watches his father murder his nurse....) and also the very beginning of The Liberators. Ravens play a very important part in The Other Book, and even (although erroneously) make an appearance on the cover of The Liberators, so it was very appropriate to read from TOB at Ravenstone.

One of the teachers made a list of useful verbs after I read (which I was very pleased to see) for the children to think about; later one of the girls asked where I got them from. I answered, 'The verb shop, of course, just near Gloucester Road.'

In the last ten minutes we wrote a Philip's Patented Ten-Minute Story, which went like this:

One day, Olly the Octopus was minding his own business, as octopuses do, on the bottom of the sea bed, when he saw in the distance an enormous multicoloured sea monster rushing towards him. 'Help!' thought Olly, who was very frightened. He was so frightened that he squirted out some red ink at the monster. Squirt squirt squirt!

The sea monster ran away, and Olly was happy. But then he heard a strange noise. What was it? It was the sound of sobbing. Olly went to investigate. Hiding behind a rock was the sea monster. Now Olly was still very frightened but he plucked up enough courage to ask, 'What's the matter?'

'You squirted ink in my face!' said the monster. 'And my name's Tom the multi-coloured sea monster, and I only wanted to be friends.'

So Olly the Octopus apologised. They made friends, and ate invisible ice-cream, and went off to float on the top of the sea, splashing and sploshing like seals.

There  you go. Not bad for ten minutes, if I say so myself...

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