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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Outlandish (05/19/11)

TITLE: Bees, Kittens and a Goat up a Tree.
By Helen Curtis


Lisa bounced excitedly up to the front of the classroom, eager to give her report. She waited until her teacher, Mrs. Watson, nodded for her to begin.

“Good morning, everyone. This morning I would like to tell you about my birthday party from last year. It was such a funny day! There were six of us, and after opening my presents we all sat in my bedroom telling each other funny stories.”

Mrs. Watson smiled, “That’s lovely Lisa. What stories did you tell?”

“Well, at first they were just fairy tales and things, but then I told a story about my cat, Pauline and how she’s named after Pauline Hanson…”

Mrs. Watson interjected,“…um, Pauline Hanson, the Australian politician? How so?”

“She has this strange meow that reminds us of the way Pauline Hanson says “puloise exploin”? Anyway, my friend got teary because her cat just died. And then Sarah started crying because her budgie died last year. That then got Kellie sad, because it reminded her that her grandmother died before she got to meet her, and she wished that she had been able to. And then Megan remembered that her boyfriend’s uncle died last year. He’s a dwarf.”

Mrs. Watson thought she should clarify this point, “The uncle was a dwarf?”

“No, my friend’s boyfriend.”

Mrs. Watson was somewhat gob-smacked by this rather random point, “Oh. That’s a very interesting observation to include Lisa. Anyway, you were all crying and then…”

“Well, my mum came in and tried to cheer us all up, but she couldn’t, so she sent in my big sister and she made us all good again.”

“Oh that’s nice. Did she play a game with you all?”

“Sort of. She said if we didn’t stop crying she’d punch our lights out. Then she played a game on the computer and we watched.”

The class erupted into laughter at this point, but a ‘look’ from Mrs. Watson soon had them quiet again. “So after your sister ‘cheered the mood’, what happened next?”

“We decided to get something to eat, but we couldn’t get out of my room.”

“Why not?”

“It was locked.”

“By whom?”

“My brother.”

“Was he being naughty?”

“No, quite the opposite! He was protecting us!”

“Really? From whom?”

“Not whom, what.”

“Ok then, from what?”

“The bees.”

“The bees?”


Mrs. Watson was trying very hard to give Lisa the benefit of the doubt. Taking a very patient breath she dared to ask, “What bees?”

“The ones that came inside the house through the air vent. He figured that bees wouldn’t be able to unlock doors, so he locked every single door inside the house. He was very brave.”

Mrs. Watson had no rebuttal for such logic, so she simply answered, “Yes, dear, he was. And was your mum helping him lock the doors?”

“Oh no, she was busy with the kittens.”

Mrs. Watson took a moment to gain her composure, “Kittens?”

“Yes! Mum found them after the bees. Pauline – remember Pauline, our cat? Well, she had had them that afternoon in the cupboard, 7 of them!”

“I see. It’s a good thing your mum discovered them there…”

“Oh that was because of the bees!”

“I don’t understand, Lisa, how could the bees inform your mum about the kittens?”

Lisa sighed as if it was so very obvious, “Because if my brother hadn’t locked the kitchen door, the sink wouldn’t have overflowed and mum wouldn’t have needed lots of towels to clean up the floor. That’s when she discovered the kittens.”

“Of course, silly me. Go on.”

“After some food and a look at the kittens, we went outside to play for a while, but we had to come inside when the fire engine arrived.”

“Oh dear! Was there a fire?”

“No, someone left the garden gate open and Axle got stuck up the tree.”

“And Axle is your…little brother?”

Lisa giggled, “No he’s our goat! He knows how to get up the tree, but he can’t get down.

“Hence the fire department, right?”

Lisa rolled her eyes, “Well of course, who else could get a goat out of a tree?”

After a moment’s thought, Mrs. Watson finally spoke. “Lisa, you do realise that this is possibly the most outlandish story I’ve ever heard, right?”

“Yes Mrs. Watson. You do believe me though, don’t you? “

Mrs. Watson looked at Lisa’s innocent countenance and smiled. “My dear, of course I do; it’s too bizarre for anyone to have made it up!”

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This article has been read 625 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Jessica Turner-Stotz05/26/11
This is fabulous! I love the contrast of child and teacher--how the innocence of the young girl is played against the no-nonsense of the adult who inevitably has lost some of their vivid imagination from youth. You captured a child's mind and quality perfectly--especially in the way that they tell stories :)even stories that are true! The irony of the last line, since you as the author did in fact create this story is brilliant and is a perfect ending! I thouroughly enjoyed your piece! Thank you.
Lyn Churchyard05/27/11
Outlandish? Definitely! Helen, this is the best laugh I've had in a long time. I would love to see this as a mini film or a children's book. It's brilliant, simply brilliant :-) :-)
diana kay05/27/11
lovely:-) it got worse and worse.... or better and better and you kept the pace and the interest throughout.
lovely title lovely story and if it is not a winner then i will eat my hat unless the goat gets it first!!
Kathleen Langridge05/27/11
It was a honey of an article. Great work Helen. Should win, it was fast paced and the repartee between the characters was wonderfully woven. It was a joy to read, I am still smiling.
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 05/30/11
You have a marvelous sense of humor. I was giggling throughout. Nice job!
Lisa Fowler05/31/11
Loved it from title to ending! I had no problem imagining the little girl as she told her tale and the teacher as she tried to keep her laughter under wraps. Keep up the good work!
Lillian Rhoades 06/02/11
The human imagination knows no bounds. This so deserves first place. Humorous and entertaining. Congratulations!
diana kay06/02/11
glad that i did not need to eat my hat...... I so knew this as a winner and i am glad it made the top slot.
Lyn Churchyard06/03/11
Super congratulations! I'm so glad this received it's well deserved first place. :-)