If you’ve been homeschooling for a while you are probably familiar with Brave Writer, a great online classroom that offers writing courses for home schooled kids. My middle daughter just finished a 4 week course based on Rudyard Kipling’s Just So Stories. Students read a few of Kipling’s stories, examined the structure and style of his writing and then wrote their own “Just So” story. W had such fun with this course and she learned a ton about alliteration, consonance, rhyming, using musical language, and using a thesaurus. The finished product is fabulous so we are posting it here for your enjoyment.
How the Skunk Got His Perfume, by Willa (age 10)
A long time ago, when the Sun was still a tiny star and the Moon was a wee baby, in the Great Grandfather of all Forests where the very first trees and plants grew, there lived a Skunk. The Skunk was not a strapping, strong, scary Skunk, but he was a sneaky, skillful, stealthy, sly Skunk. He did not mean to cause the animals any pain, but he was very vain, and he loved a soft and fancy, comfy home. Every night, while the stars shone and the moon glistened and the daytime animals were sleeping, Skunk silently snuck to snatch, snitch and steal their stuff to soften his bed and decorate his home.
He stole a claw from Bear; he swindled velvet from Deer; he snatched a whisker from Bobcat; he swiped a skin from Snake; he took Rabbit’s tooth; he filched a feather from Duck; and he carried off Butterfly’s chrysalis.
Every Spring the animals would wake weeping, whimpering and wailing. One morning they decided they had had enough. “This is preposterous,” piped the Duck. “I will not be robbed by someone so teeny,” barked the Bear. “This is out of the question,” quipped the Deer. The rest of the animals agreed that the stealing must stop. So they went to the wise Owl who knew the ways of the night creatures.
The animals found the keen Owl sitting thoughtfully in the Great Grandfather Oak Tree. They howled and yowled and scowled to the Owl. “We have been bamboozled, dangdoozled, famfoozled and wawoozled,” they cried. “Skunk is the most annoying thing in Spring!”
Owl told the animals they needed to make a plan to know when Skunk was coming. “Here’s what you must do to trick this plunderous Skunk,” he advised. “We all know that eggs are one of Skunk’s favorite foods. Duck and his friends have lost dozens of eggs to this crooked Skunk. I have an extraordinarily special perfume you can put in the egg. It is a noxious, malodorous, notorious perfume. When Skunk eats the egg, the perfume will be his!”
So the animals set up the trap. They poured the putrid perfume into a mottled, amber egg and placed it in Duck’s cozy nest. That night, while the stars shone and the moon glistened, Skunk came and saw the egg. With a delighted biggling, shiggling, figgling giggle he snatched the egg and brought it home for supper.
And now, the animals know when Skunk is coming, for now, his positively putrid perfume is the most annoying thing in Spring.